Orient 0 Manchester Utd 2

Willie Morgan

Ori­ent 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2, Bris­bane Road, Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Sec­ond Di­vi­sion, Au­gust 17, 1974. Man­chester United´s bid to bounce straight back to the Fir­st Di­vi­sion star­ted wi­th a fine 2-0 win over Ori­ent in front of a crowd of al­most 20,000 people at Bris­bane Road in North East Lon­don on the open­ing day of the 1974-75 sea­son, wi­th goals com­ing from Wil­lie Mor­gan and Stew­art Hou­s­ton.

The Man­chester Uni­ted Fir­st Te­am Squad for the 1974-75 cam­paign con­tained goal­keep­ers Pad­dy Roche and Al­ex Step­ney; de­fenders Ar­thur Al­bis­ton, Mar­tin Bu­chan, Al­ex For­syth, Bri­an Green­hoff, Jim Hol­ton, Stew­art Hou­s­ton, Ste­ve Ja­mes, Jim­my Nich­oll, Arnie Side­bot­tom, and To­ny Young; mid­field­ers Ste­ve Cop­pell, Ger­ry Da­ly, Ge­orge Gra­ham, Mick Mar­tin, Jim Mc­Cal­liog, Da­vid Mc­Creery, Sam­my Mc­Ilroy, and Lou Ma­cari; and for­wards Ron Dav­ies, Tom­my Bald­win, Wil­lie Mor­gan, and Stu­art Pear­son. Ori­ent, who had missed out on pro­mo­tion to Lea­gue Di­vi­sion One by a single point the pre­vi­ous term, wel­comed Tom­my Docherty´s Uni­ted troops to Bris­bane Road for the in­aug­ur­al fix­ture of the sea­son on the 17th of Au­gust 1974. The O´s, then new­ly pro­moted from the Sec­ond Di­vi­sion, had beaten Man­chester Uni­ted 1-0 the last time the two te­ams had played each oth­er in North East Lon­don on the 8th of of Sep­tember 1962, wi­th ex-West Ham Uni­ted wing­man Terry Mc­Donald notch­ing the win­ner for John Carey´s boys in the very last min­ute. Long gone were the hal­cy­on days of ec­cent­ric chair­man Harry Zuss­man, but the Ley­ton club still had am­bi­tions; wi­th plans to build a new stand at their Bris­bane Road ho­me and a £2,200,000 sports and of­fice com­plex next to the gro­und; and in Ge­orge Petchey they had a man­ager who was worth every penny of his re­por­ted £15,000 salary.

Pro­mo­tion fa­vour­ites Man­chester Uni­ted, who were wear­ing an all-white strip for the oc­ca­sion, opened the Sec­ond Di­vi­sion clash wi­th Ori­ent on a pos­it­ive note and the new­ly re­leg­ated vis­it­ors cre­ated sev­er­al goal scor­ing chances early on. For­mer Wolver­hampton Wan­derers mid­fielder Jim Mc­Call­liog al­most fou­nd the back of the net dur­ing the open­ing ex­changes, but his head­er went just wide of the right-hand up­right. Wil­lie Mor­gan also came clo­se to scor­ing as the flanker shot just a few in­ches wide shortly af­ter. Clo­se to the ha­lf-hour ma­rk, how­ever, de­fender Bri­an Green­hoff played the ball out wide to the on run­ning Mor­gan who han­ded Man­chester Uni­ted the lead when he entered the pen­alty box and fired a power­ful shot which rock­eted pa­st Ori­ent cus­todi­an John Jack­son and in­to the top left-hand cor­ner of the net. The North East Lon­don out­fit came back a lot strong­er fol­low­ing the ha­lf-time re­fresh­ments and the hosts very near­ly equal­ised when a su­perbly de­livered cross from Bill Rof­fey was head­ed just over the Man­chester Uni­ted bar by pre­vi­ous Ox­ford Uni­ted stri­ker Mi­ke Bul­lock early in the sec­ond pe­riod. But it was the de­term­ined and well or­gan­ised Old Traf­ford te­am who ma­naged to find the back of the net once ag­ain when a per­fectly ex­ecuted free-kick from the right-hand si­de by Al­ex For­syth fou­nd fel­low full back Stew­art Hou­s­ton who head­ed the ball ho­me off the right-hand post to make it 2-0 wi­th twenty min­utes re­maining of the tie. Shortly af­ter­wards, Stu­art Pear­son, who made his com­pet­it­ive de­but for Man­chester Uni­ted in this fix­ture, was presen­ted wi­th a great scor­ing op­por­tun­ity, but un­for­tu­nately the big for­ward was bloc­ked by two op­pos­ing de­fenders in­side the area af­ter re­ceiv­ing the ball. Then, wi­th on­ly a few min­utes left on the clock, one of the lines­men was in­jured and, in an at­tempt to avoid abandon­ing the ga­me, a ref­er­ee was fou­nd among the spec­tat­ors. Pear­son had a chan­ce shortly be­fore the fi­nal whistle, but he was out­jumped by Ori­ent de­fender Paul Har­ris and no fur­ther goals were sco­red.

