By Steve Carpenter Monday 07 January 2013 Updated: 07/01 16:47
OVER 5,000 Sky Blues supporters descended on to the capital to rekindle the spirit of 1987 and although their side lost out to Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur, a brave second half performance gave them every reason to make the long journey home with their heads held high.
The difference between challenging for a Champions League spot and hovering mid-table in League One was there for all to see, especially in the opening period.
But credit must go to Robins and his team who kept Spurs at bay after the re-start and could count themselves unlucky not to have reduced the deficit after academy graduate Conor Thomas had a consolation goal ruled out in the final stages of the match.
Robins' side, who were sporting a retro 1987 style kit for the match at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon, could be found guilty of giving their opponents too much respect in the opening 45 minutes.
The likes of Gareth Bale, Clint Dempsey and Scott Parker were given far too much time on the ball and it was no surprise to see the Sky Blues three goals down and staring a harsh defeat in the face at the interval.
Welsh international Bale was causing full back Jordan Clarke all sorts of problems down the left flank on his return to the first team.
And it was his free-kick that led to the opening goal on 14 minutes when Clint Dempsy nodded the ball past Joe Murphy.
Despite falling behind the City supporters knew they had been here before against their opponents and chants of 'we're going to win 3-2' spread amongst the away following.
However Bale soon put an end to that unlikely forecast shortly after the half-hour mark by doubling the host's advantage with a smart volley at the far post.
Dempsey's second before the break had all but put the result beyond doubt but Robins' side came out fighting in the second half and their efforts perhaps deserved more.
This time the likes of Bale, Dempsey and Parker were being closed down and the introduction of John Fleck provided some much needed creativity going forward.
Spurs had chances but so too did the Sky Blues.
Leon Clarke fired wide when perhaps he should have tested Friedel, defender Richard Edjenguele did test Freidel with a header which was well saved by the experienced American and Thomas had what looked a clean goal ruled out for an offside infringement.
Perhaps if they had shown less fear in the first half then another shock victory over Spurs in the FA Cup could have been on the cards. But it wasn't to be.
Instead the Sky Blues were knocked out at the third round stage for a second successive season and must turn their attentions to the League and the Johnstone Paint Trophy tonight (Thursday).
Spurs have certainly managed to hold their own in English football since that unforgettable afternoon in 1987.
But Saturday's 3-0 win over the Sky Blues was reminder of the slow, painful decline of Sky Blues since winning the their only major trophy over 25 years ago.
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