LEEDS UNITED 1 CITY 2
FA Cup 3rd Round
7th January 1978
City Tueart(62), Barnes(73)
referee Colin Seel
City Corrigan, Clements, Donachie, Booth, Watson, Owen, Barnes, Bell, Kidd, Hartford, Tueart – sub Channon
Leeds Harvey, Reaney, Gray, Cherry, McQueen, Madeley, Harris, Hankin, Currie, Flynn, Graham – sub Clarke
DENNIS TUEART AND PETER BARNES PUT CITY 2-0 UP
FROM THE PRESS BOX
Manchester City won with conviction, English football lost lgnobly, besmirched by yet another sorry example of crowd indiscipline. And for those who still choose to look upon football as a game rather than a cause, the second factor overshadowed the first at Leeds on Saturday. There was no shred of injustice to ferment bitterness and incite hundreds to spill over from the terraces behind the Manchester goal, where Leeds supporters were thickest; only disappointment that Leeds United were about to_depart the FA Cup competition at the first hurdle and, among some at least, perhaps a half-formed idea that they might somehow divert the course of events.
A posse of mounted policemen was needed. to disabuse them and the match was held up for a quarter of an hour or so, a thoroughly depressing episode and a sad commentary on the mentality of a small segment of modern football followers.
The first hint of the disturbance came 12 minutes from the end of a hard-fought cup tie with Manchester leading 2-0. A solitary Intruder headed. towards City’s goal and it says something for his intelligence that he even considered a confrontation with Corrigan, a goalkeeper againstt whom Goliath would seem a pigmy. He has quicklely hustled awa, but others followed, a trickle became a tide, and suddenly a thin line of policemen and yellow coated stewards was struggling to contain a mass of people on the fringe of the pitch. The Players withdrew to a safe distance and were eventually shepherded to the dressing rooms.
It was not until eight mounteded policemen trotted their mounts on to the pitch that the retreat back to the terraces began; those. so stubborn and brave in numbers suddenly found they did not have the stomach for it after all and scuttled away like startled rabbtits to their burrows. A precise parallel to the scene was difficult to recall on an English football field and there was another unprecedented moment still to come. A microphone lead was run out from beneath the main stand on to the pitch so that the referee, Mr Seel, could tell the crowd personally that he had no intention of abandoning the match, even if it meant staying until midnight. When it did ultimately restart Leeds got a late goal from a penalty, but it was very much anticlimax; City won 2-1 and deservedly so, just. as deservedly as those troublesome supporters will now surely, be fenced in at Elland Road.
The match itself offered resoIuote cup tie fare, with the better stuff coming from Manchester. When they are in their persuasive mood City are a match and more for any side in the land. Here they promptly indicated that they were looking for the ball and meant to make good use of it in attack, which, in any event, is their strong suit. It was in the middle areas where they looked so much more adaptable than Leeds and where the compass was fixed. Hartford had one hand firmly on the tiller, but it was Belt who skilfully set the course tor both Manchester’s goals.
What a remarkable return to the game Bell is making; absent for two years with a troublesome leg injury, he has lost nothing of the knack of making yards of room for himself and gliding into a telling spot at a crucial moment. He headed. on Watson’s well flighted free kick for Tueart to head in the first just after thee hour. Ten minutes lateronce more detaching himself from everyone, he rose to meet Donachie’s centre and, as the ball arched above Harvey, the goalkeeper stretched up a hand and turned it on to the bar; as it dropped, Barnes pounced as quickly as Tueart had done earlier and the match dangled at Manchester’s belt.
Leed’s best phase came just after half-time when their penetrating wingers, Graham especially, got into their stride but the prong of the attack, now that Jordan has gone, was comfortably blunted by Manchester’s admirable central defenders. Currie, used in an attacking role, caused. a few problems with his deft touches early on, but his influence waned and lt was some reflection of Leeds’s frustration that Harvey and McQueen had to be taken aside and lectured by the referee for a domesnic scuffle on their own goalline. Currie did find some satisfaction just before the end in a duet with Flynn which yielded a penalty from which Gray scored. By then it was too late and Manchester might have won more impressively but for a couple of misses and a brace of splendid saves by Harvey from Tueart and Kidd.
TOM GERMAN WRITING IN THE TIMES 9TH JANUARY 1978