CITY 6 CHELSEA 2
League Division 1
26th November 1977
City G Wilkins(og), Tueart 3, Channon, Barnes
Chelsea R Wilkins, Britton(pen)
Ref Kevin McNally
City Corrigan, Clements, Donachie, Doyle, Watson, Power, Barnes, Channon, Kidd, Hartford, Tueart – sub Keegan(unused)
Chelsea Bonetti, G Wilkins, Sparrow, Britton, Droy, Wicks, Ayllott, R Wilkins, Langley, Swain, Cooke – used sub Lewington
DENNIS TUEART SCORES THE FIRST GOAL OF HIS HAT-TRICK
CITY went into this game in patchy form to say the least. Five defeats in the previous eight games had left the Blues slightly adrift of the pace, having led the table going into October with five wins and two draws from the opening seven games.
It was a time of transition, with Joe
Royle loaned to Bristol City and making his debut the same day, Dennis Tueart, unhappy at being in and out of the side, was on the transfer list and Colin Bell still absent with injury.
Having beaten Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal at Maine Road already, newly-promoted Chelsea represented the perfect opportunity to get the season back on track. Oddly, the crowd was well below the 45,000 average with just over 34,000 souls turning up for what was destined to be a cracking afternoon’s entertainment, though the Chelsea contingent, tucked away in the top right-hand corner of the Kippax, would soon be wishing they’d stayed home and kept warm.
It would be a day the Pensioners’ fullback Graham Wilkins would remember for a long time, too, and he began his hour of misery by putting through his own net to give City the lead on nine minutes. Four minutes later and Tueart made it 2-0, with the Blues hardly even breaking into a sweat.
Tony Book urged his side to put Chelsea to the sword, but, in a surprising twist, Graham Wilkins pulled one back for the visitors and on 27 minutes, Kenny Clements gave a penalty away that allowed Ian Britton to level the scores. City were far from finished, however, but with Chelsea’s tail wagging, an air of apprehension settled over Maine Road
– but it only lasted four minutes as Tueart scored his second of the afternoon on 31 minutes.
City began to pummel Chelsea with Asa Hartford and Peter Barnes outstanding. Paul Power’s low drive struck John Sparrow and span towards the opposite corner to Peter ‘The Cat’ Bonetti and the former England ‘keeper could only watch helplessly as the ball rolled over the line to make it 4-2 on half-time. Barnes continued to terrorise the hapless Wilkins after the break and on 51 minutes the Kippax idol made it 5-2 with a classy finish that secured the points for the Blues.
PETER BARNES SCORES CITY’S FIFTH
In fact, Wilkins, thoroughly fed up with his lot and chasing shadows all afternoon, fouled Barnes repeatedly, eventually giving referee McNally no option but to send him for an early bath. Tueart then completed his hat-trick (his second of the season) on 69 minutes to make it 6-2. With more than 20 minutes remaining, the City fans wondered just how big the final winning margin might be, but the Blues eased their foot off the gas and there were no more goals. Buoyed with confidence, City won their next six successive home games, Colin Bell returned from injury and, for a few weeks, all was well in the world. ‘Iheart claimed after the game that his treble changed nothing and he was better finding a new home. He scored one more hat-trick before he left for New York Cosmos early in the New Year. Everton also hit six the day City hammered Chelsea, beating Coventry 6o and Joe Royle marked his Bristol City debut by scoring all four goals in a 4-1 win over Middlesbrough. As for Chelsea, they clawed back a little pride by holding the Blues to a o -o draw in the return fixture at Stamford Bridge FROM ‘CLASSIC MATCH IN THE CITY MAGAZINE MARCH 2008
FROM ROY OF THE ROVERS