Cardiff 0 Manchester Utd 1

Sammy McIlroy

Car­diff City 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 1, Nini­an Park, Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Sec­ond Di­vi­sion, Au­gust 31, 1974. Pro­mo­tion hunt­ing Man­chester Uni­ted de­feated lowly pla­ced Car­diff City in front of a 22,000 crowd at Nini­an Park to gain their fourth suc­cess­ive Sec­ond Di­vi­sion win of the 1974-75 sea­son. Uni­ted ev­entually won the clash wi­th City thro­ugh a pen­alty by mid­fielder Ger­ry Da­ly early in the fir­st pe­riod.

New­ly re­leg­ated Man­chester Uni­ted came in­to the Sec­ond Di­vi­sion en­counter ag­ainst Welsh Cup win­ners Car­diff City look­ing for their fourth con­sec­ut­ive vic­tory of the 1974-75 cam­paign fol­low­ing con­vin­cing and con­fid­ence-boost­ing tri­umphs over Ori­ent, Mill­wall, and Ports­mouth re­spect­ively. It had also be­en a ex­cel­lent start to the sea­son on a per­son­al level for North­ern Ire­land in­ter­na­tion­al Sam­my Mc­Ilroy who had be­en in­stru­ment­al in the pre­vi­ous three mat­ches. And just for the sake of foot­ball his­tory, Man­chester Uni­ted and Car­diff City had not played ag­ainst each oth­er since a Fir­st Di­vi­sion meet­ing at Old Traf­ford on the 3rd of Feb­ruary 1962 which The Reds won 3-0, wi­th goals com­ing from Johnny Giles and the two Nob­bies; Sti­les and Law­ton. Man­chester Uni­ted, who were sport­ing their all-white away strip for the oc­ca­sion, got them­selves off off to a good start at Nini­an Park when Re­pub­lic of Ire­land in­ter­na­tion­al Ger­ry Da­ly ex­pertly be­at Cardifff City goal­keeper Ron Healey, pre­vi­ously wi­th Man­chester City, from the pen­alty spot in the fourth min­ute of pro­ceed­ings af­ter sum­mer sign­ing Stu­art “Pan­cho” Pear­son had be­en il­leg­ally bro­ught down in­side the eight­een-yard area by ex-Scot­land U23 stop­per Don Mur­ray. Alas, Pear­son was for­ced to leave the field wi­th a thigh strain a mere six­teen min­utes la­ter and the for­mer Hull City goal plun­der­er was re­placed by ver­sat­ile de­fender To­ny Young who would op­er­ate in mid­field, whi­le Eng­land U23 play­er Bri­an Green­hoff mo­ved up front to sup­port Mc­Ilroy. The Welsh­men de­fen­ded them­selves well, tho­ugh, and the two te­ams went in at the ha­lf-time break 1-0.

Man­chester Uni­ted, led in at­tack by the ir­re­press­ible Sam­my Mc­Ilroy, began the sec­ond ha­lf the bet­ter and the rampant vis­it­ing si­de star­ted to run rings ar­ound the Car­diff City de­fence. The Old Traf­ford si­de cre­ated a string of qual­ity scor­ing op­por­tun­it­ies to stretch their ad­vant­age as time mo­ved on, but Tom­my Docherty´s troops failed in their at­tempts to con­vert them in­to goals and the some­what one-sided af­fair fin­ished wi­th a nar­row, but well-de­served, 1-0 vic­tory for the Di­vi­sion Two lead­ers. The en­counter be­tween Car­diff City and Man­chester Uni­ted at a fully packed Nini­an Park may not have be­en a clas­sic ga­me, but it was nev­er­the­less two more im­port­ant points to the vis­it­ors from Eng­land. There was, how­ever, severe crowd trouble be­fore, dur­ing, and af­ter the mat­ch in Car­diff and a large num­ber of hoo­ligans from bo­th sides were ar­res­ted and jailed by the loc­al po­lice force. Now, in or­der to dis­cuss the prob­lem of vi­ol­ence fol­low­ing the in­cid­ents in the cap­it­al of Wales, Man­chester Uni­ted Foot­ball Club or­gan­ised a meet­ing wi­th some of their sup­port­ers the very next day, but un­for­tu­nately the fight­ing would just con­tin­ue, and even es­cal­ate, in the months to come.

