CITY 1 STOKE CITY 0
League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg
5th February 1964
City Dowd, Betts, Sear, Kennedy, Leivers, Oakes, Young, Pardoe, Gray, Kevan, Wagstaffe
Stoke Leslie, Asprey, Allen, Skeels, Stuart, Clamp, Bridgewood, Dobing, Ritchie, McIlroy, Bebbington
When City took the lead in the 29th minute through Derek Kevan, an absentee from the first leg, it looked as though Stoke’s first leg advantage could at least be matched. It was a good goal, Alan Oakes inspiring the move and Matt Gray applying a useful touch to set up Kevan, who pivoted and fired the ball in from 20 yards. But the rest of the Blues finishing was inadequate, so they failed to put behind them a dreadful spell of losing six successive games
Neil Young never got it together in the front line so an important finishing edge was absent. David Wagstaffe fluffed a gilt-edged opportunity just before the break when he easily beat Bill Asprey but then blasted over the bar.
Kevan nearly got the game level with a left footer, one of his specialities, which floored Eddie Stuart and had ’keeper Lawrie Leslie scrambling to concede a corner. Stuart’s bravery was in even more demand as the Blues took the initiative but he responded brilliantly in repelling raids.
Stoke were dangerous in breakaways, though the influence of Jimmy Mcllroy, impressive in the opening spell, gradually waned. They mustered two promising attacks before half time, the first resulting from a bad clearance by Barrie Betts. Peter Dobing was able to get Keith Bebbington clear and Harry Dowd had to save with his knees. He later halted another snap shot from Bebbington.
The only heart-stopper for the home team after this came from an Asprey lob which deceived Dowd, who was grateful to get it away for a corner. Yet the Blues almost saved it. In the dying seconds Young made his one significant contribution and had Leslie stretched to save the shot.
FROM AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE CITY PROGRAMME 7TH OCTOBER