Bristol Rovers 1 Man Utd 1

Martin Buchan

Bris­tol Rov­ers 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1, East­ville Sta­dium, Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Sec­ond Di­vi­sion, Mar­ch 28, 1975. Mar­tin Bu­chan and com­pany were held to a one-all draw by Bris­tol Rov­ers in a ga­me watched by 20,000 spec­tat­ors at East­ville. Lou Ma­cari gave the vis­it­ors the lead ten min­utes be­fore the ha­lf-time break, but Rov­ers came back to snatch a point cour­tesy of a late Bru­ce Ban­nis­ter goal.

Sec­ond Di­vi­sion lead­ers Man­chester Uni­ted had edged out Bri­an Clough´s Not­ting­ham For­est by a nar­row 1-0 mar­gin at the City Gro­und cour­tesy a fir­st ha­lf goal from Re­pub­lic of Ire­land in­ter­na­tion­al Ger­ry Da­ly in their pre­vi­ous Di­vi­sion Two en­counter and were ex­pec­ted to bag max­im­um points ag­ainst The Gas who were sit­ting in 19th po­s­i­tion in the stand­ings. At East­ville, Man­chester Uni­ted head coach Tom­my Doc­herty had to make an early sub­sti­tu­tion as Ste­ve Ja­mes picked up an ankle in­jury and the for­mer Eng­land Youth de­fender was im­me­di­ately re­placed by Scot­land in­ter­na­tion­al wing­er Wil­lie Mor­gan 25 min­utes in­to the Friday´s mat­ch. Wi­th play pro­gress­ing, Man­chester Uni­ted gradu­ally wres­ted con­trol of pro­ceed­ings and the vis­it­ing out­fit went in front as a su­perbly de­livered cross from Scot­tish left full­back Stew­art Hou­s­ton fou­nd Lou Ma­cari, yet an­oth­er Scots­man, who fired an un­stoppable left-footed ef­fort pa­st com­pletely help­less Bris­tol Rov­ers shot stop­per Jim Ead­ie and high in­to the roof of the net five min­utes pa­st the ha­lf-hour ma­rk. The Old Traf­ford troops ap­peared to have the two points in their grasp, but Bris­tol Rov­ers bag­ged their equal­iser when ex-Shef­field Uni­ted for­ward Da­vid Stan­i­forth fin­ished a fine solo run by whip­ping the ball across the goal­mouth where the trans­fer-lis­ted Bru­ce Ban­nis­ter, who had come on for ver­sat­ile stal­wart Gor­don Fearn­ley late in the sec­ond pe­riod, ham­mered ho­me from five yards out in the very last min­ute of the con­test to res­cue a draw for the hosts. It may have felt like day­light rob­bery, but The Pir­ates de­served a point for their fight­ing spir­it and hard work. Bris­tol Rov­ers Te­am: Jim Ead­ie, Tre­vor Jac­obs, Phil Bater, Pe­ter Aitken, Gra­ham Day, Frankie Prince, Ken­ny Ste­phens, Wilf Smith, Alan War­boys. Da­vid Stan­i­forth, Gor­don Fearn­ley. Sub­sti­tute: Bru­ce Ban­nis­ter. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Al­ex Step­ney, Al­ex For­syth, Mar­tin Bu­chan, Stew­art Hou­s­ton, Steph­en Ja­mes, Bri­an Green­hoff, Ger­ry Da­ly, Sam­my Mc­Ilroy, Stu­art Pear­son, Lou Ma­cari, Ste­ve Cop­pell. Sub­sti­tute: Wil­lie Morgan.


Lou Macari Quickfacts

An at­tack­ing mid­fielder wi­th a sharp eye for goal, Lou Ma­cari re­cor­ded el­ev­en Sec­ond Di­vi­sion goals in 38 mat­ches for Man­chester Uni­ted dur­ing the pro­mo­tion win­ning cam­paign of 1974-75.


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