Manchester U 1 Plymouth 0
Manchester United 1 Plymouth Argyle 0, Old Trafford, English FA Cup Third Round, January 5, 1974. Manchester United, who had to make do without George Best, narrowly edged out Third Division club Plymouth Argyle by 1-0 at home through a goal from Lou Macari four minutes past the hour mark.
A notable absentee at Old Trafford Stadium was Manchester United and Northern Ireland star Georgie Best who had been dropped for disciplinary reasons. Relegation battling Manchester United came into this fixture on the back of an embarrassing and morale sapping 3-0 defeat at the hands of League Division One new boys Queens Park Rangers at Shepherd´s Bush, while lowly placed Plymouth Argyle had comfortably beaten mid-table Tranmere Rovers by 2-0 at Home Park courtesy of a converted penalty-kick by England U23 international Colin Sullivan and a goal from former Coventry City midfielder Ernie Machin. Tony Waiters´s Plymouth team was a blend of experience and youth and The Pilgrims proved to be quite a handful for The Reds. Manchester United may have been favourites to win this game but they struggled to break the defensive deadlock during the first forty-five minutes and the first half ended without any goals being scored. In order to add some attacking impetus, Old Trafford boss Tommy Docherty decided to bring on offensive oriented midfielder Sammy McIlroy for Mick Martin on the hour mark and the hosts had their winner four minutes later when Scottish winger Willie Morgan sent a fine cross from the right side to fellow countryman Lou Macari whose well placed header went past Plymouth custodian Jim Furnell and into the back of the net off the upright.
In other FA Cup fixtures, West Bromwich Albion outclassed Notts County 4-0 at The Hawthorns, Oxford United suffered a 5-2 defeat to Manchester City at Manor Ground, Non-League Boston United managed a surprise goalless draw with Derby County at Baseball Ground, Carlisle United and holders Sunderland also drew goalless at Brunton Park, Bolton Wanderers overcame Stoke City 3-2 at Burnden Park, West Ham United were held to a one-all draw by Hereford United at Boleyn Ground, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds United drew by the same score at Molineux Stadium, Everton trashed Blackburn Rovers by 3-0 at Goodison Park, Ipswich Town beat Sheffield United 3-2 at Portman Toad, Liverpool could only manage a two-all draw against Doncaster Rovers, and Arsenal beat Norwich City by 1-0 at Carrow Road where Eddie Kelly scored the lone goal for The Gunners. Manchester United Team: Alex Stepney, Tony Young, Alex Forsyth, Brian Greenhoff, Jim Holton, Martin Buchan, Willie Morgan, Lou Macari, Brian Kidd, George Graham, Mick Martin. Substitute: Sammy McIlroy. Plymouth Argyle Team: Jim Furnell, Colin Randell, Colin Sullivan, John Hore, Dave Provan, Neil Hague, Alan Welsh, Steve Davey, Paul Mariner, Ernie Machin, Alan Rogers. Substitute: Derek Rickard.
Manchester United Quickfacts
Manchester United suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat to fellow Second Division side Plymouth Argyle witnessed by 27,000 people at Home Park in the FA Cup Third Round on the 9th of January 1932.