Derby 1 Manchester Utd 3

Dave Langan And Mickey Thomas

Der­by Coun­ty 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 3, Base­ball Gro­und, Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Fir­st Di­vi­sion, Dec­ember 9, 1978. Man­chester Uni­ted came from be­hind to be­at Tom­my Docherty´s Der­by Coun­ty 3-1 thro­ugh a brace by Andy Ritch­ie either si­de of the break and a sec­ond-ha­lf goal from Jim­my Grenhoff. 

Der­by Coun­ty went ahead in the con­test when ex-Man­chester Uni­ted mid­fielder Ger­ry Da­ly net­ted on his third at­tempt in the third min­ute of play af­ter be­ing denied by a block from Lou Ma­cari and then hit­ting the cross­bar wi­th the re­bound. Man­chester Uni­ted wor­ked hard to level the score, but Der­by were dan­ger­ous on the counter at­tacks and al­most doubled their lead shortly af­ter­wards when Da­ly de­livered a long ball to an­oth­er for­mer Old Traf­ford play­er in the shape of Gor­don Hill who­se power­ful long-dis­tance shot was just tipped over the bar by away goal­keeper Ga­ry Bai­ley. Uni­ted came clo­se to equal­ising mo­ments la­ter, tho­ugh, when Mickey Tho­mas, who was im­press­ive on the wing through­out the mat­ch at Base­ball Gro­und, un­leashed a power­ful left-footed ef­fort which bro­ught a su­perb save out of John Middleton in the Coun­ty goal. Wi­th the fir­st ha­lf wear­ing on, Man­chester Uni­ted began to dom­in­ate pos­ses­sion and The Reds fi­nally had their equal­iser when Andy Ritch­ie re­ceived a mag­ni­fi­cent pass from Tho­mas and ham­mered the ball pa­st Middleton and in­to the net two min­utes pa­st the ha­lf-hour ma­rk. Dave Sex­tons si­de con­tin­ued to put pres­sure on the ho­me de­fence fol­low­ing the re­start and got them­selves in front for the fir­st time a couple of min­utes in­to the sec­ond ha­lf when Vic Mo­re­land failed to clear a qui­ckly taken free-kick by Tho­mas and Jim­my Green­hoff clin­ic­ally fired the loose ball in­to the bot­tom cor­ner of the net. Now sens­ing blood in the air, Man­chester Uni­ted sco­red ag­ain as Ritch­ie fou­nd the net wi­th a head­er from a per­fect cross by Green­hoff af­ter 53 min­utes of ac­tion, thus com­plet­ing his brace, and when Dave Lan­gan was sent off for Der­by in the 78th min­ute the ga­me was ef­fect­ively over for The Rams. Der­by Coun­ty Te­am: John Middleton, Ste­ven Buckley, Da­vid Lan­gan, Jon­athan Clark, Ste­ve Pow­ell, Vic Mo­re­land, Gor­don Hill, Ger­ry Da­ly, John Duncan, Ste­ve Car­ter, Billy Cas­key. Sub­stitutes: No­ne. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ga­ry Bai­ley, Stew­art Hou­s­ton, Bri­an Green­hoff, Mar­tin Bu­chan, Gor­don Mc­Queen, Sam­my Mc­Ilroy, Ste­ve Cop­pell, Jim­my Green­hoff, Andy Ritch­ie, Lou Ma­cari, Mickey Tho­mas. Sub­stitutes: None.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Des­pite a re­l­at­ively de­cent start to the 1978-79 cam­paign, Man­chester Uni­ted fin­ished in a dis­ap­point­ing 9th po­s­i­tion in the Fir­st Di­vi­sion ta­ble, wi­th 45 points col­lec­ted from 42 mat­ches played.


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