The Littlewoods Cup Semi Final of 1987 brought a trilogy of dramatic derby matches to North London.

Tottenham won the first leg at Highbury 1-0 courtesy of a Clive Allen strike. When the Spurs striker netted again after 16 minutes of the second leg, Arsenal looked down and out. But, riled by half-time tannoy announcements advising Spurs fans how to get hold of their Wembley tickets, the Gunners came roaring back.

Viv Anderson reduced the deficit and Niall Quinn slid in at the far post to level the aggregate scores and earn a replay. A coin was tossed to decide the venue of the third game (as away goals did not count double at that time). Unbelievably, the first toss saw the coin stick upright in the mud. But Spurs won the second toss and so it was back to White Hart Lane.

Allen, enjoying a prolific season for Spurs, opened the scoring yet again and things went from bad to worse for Arsenal as Charlie Nicholas limped off injured. But once again they dug deep and, with only eight minutes left on the clock, substitute Ian Allinson swivelled to beat Ray Clemence at his near post.

The final whistle - and extra time - beckoned, but then came a moment to savour for Arsenal fans. A shot from Allinson rebounded into the path of David Rocastle. Rocky took the ball in his stride and calmly stroked Arsenal's winner past Clemence. Arsenal had never been ahead in a tie which had stretched to five hours, and yet they won it in the final seconds.

"This equals anything I achieved as a player," manager George Graham said afterwards. "I hope it's just the start of a new era for this club. When I took over this season I wanted to build a platform for success. It's happened quicker than expected."

Just weeks later the Scotsman saw his side lift the trophy after beating Liverpool 2-1 in another historic encounter.

A Day In Time: March 4, 1987
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Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 29 Aug 2007