CITY 3 LUTON TOWN 2 (After Extra Time)
League Cup 3rd Round 2nd Replay (Held at Old Trafford)
9th November 1977
City Tueart(pen), Channon, Kidd
Luton Heale 2
Ref K Burns
City Corrigan, Clements, Donachie, Doyle, Watson, Power, Barnes, Channon, Kidd, Hartford, Tueart
HIT AND MISS Dennis Tueart converts his first penalty kick, but then late on in the game fails from the spot with his second
FROM THE PRESS BOX
NO KIDDING – CITY GET A F(R)IGHT!
When Brian Kidd rose to acknowledge Dennis Tueart’s desperate centre five minutes from the end of this five and a half hour League Cup marathon he sensed for the first time that Manchester City had got on top of their Second Division underdog opponents. For all too long for their own comfort, Tony Book’s over anxious City had failed to reach the expected heights. But if ever a team was entitled to walk tall from Old Trafford after this second replay it was last night’s magnificent losers Luton. …City playing an awkward looking 4-2-4 formation never settled in an unreal atmosphere of an Old Trafford with only 13,000 watching. And when Gary Heale slotted in a 12th minute half chance after Dave Watson had misread left back Steve Buckley’s cross the Maine Roaders were struggling all along the line. Heale who squandered a last minute chance to have seen off City in the first replay appeared to have done all the necessary repair work when he claimed his second 14 minutes later, following up on a Steve Buckley free kick which Joe Corrigan couldn’t hold. To City’s credit, at a time when they could have capitulated they came back with the kind of professionalism that manager Book is forever demanding. Maybe there was an element of doubt about Ricky Hill’s intentions as he tripped an advancing Paul Power. But for me it was a penalty and the transfer listed Tueart marked his recall with a cool spot kick. City were still struggling desparately in the second half when Mick Channon as out of form as any made the most of a lucky break after a Kidd shot had been deflected to lash in a 14 yard left foot equaliser. The sense of insecuriy was still showing when Heale and debut boy Brian Stein squandered chances before City at last got on top of the job. It might have been all over when Asa Hartford hit a post with a vicious header from a Willie Donachie cross in 86 minutes. It should have been all over when Peter Barnes…hammered a shot on to the bar and the writing appeared to be on the wall for a bemused City when Watson also hit the woodwork from 30 yards and Tueart saw his second penalty brilliantly saved by Aleksic in the 15th minute of extra time. But if City lacked finesse they made up for it with fight, and putting sentiment aside, I’d say they were marginally worth that Kidd winner.
Bob Russell writing in The Daily Mirror 10th November 1977