Coventry 1 Manchester U 1

Jim Blyth

Cov­entry City 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1, High­field Road, Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Fir­st Di­vi­sion, Feb­ruary 7, 1976. A crowd of clo­se to 34,000 spec­tat­ors watched lowly-pla­ced Cov­entry City draw 1-1 wi­th title con­tenders Man­chester Uni­ted in an en­ter­tain­ing and hard-fou­ght mat­ch at High­field Road.

Man­chester Uni­ted came in­to this en­counter on the back of a 3-1 tri­umph over Birm­ing­ham City at Old Traf­ford, where­as Cov­entry City had suf­fered a 2-0 de­feat at the hands of reign­ing cham­pi­ons Der­by Coun­ty at Base­ball Gro­und. In the re­verse fix­ture at Old Traf­ford on the 27th of Au­gust, Tom­my Docherty´s tal­en­ted si­de had be­en held to an un­ex­pec­ted 1-1 draw by Cov­entry and Gor­don Milne´s men were not to be taken lightly. Man­chester Uni­ted, who were top­ping the Fir­st Di­vi­sion ta­ble, went all-out at­tack from the be­gin­ning, but Cov­entry goal­keeper Jim Blyth, for­merly wi­th Pre­ston North End, made a string of ex­cel­lent saves to frus­trate the vis­it­ing te­am. Then, in the 38th min­ute of the clash, City´s Jim Brogan was for­ced to leave the field in­jured and the ex­per­i­enced left full-back was re­placed by young mid­fielder Les Cart­wright. And a mere two min­utes la­ter, Cart­wright net­ted the open­er wi­th a thun­der­ous 20-yard strike which rock­eted pa­st Al­ex Step­ney in the Uni­ted goal. Fol­low­ing the ha­lf-time break, Man­chester Uni­ted wor­ked hard to level the score and Lou Ma­cari ma­naged to equal­ise for the vis­it­ors in the 79th min­ute of ac­tion when the of­fens­ive ori­ented mid­field play­maker head­ed ho­me a well-ex­ecuted cor­ner-kick from ex-Mill­wall and Chica­go Sting flank for­ward Gor­don Hill. Bo­th sides did their ut­most to find a win­ner, but the ga­me at High­field Road fin­ished in a 1-1 draw. Af­ter drop­ping an im­port­ant point ag­ainst Cov­entry, Man­chester Uni­ted were now sec­ond level on points wi­th lead­ers Liver­pool. The Mid­landers, for their part, mo­ved up to 16th po­s­i­tion in the stand­ings, sev­en points above the re­leg­a­tion zone. Cov­entry City Te­am: Jim Blyth, Mick Coop, Jim Brogan, John Craven, Alan Dug­dale, Jim Holmes, Bar­ry Pow­ell, Alan Green, Da­vid Cross, Don­al Murphy, Tom­my Hut­chison. Sub­sti­tute: Les Cart­wright. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Al­ex Step­ney, Al­ex For­syth, Stew­art Hou­s­ton, Ger­ry Da­ly, Bri­an Green­hoff, Mar­tin Bu­chan; Ste­ve Cop­pell, Sam­my Mc­Ilroy, Stu­art Pear­son, Lou Ma­cari, Gor­don Hill. Sub­sti­tute: Da­vid McCreery.

 

Manchester United Quickfacts

Cov­entry City and Man­chester Uni­ted played out a 1-1 draw at High­field Road on the 27th of Jan­uary 1973. Jim Hol­ton, who had just ar­rived from Third Di­vi­sion club Shrews­bury To­wn for a fee of £80,000, han­ded Uni­ted the lead on 34 min­utes, on­ly for Bri­an Alder­son to equal­ise for The Sky Blues a min­ute later.

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