In oth­er Sec­ond Di­vi­sion open­ing day fix­tures, re­cently re­leg­ated Nor­wich City be­at Black­pool by a 2-1 mar­gin at Car­row Road thanks to a goal each from for­mer Bourne­mouth team­mates To­ny Pow­ell and Ted Mac­Dou­gall, 1973-74 Di­vi­sion Three Cham­pi­ons Old­ham Ath­let­ic won by the identic­al score ag­ainst Shef­field Wed­nesday at Bound­ary Park, Ox­ford Uni­ted ma­naged a one-all draw ag­ainst Car­diff City at Nini­an Park, York City, play­ing in Lea­gue Di­vi­sion Two for the fir­st time, and As­ton Vil­la also drew one-all at Bootham Cres­cent, Paul Gil­christ re­gistered a brace for new­ly de­moted South­ampton as the So­uth Coast­ers drew three-all wi­th Hull City at The Dell, West Brom­wich Al­bion suf­fered a 1-0 loss to Ful­ham at The Haw­thorns where Viv Busby net­ted a sec­ond ha­lf win­ner for The Cot­tagers, Bol­ton Wan­derers, ma­naged by ex-Man­chester Uni­ted de­fender Ian Greaves, out­classed Ports­mouth to the tune of a 3-0 score at Burnden Park cour­tesy of a brace by Paul Jones and one goal from John Byrom, Not­ting­ham For­est and Bris­tol City played out a goal­less draw at City Gro­und, Bris­tol Rov­ers, who were back in Di­vi­sion Two for the fir­st time since 1962, and Notts Coun­ty shared the spoils wi­th the same sco­reline at East­ville, whi­le Bob Stokoe´s Sun­der­land trashed Mill­wall by 4-1 at The Den, wi­th Bob­by Kerr, Vic Ha­lom, To­ny Tow­ers, and Billy Hug­hes hit­ting the goals for The Roker­ites. Un­for­tu­nately, there was ser­i­ous crowd trouble at sev­er­al grounds across the coun­try, in­clud­ing Bris­bane Road.

The con­fid­ence-boost­ing 2-0 away vic­tory ag­ainst Ori­ent was a cru­cial tri­umph for Man­chester Uni­ted and the goals from Wil­lie Mor­gan and Stew­art Hou­s­ton were just what they need­ed to start their jour­ney back to the Fir­st Di­vi­sion. A speedy wing­er wi­th good shoot­ing skills, Mor­gan had joi­ned Uni­ted from Burn­ley for a trans­fer fee of £117,000 at the be­gin­ning of the 1968-69 cam­paign and would emerge as a key play­er in the years to come. Af­ter a short re­union wi­th The Clarets, he pro­ceeded to play for Bol­ton Wan­derers, Chica­go Sting, and Min­nesota Kicks be­fore end­ing his play­ing days at Black­pool. As for Hou­s­ton, the at­tack-minded de­fender had be­en sig­ned from Di­vi­sion Four Brent­ford for £55,000 in the middle of the 1973-74 cam­paign, and af­ter be­ing han­ded his de­but by Tom­my Doc­herty in a 3-0 Fir­st Di­vi­sion loss ag­ainst Queens Park Ran­gers at Shepherd´s Bush on New Year´s Day 1974, he went on to ac­cu­mu­late 250 ap­pear­ances for The Reds be­fore he mo­ved on to Third Di­vi­sion si­de Shef­field Uni­ted in 1980. Fol­low­ing 94 Foot­ball Lea­gue ga­mes for The Blades, he de­cided to join forces wi­th Fourth Di­vi­sion Col­chester Uni­ted where he fin­ished his pro­fes­sion­al soc­cer ca­reer in 1986. Hou­s­ton la­ter mo­ved in­to coach­ing and man­aging po­s­i­tions at Arsen­al, Queens Park Ran­gers, Ips­wich To­wn, Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur, and Walsall be­fore he re­turned to High­bury as a scout at the start of the 2008-09 sea­son. Ori­ent Te­am: John Jack­son, Bob­by Fish­er, Bill Rof­fey, Phil Hoad­ley, Paul Har­ris, Mi­ke Bul­lock, Tom Wal­ley, Ricky Hep­po­lette, Bar­rie Fair­broth­er, Ger­ry Queen, Derek Pos­see. Sub­sti­tute: Pe­ter Be­nett. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Al­ex Step­ney, Jim Hol­ton, Al­ex For­syth, Stew­art Hou­s­ton, Mar­tin Bu­chan, Bri­an Green­hoff, Jim Mc­Cal­liog, Ger­ry Da­ly, Stu­art Pear­son, Lou Ma­cari, Wil­lie Mor­gan. Sub­sti­tute: Sam­my Mc­Ilroy.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted de­feated Ori­ent 4-0 in front of an at­tend­ance of 12,000 people at Bank Street in Clay­ton in the fir­st ever en­counter be­tween the two clubs on the 2nd of Dec­ember 1905. The Uni­ted te­am on that day in­cluded Harry Mo­ger, Tho­mas Black­stock, Rich­ard Hold­en, Char­lie Ro­berts, Al­ex Bell, Dick Duck­worth, Henry Wil­li­ams, Clem Bed­dow, Jock Ped­die, Alf Schofield, and John Barclay Pick­en.


Manchester United´s Previous Ten Matches

1973-74 Sea­son:

Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 1

Chel­sea 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 3

Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Burn­ley 3

Nor­wich City 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2

Man­chester Uni­ted 1 New­castle Uni­ted 0

Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Ever­ton 0

South­ampton 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1

Ever­ton 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0

Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Man­chester City 1

Sto­ke City 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0

Man­ager: Tom­my Doc­herty

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