CITY 2 DERBY COUNTY 0
League Division 1
22nd April 1972
scorers Marsh(25), Lee(70 pen)
Ref Norman Burtenshaw
City Corrigan, Book, Donachie, Doyle, Booth, Bell, Summerbee, Lee, Jeffries, Marsh, Towers – sub Hill(unused)
Derby Boulton, Webster, Robson, Durban, McFarland, Todd, McGovern, Gemmill, O’Hare, Butlin, Hector, Hinton – sub Hennessey
RODNEY MARSH SCORE CITY’S FIRST GOAL IN A ‘MAN OF THE MATCH’ PERFORMANCE
…Rodney Marsh, who had been fiercely criticised from the time he stepped foot into Maine Road, finally came into his own as City achieved a level of performance they had rarely attained for many a year. The tension was nerve-wracking from the outset with Derby attempting to dictate matters in the knife-edged encounter. But City sniped back with Tommy Booth heading a Tony Towers centre across the face of goal. Marsh shot over from Francis Lee after clever work by Derek Jeffries but the 25th minute provided that magic moment when super Rod struck.
The move started when Towers, having a superb match, robbed Archie Gemmill a stride inside the City half. He pushed the ball through for Marsh to cut loose in brilliant fashion. Rounding both Roy McFarland and John Robson, Marsh reached the edge of the penalty area before delivering a blistering right foot drive that curled away from Colin Boulton for as handsome a goal as one could wish to see.
Again Marsh weaved his spell with a dazzling run that took him past three more defenders but this time Boulton had the shot covered and turned it away cleanly. It was Boulton again to Derby’s rescue when Colin Bell burst through after neat work by Mike Summerbee and Lee, though this time the County ’keeper was lucky with the ball .bouncing away off his knees. Two minutes from half time Bell should have made it two but he headed Summerbee’s cross outside from a good close-in position.
Derby had brought on Welsh international Terry Hennessey for Ron Webster, but they continued to struggle right until the break. It was but a brief respite for County, however. Willie Donachie got the Blues moving forward again with a great chip to Summerbee who was blatantly pushed off the ball by Hennessey but referee Norman Burtenshaw adamantly turned down City penalty appeals.
Derby’s best chance came in the 55th minute when Donachie misjudged a high ball through the middle and it flew off his head straight to Kevin Hector. A goal looked on until Joe Corrigan superbly blocked Hector’s close-in effort. John O’Hare then hit a post with Derby desperately seeking the equaliser in what was now a classic encounter. But Francis Lee settled the issue with his 15th penalty of the season and 35th goal in all, 33 of them in the First Division, a City post-war scoring record.