Rochdale fire injury-time equaliser earns Wembley replay with Spurs

Ian Henderson drew first blood when he gave Rochdale a shock lead against Spurs

Steve Davies’ dramatic injury-time equaliser earned League One Rochdale an FA Cup fifth-round replay against Tottenham.

Harry Kane’s 88th-minute penalty looked to have secured the Premier League club’s place in the quarter-finals, but Davies fired home in the third minute of added time.

Dale had earlier taken the lead when Ian Henderson finished a counter-attack on the stroke of half-time to score his sixth goal in the competition this season.

After a poor first-half display, Tottenham found some rhythm and equalised just before the hour mark through January signing Lucas Moura.

When Harrison McGahey felled Dele Alli inside the penalty area, Kane made no mistake with the spot-kick to score his 34th goal of the season.

But Dale forced a replay at Wembley when substitute Davies swept home from 12 yards.

“We can’t wait to go to Wembley,” said Henderson. “We always felt we had an opportunity. Stevo is an unbelievable finisher and we deserved that.

Rochdale heroes Steve Davies and Ian Henderson after they earned a Wembley replay against Tottenham Hotspur

“I’ve always dreamed of playing at Wembley and now I can say I’ve played there – if I’m fit and picked.”

Pitch perfect from Dale… almost

Much had been made of the Crown Oil Arena pitch, which Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had said posed a “massive risk” to players before it was relaid.

Dale beat Millwall on a muddy and heavily sanded surface in the previous round, but the slicker surface suited their passing style.

Manager Keith Hill was dressed casually, and his players mirrored that approach with a relaxed and confident first-half display which belied the 63 places between the sides.

Dale pressed hard and were aggressive, the tone set by McGahey’s crunching challenge on Harry Winks before they took a deserved lead.

Winks was caught in possession in the Rochdale half by Mark Kitching.

He released Stephen Humphrys, who in turn fed the ball to Andrew Cannon. Dale captain Henderson had already squandered two chances, but when Cannon slid the ball in to his path, he netted confidently.

Harry Kane scored from the spot as Tottenham went 2-1 up against Rochdale

Spurs found their feet, and the goals from Moura and Kane looked to be enough to secure a meeting with either Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea City in the quarter-finals.

But Hill’s men showed their never-say-die attitude, earning a deserved replay thanks to a fine finish from striker Davies.

Sluggish Spurs eventually save face

Tottenham made 11 changes from the side that fought back to earn a 2-2 draw with Juventus in the Champions League, but the team named by Pochettino still boasted plenty of quality and experience.

Spurs, who had not lost to a team from the third tier or below since 1988, were given a fright in the previous round by Newport before reaching the fifth round via a Wembley replay.

Apart from one fleeting moment, when a Son Heung-min shot was saved by Dale goalkeeper Josh Lillis and Fernando Llorente dragged a shot wide, the visitors were poor before the break.

Rochdale is relishing the chance to take on Tottenham at Wembley

They misplaced passes, were slow to react in possession and generally looked lethargic. The exception was Lucas, who was bright and industrious on his full debut following a £23m move from Paris St-Germain on deadline day.

Almost inevitably, it was the influential Brazilian who equalised for Spurs when he exchanged passes with Moussa Sissoko and burst into the box before shooting high into the net past Lillis.

Dale tired and Spurs eventually rallied to put Lillis’ goal under pressure – Erik Lamela’s header being cleared off the line by Matt Done.

Kane looked to have wrapped up a hard-fought win with a penalty on the ground where he made his professional debut as a loan player for Leyton Orient in 2011.

But Done’s cross deflected off the head of Toby Alderweireld into the path of Davies and he fired past Michel Vorm.

Spurs have progressed from 16 of their past 17 FA Cup ties against lower-league opponents, but Dale will relish their first trip to the national stadium since 2008.

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