Under the floodlights at a near full capacity Deepdale, Tottenham Hotspur’s quality shone through in the second half with a 3-0 win in the FA Cup 4th Round.

It took them until the 50th minute to break the deadlock with a bit of class from Heung-Min Son. The South Korean added another with some clever play before Arnaut Danjuma wrapped up the tie with a goal on his debut.

The fans played their part. A taste of what could be

It’s great to see Deepdale at near full capacity and before their game on Saturday night the atmosphere was building up nicely. For these types of games the fans play a big part in trying to make it uncomfortable for in this case the heavy favourites.

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The flags were out in full force and the North End faithful were hopeful of witnessing something special at Deepdale as Gerry Cinnamon’s Belter blasted out on the speakers ahead of the teams coming out.

Past FA Cup ties have seen us take the lead against Manchester United and Arsenal to joyous scenes. Yet we haven’t managed a giant killing of any sort for quite some time.

These type of games though do give us a hint of how special just one season in the top flight would be. The players need to give us more though to keep that support going for the full 90.

When we kept them out in the first 45, the fans were right behind the team and acknowledging their determined display. A goal is always a kick in the teeth because in these encounters it is tough to recover then.

Preston North End v Tottenham Hotspur: Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

An impressive first 45 from the original Lilywhites

Ryan Lowe picked the strongest side available to him and although Spurs left Harry Kane on the bench there was no doubting the quality they had in attacking areas.

Preston however were focused and committed in the efforts to keeping Tottenham from breaking through. Heung-Min Son and Dejan Kulusevski were restricted to long range attempts that didn’t trouble Freddie Woodman too much.

The defence was organised and there were some great tackles and blocks going in to frustrate Spurs. Whilst we were a bit sloppy in possession, getting in at 0-0 at half-time has always got to be the goal in these type of games.

There were times when counter attacks were on but we were very indecisive on the ball. There seemed to be little game plan when we were in possession. This is often the case in the league though so it’s not surprising against Premier League opposition.

Ched Evans had a fantastic game up front with his close control and runs at the defence, including a moment where he nutmegged Uruguayan international Rodrigo Bentacur.

Alan Browne did a job on Ryan Sessegnon

The club captain is hit and miss at right wing-back and I actually thought this would have been a good game for Brad Potts to play. However Browne quickly got the better of his opposite number, stopping him from getting to the byline and also when venturing up the pitch himself with some nice touches

The captain had a strong 45 minutes before tiring in the second half. Tottenham didn’t have too much success down the left with all three of their goals starting on the right.

Preston North End v Tottenham Hotspur: Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

It was always going to be Son

The 30-year-old looked the most dangerous in the first half and we were giving him too much space. He managed two long range efforts in the first period but we didn’t learn our lesson.

A run forward off the ball from Japhet Tanganga seemed to throw the Preston defence off track. The extra man up front caused problems. He wasn’t picked up and he found Son who had another space to shape up for a lovely 30-yard effort that gave Woodman no chance.

It was always going to be tough to come back from that moment. But it could have been avoided.

We should have had more of a go

It’s a very fine balancing act in these types of games between sitting back not wanting to give them an inch but also trying to nick a goal as well. Ultimately it didn’t feel like we had a plan when we got the ball and we failed to test Fraser Forster.

We had a decent spell in between Son’s two goals where we forced a few corners. But even with those and when in other good areas, the delivered balls into the box weren’t good enough.

It would have been nice to have more of a go and show more attacking threat but it’s tough when there weren’t many attacking options on the pitch.

But you look at other FA Cup games this weekend and although there weren’t many shocks there was some classic cup performances where teams defied the gaps in league positions.

Non league Wrexham are 70 places below Sheffield United in the football league pyramid and although they went behind in the first minute, they were on top for the majority of the game, finding an equaliser in the 50th minute before taking the lead 10 minutes later. They were direct with their attacks and caused The Blades problems in a game which they were unfortunate to only come out of with a 3-3 draw.

They gave it their all and weren’t afraid of going forward and attacking. The fans appreciate that and their support becomes even louder making it a tough and hostile atmosphere for the opposition.

Elsewhere even with 10 men and three goals down, Reading managed to score a consolation at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Accrington Stanley grabbed a goal in their 3-1 defeat to Leeds United. Meaningless in the grand scheme of things but a moment 18-year-old Leslie Adekoya will remember for the rest of his life, and something for the fans to briefly enjoy.

We lacked that attacking threat and with it another opportunity has gone for a memorable cup night at Deepdale. Attention turns back to the league but we still need to find that cutting edge in attack.

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