Watch: Six years ago, Stephen Rice put Rovers in front at Tottenham Hotspur

Fri, Sep 29 2017

Stephen Rice tangles with Tottenham's Steven Pienaar in the return game at Tallaght Stadium. Credit: Extratime Team

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Six years ago today, Shamrock Rovers travelled to London for their first-ever Europa League away group game against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

 

Goalless at the break, the fairytale moment arrived for the Hoops in the fifth minute of the second half when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Spurs box.

 

Gary McCabe and Billy Dennehy lined up the set piece, and it was McCabe who struck the ball firmly, and on target, drawing a save from future Ireland under-21 coach Carlo Cudicini.

 

The Italian could only parry the ball to Pat Sullivan on the edge of the box, and the hero of Belgrade's low shot was deflected into the net by Stephen Rice and Rovers led 1-0.

 

Alas, the joy was to be shortlived as two goals in two minutes from Roman Pavyluchenko and Jermaine Defoe turned the scoreline around before Giovani dos Santos added a Spurs third.

 

Nevertheless, it's a day that will live long in the memories of Hoops fans as the time they, ever so briefly, led one of England's best and most expensively-assembled teams on their own patch.