In oth­er Sec­ond Di­vi­sion ga­mes played con­cur­rently, Bris­tol Rov­ers over­came Hull City by 2-0 at East­ville Sta­dium thanks to a pen­alty from ex-Brad­ford City front­man Bru­ce Ban­nis­ter and one goal by Gor­don Fearn­ley, Ori­ent were held to a 1-1 draw ag­ainst Ports­mouth at Bris­bane Road, West Brom­wich Al­bion de­feated Sun­der­land 1-0 at The Haw­thorns cour­tesy of a goal from ver­sat­ile mid­fielder Al­lan Glo­ver, Ful­ham suc­cumbed to a 2-0 de­feat ag­ainst Lon­don neigh­bours Mill­wall at The Den, Ox­ford Uni­ted edged out Not­ting­ham For­est 2-1 at City Gro­und, Bol­ton Wan­derers be­at As­ton Vil­la 1-0 at Burnden Park where Paul Jones hit the win­ner for The Trot­ters, Notts Coun­ty ma­naged a 2-2 draw ag­ainst York City at Bootham Cres­cent, South­ampton and Black­pool shared the spoils dur­ing a 1-1 draw at The Dell, Bris­tol City were beaten 2-0 at Bound­ary Park by Old­ham Ath­let­ic, who­se goals came from for­mer Black­burn Rov­ers play­ers Ge­orge Jones and Mau­rice Whittle, whi­le Nor­wich City and Shef­field Wed­nesday drew 1-1 be­fore a crowd of over 20,000 people at Car­row Road, wi­th loc­al born at­tack­er Ste­ve Grapes scor­ing for The Ca­nar­ies and Tom­my Craig, a £100,000 club re­cord ac­quis­i­tion from Ab­er­deen, notch­ing for The Owls. Af­ter get­ting the bet­ter of Car­diff City at Nini­an Park, Man­chester Uni­ted were now top­ping the Di­vi­sion Two ta­ble wi­th eight points, one point in front of Ful­ham and Nor­wich City. Car­diff City Te­am: Ron Healy, Al­bert Lar­mour, Phil Dwyer, Clive Charles, Don Mur­ray, Leighton Phil­lips, Fred­die Pet­hard, Ja­mes McInch, Gil Reece, Derek Showers, Wil­lie An­der­son. Sub­sti­tute: Pe­ter Say­er. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Al­ex Step­ney, Al­ex For­syth, Stew­art Hou­s­ton, Mar­tin Bu­chan, Jim Hol­ton, Bri­an Green­hoff, Mick Mar­tin, Ger­ry Da­ly, Stu­art Pear­son, Sam­my Mc­Ilroy, Wil­lie Mor­gan. Sub­sti­tute: An­thony Young.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Des­pite play­ing in the Sec­ond Di­vi­sion, Man­chester Uni­ted were the best sup­por­ted te­am by far in the Foot­ball Lea­gue in the 1974-75 sea­son wi­th an av­er­age crowd of 48,389 per ga­me.


Manchester United´s Previous Ten Matches

1973-74 Sea­son:

Nor­wich City 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2

Man­chester Uni­ted 1 New­castle Uni­ted 0

Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Ever­ton 0

South­ampton 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1

Ever­ton 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0

Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Man­chester City 1

Sto­ke City 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0

1974.75 Sea­son:

Ori­ent 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2

Man­chester Uni­ted 4 Mill­wall 0

Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Ports­mouth 0

Man­ager: Tom­my Doc­herty

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