Manchester City v Newcastle United 1973/74

 newcastle home 1973 to 74 prog


League Division 1

27th March 1974

attendance 21,590

City Lee(9 & 24)
Newcastle Cassidy(46)

City MacRae, Pardoe, Donachie, Doyle, Booth, Horswill, Summerbee, Bell, Lee, Oakes, Tueart – sub Whelan(78)

Newcastle Burleigh, David Craig, Kennedy, McDermott, Clark, Moncur, Bruce, Cassidy, Tudor, Cannell, Hodgson – sub Derek Craig

City’s lack of goals had worryingly seen them tumble down the table into a position where the word relegation was now being heard more and more when The Blues were talked about. And so a nervous crowd of 21,590, the lowest league attendance at Maine Road this season, were lifted by Newcastle’s team selection, with McFaul, MacDonald, Hibbitt and Smith all rested ahead of the Geordies upcoming FA Cup semi-final.
And so it seemed that the depleted Newcastle would be put to the sword and it was Francis Lee who showed the way. Lee, who hadn’t scored since December, was clearly out of favour with under pressure Blues’ boss Ron Saunders, however he scored twice in the first half to show he is still worthy of a place in the side.
Franny’s first came after just nine minutes, when he latched on to a blocked Horswill shot, to easily beat understudy keeper Martin Burleigh.
A second goal followed less than a quarter of an hour later, Lee was put through by a great ball from Colin Bell, and his shot should have been saved by Burleigh, but somehow the ball squirmed under his body and into the net.
The fans were now expecting a deluge of goals, however, as is the way with ‘typical City’, they put the City faithful through the mire; Less than a minute after the break Tommy Cassidy drove forward from his own half, beat two players, played a one-two with John Tudor, before dispatching a great shot past Keith MacRae to pull the score back to 2-1.
For the rest of the game City just about hung on as they invited pressure from the Newcastle forwards, with MacRae having to pull off fine saves from McDermott and Tudor to secure two much need points, which although didn’t put City mathematically safe from ‘the drop’, they certainly were very unlikely now to be involved in a relegation battle.


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