N Ireland 1 England 2
Northern Ireland 1 England 2, Windsor Park, British Home Championship, May 28,1977. Manchester United winger Chris McGrath handed Northern Ireland an early lead, but goals from Southampton marksman Mick Channon and Manchester City´s Dennis Tueart saw The Three Lions fight back to earn themselves a narrow 2-1 victory at Windsor Park.
Northern Ireland, now led by by former Tottenham Hotspur hero Danny Blanchflower, came into this fixture from a heavy 5-0 friendly defeat against West Germany at Mungersdorfer Stadium in Cologne, whereas England had beaten Luxembourg by the same score in a World Cup Qualifier at Wembley Stadium. The Ulstermen nevertheless found themselves ahead in the British Home Championship match in the fourth minute through Chris McGrath who found the target from close range after Stoke City shot stopper Peter Shilton had parried an effort by Spurs striker Gerry Armstrong. The Three Lions, who were without several key players because of either injuries or club commitment, ultimately got their act together and equalised three minutes before the half-hour mark when an exquisite pass by Colin Todd of Derby County found Mick Channon who unleashed a fierce shot from just outside the six-yard box past White Hart Lane custodian Pat Jennings and high into the net, and The Dell forward almost had his second goal shortly afterwards as his headed attempt from Paul Mariner´s cross went only inches wide of the right-hand post. England´s winner came with four minutes left on the watch as second-half substitute and debutant Brian Talbot, who had been a driving force in midfield for Ipswich Town throughout the 1976-77 season, sent a magnificent cross to Dennis Tueart whose header fizzed past Jennings and straight into the top right-hand corner of the net. Northern Ireland Team: Pat Jennings, Jimmy Nicholl, Pat Rice, Tommy Jackson, Allan Hunter, Bryan Hamilton, Chris McGrath, David McCreery, Gerry Armstrong, Sammy McIlroy, Trevor Anderson. Substitutes: Martin O’Neill, Derek Spence. England Team: Peter Shilton, Trevor Cherry, Mick Mills, Dave Watson, Brian Greenhoff, Colin Todd, Trevor Brooking, Ray Wilkins, Mick Channon, Paul Mariner, Dennis Tueart. Substitute: Brian Talbot.
Chris McGrath Quickfacts
Chris McGrath joined Manchester United from Tottenham Hotspur for £30,000 in October 1976 and played 38 games for The Reds before he signed with Tulsa Roughnecks in February 1981.