Ipswich 1 Manchester U 2

Sammy McIlroy

Ips­wich To­wn 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 2, Port­man Road, Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Fir­st Di­vi­sion, Jan­uary 14, 1978. A goal each from mid­fielder Sam­my Mc­Ilroy and marks­man Stu­art Pear­son saw Dave Sexton´s Man­chester Uni­ted de­feat Ips­wich To­wn 2-1 in front of a 23,000 crowd at Port­man Road. 

In the re­verse en­counter in Au­gust, Man­chester Uni­ted and Ips­wich To­wn had played out a goal­less draw at Old Traf­ford and an­oth­er tight af­fair was ex­pec­ted at Port­man Road. Man­chester Uni­ted were sit­ting 14th in the Fir­st Di­vi­sion ta­ble be­fore this mat­ch, whi­le Ips­wich were two places above them. Sam­my Mc­Ilroy pro­vided the lead for Man­chester Uni­ted wi­th a clo­se ran­ge head­er just el­ev­en min­utes in­to the ga­me and a few mo­ments la­ter Stu­art “Pan­cho” Pear­son doubled the ad­vant­age for The Reds when the en­er­get­ic and in­dus­tri­ous centre-for­ward con­ver­ted a cross from the left by Gor­don Hill. As the fir­st ha­lf pro­gressed, Ips­wich star­ted to cre­ate more op­por­tun­it­ies for them­selves and Paul Mar­iner, a bar­gain £220,000 buy from Ply­mouth Argyle, ma­naged to re­duce the ar­rears for the ho­me te­am shortly be­fore the in­ter­val, but wi­th no goals sco­red in the sec­ond ha­lf the clash ended wi­th a nar­row 2-1 win for the vis­it­ors. It was a well-de­served vic­tory for Man­chester Uni­ted, how­ever, and the two points gain­ed took them up to 12th in the stand­ings, one place ahead of the East Anglia club. Ips­wich To­wn Te­am: Paul Cooper, Mick Mills, Les Tib­bott, Al­lan Hun­ter, Rus­sell Os­man, Co­lin Vil­joen, Bri­an Tal­bot, John Wark, Paul Mar­iner, Da­vid Ged­dis, Eric Gates. Sub­sti­tute: Alan Brazil. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Pad­dy Roche, Ar­thur Al­bis­ton, Stew­art Hou­s­ton, Jim­my Nich­oll, Mar­tin Bu­chan, Lou Ma­cari, Ste­ve Cop­pell, Sam­my Mc­Ilroy, Stu­art Pear­son, Jim­my Green­hoff, Gor­don Hill. Sub­stitutes: None.

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