Manchester City v Leicester 1968/69

23 City v Leicester  1968 to 69 01


League Division 1

4th April 1969

attendance 42,022

scorers Summerbee(12 & 85)

Ref J Thacker

City  Dowd, Book, Pardoe, Doyle, Booth, Oakes, Summerbee, Bell, Lee, Young, Coleman – sub Bowyer(62)

Leicester Shilton, Rodrigues, Woollett, Manley, Sjoberg, Cross, Greenhalgh, Roberts, Lochhead, Nish, Stringfellow – sub Fern(62)


leicester home 1968 to 69 summerbee 1st city goal

leicester home 1968 to 69 2nd summerbee goal



Many people chose to look upon yesterday’s match between the Cities of Manchester and Leicester at Maine Road as a rehearsal for the FA Challenge Cup final. That being so, I can only subscribe to the unwavering optimism of those producers of amateur theatrical performances who go to bed convinced that “everything will be all right on the night.”
Manchester won 2-0, and if they are wise, and they are frequently, they will not set too much store by this result or the manner of it’s achievement.
Manchester paraded the men whom they hope will serve them at Wembley on April 26. Leicester were without such stalwarts as Clarke, who scored a hat trick when Manchester were at Filbert Street earlier this season, Gibson and Glover. Fern appeared as a substitute half an hour from time, and one or two other players found themselves in unaccustomed places. So while it might have been a dress rehearsal for Manchester’s all star cast, from Leicester’s point of view it was just an afternoon out and one that had nothing at all to do with the final.
Mind you, Leicester are in an odd and not very comfortable state. On the one hand they are on the threshold of winning the Cup for the first time in their history or rather they have one foot in the relegation grave and with five matches to play after the final they may not be exactly full of the joys when next they come to meet Manchester. Will they in fact be the second side which has been beaten in the Cup final and lost its place in the First Division in the same season? If that prove to be their melancholy lot, Manchester City probably will be the first to offer commiseration. They know what it feels like.
Leicester, nevertheless played some very good football yesterday, and Manley and Rodrigues in particular created excellent impressions. Lochhead was not the first leader of men to learn that none of the things written about young Booth was exaggerated, but Leicester still contrived to look the more impressive side on the attack. Such impressiveness may have been magnified by some unwanted ditherings in the Manchester defences and which caused Malcolm Allison, City’s assistant manager, to make forthright comments from his eyrie in the stand.

leicester home 1968 to 69 action

Manchester, of course, may have been trying to ‘kid’ their opponents. Manchester City are great ‘kidders’! They did all sorts of stupid things, made all kinds of stupid mistakes, and then turned on the charm that would have beguiled any team in this world or the next. Lee proved himself completely fit again which was all that mattered to some cynics and Coleman too again seems sound in wind and limb. For the most part, however, Manchester revealed no great interest in the proceedings and when Bowyer came on as substitute at the same time as Fern, his enthusiasm and direct play were nothing less than a vote of censure on the rest of the field. Never mind you Manchester City supporters it will be alright on April 26.
More than one onlooker found it necessary to wear sunglasses on an afternoon borrowed in advance from high summer although there was not a great deal worth looking at until the tenth minute when Dowd and Greenhalgh staged a knockabout comedy act near the touchline. Greenhalgh had lured Dowd from his base and then had tried to walk the ball round him. He tried it twice without any success and finally Dowd fouled his antagonist but Leicester made a mess of the free kick. Soon afterwards Greenhalgh was just wide with a good shot from the right and another from the left.
Summerbee in the meantime had given Manchester the lead after a clever movement by Lee and Young in the twelth minute. Manley, a prodigious worker, twice caused Dowd to make unorthodox saves and when Manchester retaliated Shilton made quite brilliant saves from Young and Summerbee.
In the second half Leicester tried hard to equalise and Dowd made a plucky save from Nish. Lochhead, given a fine pass by Nish, drove the ball with his left foot straight at Dowd, Manchester finished in style and after Young and Bell had confounded the Leicester defenders, Summerbee scored a cheeky second. Shilton made another superb save from Bell, and Lee missed by inches. Not one of Manchester City’s brighter displays but I have no doubt at all that they will be word perfect on the twenty sixth.

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