CITY 3 STOKE CITY 2
F A Cup 3rd Round
13th January 1973
City Bell, Marsh, Summerbee
Stoke Greenhoff 2
Ref Ted Wallace
City Corrigan, Book, Donachie, Doyle, Booth, Jeffries, Summerbee, Bell, Marsh, Lee, Mellor
Stoke Farmer, Marsh, Pejic, Mahoney, Smith, Skeels, Robertson, Greenhoft, Ritchie, Eastham, Conroy
COLIN BELL PUTS CITY 1-0 UP
… 38,648 fans filed into Maine Road to leave 90 minutes later enthralled by a spectacular third round tie the Blues ultimately won 3-2.
Turn of the year is the traditional time for soccer to launch a tournament that never fails to excite. Cup football is what the game is all about and what better advert than a match so full of all the good things. Two goals up after quarter of an hour, City allowed that lead to slip alarmingly from their grasp before Mike Summerbee popped in to grab the winner. At the time I wrote: “Few other teams will match the enterprising spirit City and Stoke put into a tie where the football was at times breath-taking.”
A game, in which City lived up to manager Malcolm AIIison’s promise that they would attack with five forwards, started at a cracking pace. lt took just two minutes for the Blues to score when Colin Bell, skipper of the team in those days, soared up to glide in a Summerbee corner and the ball was slightly deflected in flight as it curled tantalisingly past goalkeeper John Farmer.
From that point City ran riot. Francis Lee, playing his first full game for a month, shot just wide. Then Bell, from a Mike Doyle cross, powered a close-in header straight at Farmer. It was a one- way romp and a second goal just had to come.
The quarter hour signalled its arrival. A clearance from Tony Book found Summerbee in the centre forward position. Controlling the ball as only he could, Mike moved away from the on-rushing Denis Smith and pumped an inch-perfect pass through to Rodney Marsh, who was in his most irresistable form. With his right foot Marsh stroked the ball past Farmer and City, two-up, looked home and dry.
ln the 25th minute City were found wanting at the back when, from a Farmer clearance, John Ritchie pulled away from Derek Jeffries and drove in a shot which cannoned off the foot of a post. With Joe Corrigan still beaten, Jimmy Greenhoff” dashed in to score from ten yards. Now Stoke had the bit between their teeth.
But Smith, at least, got carried away as they desperately chased an equaliser. Smith, a robust and uncompromising No. 5, pulled down Marsh and was booked, his seventh of that season. In the 35th minute Ritchie’s header hit a post from a Jimmy Robertson cross and two minutes later City replied just as devastatingly.
A Lee thunderbolt smashed onto the inside of the crossbar and he, along with Marsh and Bell, all claimed to Crewe referee Ted Wallace that the ball had gone over the line. He couldn’t agree, however, and at half time photographers behind that goal confirmed the ball had in fact, NOT gone over the line.
But so well had the Blues played in the first half that they deserved to be more than just one goal ahead. ln the second half Bell, just back from a two-match ban after accumulating 12 penalty points, was booked for dissent.
The pressure was beginning to tell. Stoke still swarmed forward in great attacking waves and the 55th minute was fateful for City. From an inswinging Terry Conroy corner Greenhoff equalised, although it served only to inspire the home side.
Back on top, City drove forward and in the 66th minute, Bell took a return pass from Lee, found lan Mellor who crossed for Summerbee to score with an effort that went in off the underside of the crossbar.
ADAPTED FROM AN ARTICLE BY PETER GARDNER PUBLISHED IN THE CITY PROGRAMME 28TH AUGUST 1976
RODNEY MARSH STRIKES FOR CITY’S SECOND