CITY 5 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 1
League Division 2
11th May 1985
City May, Melrose, Phillips 2, Simpson
Ref F Roberts
City Williams, Lomax, Power, May, Clements, Phillips, Simpson, McNab, Melrose, Tolmie, Kinsey – sub Barrett(unused)
Charlton Harmsworth, Friar, A Kimble, Gritt, Dowman, Aizlewood, Harris, Curbishley, Lee, G Kimble, Flanagan – used sub Stuart
TWO GOALS FOR DAVID PHILLIPS
The biggest crowd of the season in Division 2 came to celebrate a City win which would secure a place back in the top echelon of English football, and Billy McNeil’s side did not disappoint the Maine Road faithful as they swept aside a shell shocked Charlton side.
The early nerves were laid to rest as early as the 6th minute as David Phillips converted from a cross from the rising younfg star, Paul Simpson.
Charlton nearly got back in the game, but Geoff Lomax cleared the Addicks effort off the line and then on the quarter hour the game was all but over as Andy May headed in a corner from Simpson.
It was 2-0 at the break and The Blues came out for the second half clearly looking to add to their total and they did in fine style, Jim Melrose headed City’s third, again after good work from Paul Simpson, and the young winger got on the scoresheet himself as he took the ball round a hesitant Harmsworth to slot the ball home to make it 5-0.
Minutes later and it was five as David Phillips smashed home a low drive. Lee got a consolation goal for Charlton before a jubilant Maine Road crowd invaded the pitch on the final whistle to congratulate their heroes.
Jubilant Manchester City were prepared for the worst had they failed to make the return to the big time again.
City chairman Peter Swales revealed that he was resigned to losing manager Billy McNeill if the club had missed out.
Swales, who successfully fended off a determined mid-season bid from Hibs for McNeill said “We might well have expected to lose him if things hadn’t gone our way. I could have understood a man of Billy’s ability not wanting to spend anymore time in the Second division. But now there’s absolutely no possibility of him going,” added Swales, unshaken by current rumours of mounting interest from Saudi Arabia and Spain.
The Maine Road board’s chief concern now is in raising the extra capital for McNeill to bring his playing staff up to First Division standards. And there could also be another extensive City contract on offer to McNeill.
City lost over half a million pounds in gate receipts, sponsorship deals and tour revenue through the drop. Now with the crowd potential proven again by the 47,000 attendance on Saturday, they stand to gain almost £1M in all round revenue through their return.
…McNeill revealed that players he couldn’t afford a few months ago are still available. So the buying could well start soon.
18 year old man of the match Paul Simpson was the hero who went straight for the heart of unsuspecting Charlton, cleverly setting up Dave Phillips for a simple but vital 7 minute break-through.
Simpsons own moment of glory came during a second half goal explosion.
Andy May, Jim Melrose and Phillips again also savaged the confidence of Charlton’s poorly protected 17 year old keeper Lee Harmsworth before Robert Lee pulled one back for the Londoners after 83 mins
BOB RUSSELL WRITING IN THE DAILY MIRROR 13TH MAY 1985
CITY ARE BACK!