Reading 2 Manchester U 3
Reading 2 Manchester United 3, Elm Park, Watney Mann Invitation Cup First Round, August 1, 1970. Manchester United beat League Division Three outfit Reading 3-2 at Elm Park courtesy of two goals from evergreen veteran midfielder Bobby Charlton and one from defender Paul Edwards.
Manchester United and Reading met for the first time since an FA Cup Third Round Replay at Old Trafford on the 12th of January 1955, with the former winning 4-1 courtesy of a double by versatile striker Colin Webster and one goal each from Jack Rowley and Dennis Viollet. On a warm and sunny August afternoon at Elm Park, United brought life into the match thirteen minutes into the first half as Tony Dunne sent a long free-kick into the area where Shaw and Crompton born defender Paul Edwards dived to head past a helpless Steve Death in the Reading goal. The Biscuitmen equalised only a couple of minutes later through a close-range finish by Dick Habbin, but Manchester United regained the lead in the 22nd minute when a pass from Willie Morgan ended up at the feet of Denis Law who cleverly released the ball to better placed Bobby Charlton whose ferocious shot left Death with no chance to save. And the very same Charlton more or less killed off the game as a contest with just a minute left of the half when the seasoned campaigner took advantage of a careless goal-kick from Death and composedly sent the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of the net to hand the First Division side a 3-1 cushion at the break. Reading pushed hard from the outset of the second half and the Berkshire club managed to reduce the deficit three minutes before the hour mark as a downward header from Les Chappell was neatly flicked into the back of the goal by ex-Arsenal youth player Gordon Cumming, but the home team never really threatened after that and with no more goals arriving the Watney Cup First Round clash ended 3-2 to The Reds. After beating Reading, United would now meet Hull City in the semi-finals.
An age defying athlete, Bobby Charlton was still able to beat off the competition from young players like Alan Gowling, Brian Kidd, and Carlo Sartori and he would go on to make 50 first team appearances for Manchester United during the 1970-71 season. However, the loyal stalwart ultimately called it a day at the end of the 1972-73 campaign, making his final appearance for United in a 1-0 Division One loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the 28th of May 1973. During a rewarding career of almost twenty years, Charlton won the First Division in 1957, 1965, and 1967, the FA Cup in 1963, FA Charity Shield in 1956, 1957, 1965, and 1967, the European Cup in 1968, the British Home Championship in 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, and 1970, and the World Cup in 1966. Reading Team: Steve Death, Will Dixon, Dennis Butler, Terry Bell, Stuart Morgan, Barry Wagstaff, Gordon Cumming, Les Chappell, Dick Habbin, Tony Wagstaff, Bobby Williams. Substitutes: None. Manchester United Team: Alex Stepney, Paul Edwards, Tony Dunne, Pat Crerand, Ian Ure, David Sadler, Willie Morgan, Denis Law, Bobby Charlton, Brian Kidd, George Best. Substitutes: None.
Manchester United Quickfacts
Manchester United became the first English club to win the coveted UEFA European Cup in 1967-68 when Matt Busby´s men beat Portuguese giants Benfica 4–1 at Wembley Stadium in the final.
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Manager: Wilf McGuinness