CITY 3 STOKE CITY 1
League Division 1
11th March 1967
City Bell 3
Ref M Holian
City Dowd, Book, Pardoe, Horne, Heslop, Oakes, Summerbee, Bell, Crossan, Connor, Coleman – sub Doyle(unused)
Stoke Farmer, Palmer, Skeels, Viollet, Bloor, Allen, Bernard, Dobing, Mahoney, Eastham, Burrows
THE 1ST AND 3RD GOALS FROM COLIN BELL’S HAT-TRICK
THIS was one of Manchester City’s `silly’ seasons. And they had a few in their time! In the FA Challenge Cup, they went as far as the sixth round, and were beaten unluckily I-0 by Leeds United at Elland Road; in the League, they just about held their own, although round about March and April, they frequently gave the impression that they wished they were back in the Second Division, the championship of which they had won the previous season. Fortunately, they came to their senses, and this victory against Stoke was a crucial factor in ensuring their tenure of First Division office.
It was a peculiar game. And a painful one for the referee, Mr. W. M. Holian of Chesterfield. He was hit in the face by the ball after a clearance by Bloor, and was carried unconscious from the field. Happily, he soon recovered, but was persuaded not to resume his duties which were taken over by one of his linesmen. The vacancy on the line was filled by two worthy gentlemen in rapid succession, but to this day I have no idea who they were. Anyway they did all that was required of them. And so, eventually, did Manchester City.
The first half was nondescript apart from a good performance on his second senior appear¬ance by Coleman, some brilliant footwork by Eastham-this was nothing new, of course-and an unsuccessful appeal for a penalty when Summerbee was tackled unfairly by Farmer. This appeal was rejected by Mr. Holian, and when he was carried off, there were those who showed no sympathy whatsoever.
In the second half, Manchester improved beyond all belief, and Colin Bell scored a fine hat trick inside 15 minutes, Crossan and ummerbee playing prominent parts in its achievement. Unfortunately, Stoke believed that Bell was offside when he scored his second, and Palmer’s protests were so insistent that he was sent off by the acting referee, Mr. C. L. Newsome of Shropshire. Palmer may have thought that only the referee appointed for the match possessed such plenary powers and at first he refused to go. Viollet and Bloor finally escorted their hapless colleague off the field, and the game proceeded.
Thereafter, Manchester rode comfortably on their lead, but shortly before the end their defenders faltered, and Dobing scored a fine goal after one of Eastham’s many shrewd passes.
So City completed the double against the men from Stoke.
By Eric Todd of The Guardian, Published in the City Programme 26th December 1972