Man Utd 1 Bristol Rovers 2
Manchester United 1 Bristol Rovers 2, Old Trafford, English Football League Cup Third Round Replay, October 11, 1972. After drawing 1-1 away to Bristol Rovers in the first game, Manchester United lost 2-1 to The Pirates at home. Sammy McIlroy equalised a first half goal by John Rudge, but Rovers had the last laugh as Bruce Bannister scored a late winner.
Relegation struggling Manchester United came into this midweek encounter on the back of a hard-earned 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns, while Don Megson´s Bristol Rovers had succumbed to an unexpected 2-1 defeat at the hands of bottom-of-the-table York City at Eastville in their previous fixture. The Third Division club, who had nothing to lose, launched themselves into attack from the very beginning and the visiting team went ahead when a superbly delivered cross by Bristol born defender Lindsay Parson was met by John Rudge whose header flew past Manchester United shot stopper Alex Stepney and into the goal on the half-hour mark. The hosts were awarded a penalty in the 69th minute of the clash, but George Best´s spot-kick was well saved by Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Dick Sheppard. Sammy McIlroy, who had replaced Brian Kidd on 72 minutes, finally levelled the score for United as he powered a well-placed shot beyond the reach of Sheppard and into the net in the 82nd minute of the match, only for Bruce Bannister to score the winning goal for Bristol Rovers when the former Bradford City striker beat Stepney with a header four minutes from time. Manchester United Team: Alex Stepney, Willie Watson, Martin Buchan, Tony Dunne, Steve James, Bobby Charlton, Willie Morgan, Tony Young, Brian Kidd, George Best, Ian Storey-Moore. Substitute: Sammy McIlroy. Bristol Rovers Team: Dick Sheppard, Phil Roberts, Lindsay Parsons, Stuart Taylor, Frankie Prince, Brian Godfrey, Kenny Stephens, Wayne Jones, Bruce Bannister, John Rudge, Bobby Jones. Substitutes: None.
Sammy McIlroy Quickfacts
Sammy McIlroy contributed five goals during 88 senior appearances for Northern Ireland after making his international debut for the country of his birth in an evenly contested 1-1 European Championship Qualifier draw against Spain at Hull City´s Boohtferry Park on the 16th of February 1972.