Man Utd 1 Notts County 0
Manchester United 1 Notts County 0, Old Trafford, English Football League Second Division, October 12, 1974. Second Division leaders Manchester United overcame mid-tablers Notts County 1-0 at Old Trafford through a goal by Northern Ireland international Sammy McIlroy. The clash between United and Notts was the first meeting between the two clubs since Boxing Day 1934 when County beat The Reds by the same score at Meadow Lane.
Seven times Football League Champions Manchester United had suffered relegation from the First Division in the 1973-74 campaign, whereas Notts County had finished tenth in the Second Division table the previous season after gaining promotion out of the Third Division in 1972-73. Despite being relegated to Division Two, Manchester United were still the best supported club in the country and a crowd of almost 47,000 people had turned up to watch the tie against The Magpies. In their five last Second Division fixtures, The Red Devils had overcome Millwall, Bristol Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, and Fulham, and suffered defeat against Norwich City. The Meadow Lane club, meanwhile, had drawn with West Bromwich Albion, Orient, Bolton Wanderers, and Portsmouth, and been defeated by Norwich City in their previous five second-tier matches. In a thrilling, but low scoring encounter at Old Trafford, Manchester United´s goal arrived in the seventeenth minute when Scottish right fullback Alex Forsyth delivered a high cross into the penalty area where a poor clearance from usually reliable Notts County defender David Needham went out to Republic of Ireland international Gerry Daly who squared the ball back to put it on a silver platter for his fellow midfield man Sammy McIlroy to hammer home. Showing their fighting spirit, Jimmy Sirrel´s lads created a number of quality goal scoring opportunities as the match proceeded and Tommy Docherty´s promotion chasers were lucky to win the game.
In other Second Division fixtures, Millwall outclassed Southampton 4-0 at The Den courtesy of a brace each by Brian Clark and Gordon Bolland, Oldham Athletic were beaten 3-1 by Orient at Brisbane Road, Bristol City and Sunderland shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate, Norwich City comfortably defeated Nottingham Forest 3-1 at City Ground thanks to a hat-trick from Mel Machin, Bolton Wanderers succumbed to a 2-0 loss against Hull City at Boothferry Park where Ken Wagstaff netted a double for The Tigers, York City trashed Bristol Rovers 3-0 at Bootham Crescent, Cardiff City lost 2-0 to West Bromwich Albion at Ninian Park, and Aston Villa edged out Blackpool 1-0 at Villa Park, with Ray Graydon hitting the winner for The Villains. Manchester United Team: Alex Stepney, Alex Forsyth, Stewart Houston, Brian Greenhoff, Jim Holton, Martin Buchan, Willie Morgan, Sammy Mcilroy, Lou Macari, Jim McCalliog, Gerry Daly. Substitute: Tony Young. Notts County Team: Roy Brown, John Brindley, Ray O´Brien, Don Masson, David Needham, Brian Stubbs, Steve Carter, Eric Probert, Les Bradd, Arthur Mann, Ian Scanlon. Substitute: David McVay.
Sammy McIlroy Quickfacts
Sammy McIlroy contributed 57 hits in 342 first team outings for Manchester United before he made a move to Stoke City midway through the 1981-82 season. The Northern Ireland player later appeared for Manchester City, Orgryte, Bury, VfB Modling, Preston North End, and Northwich Victoria.