Sheff United 1 Man United 0

Tony Currie

Shef­field Uni­ted 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0, Bramall Lane, Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Fir­st Di­vi­sion Fix­ture, Septem­ber 30, 1972. The 3-0 tri­umph over Der­by Coun­ty the pre­vi­ous Sat­urday proved to be a false down as Man­chester Uni­ted suc­cumbed to a 1-0 de­feat ag­ainst Shef­field Uni­ted who­se win­ning goal came from Alan Wood­ward who sco­red from the pen­alty spot wi­th two min­utes left of nor­mal time.

Man­chester Uni­ted had de­feated Der­by Coun­ty, drawn ag­ainst Lei­cester City, Ar­senal, Chel­sea, and West Ham Uni­ted, and suf­fered de­feats ag­ainst Ips­wich To­wn, Liver­pool, Ever­ton, Cov­entry City, and Wolver­hampton Wan­derers in their last ten Fir­st Di­vi­sion mat­ches and were next to bot­tom in the stand­ings. Shef­field Uni­ted, on the oth­er hand, had over­come Birm­ing­ham City, West Brom­wich Al­bion, South­ampton, and Chel­sea, drawn ag­ainst Sto­ke City, Ips­wich To­wn, and Nor­wich City, and be­en de­feated by Leeds Uni­ted, New­castle Uni­ted, and Liver­pool and were sit­ting com­fort­ably in mid-ta­ble. Man­chester Uni­ted had de­feated fel­low early pace­set­ters Shef­field Uni­ted 2-0 at Old Traf­ford the pre­vi­ous sea­son thanks to goals from Ge­orge Best and Alan Gowl­ing in the 83rd and 86th min­utes re­spect­ively, whi­le the re­verse fix­ture at Bramall Lane had ended in a 1-1 stale­mate, wi­th wing­er Ge­off Sal­mons giv­ing the ho­me si­de the lead five min­utes be­fore the sound of the ha­lf-time sig­nal and vet­er­an play­er Da­vid Sad­ler equal­ising for the vis­it­ors in the 72nd min­ute of the tie.

Man­chester Uni­ted, who­se new £200,000 sign­ing from Third Di­vi­sion si­de AFC Bourne­mouth, Ted Mac­Dou­gall, was not in the squad agais­nt Shef­field Uni­ted, had plenty of de­cent op­por­tun­it­ies to score be­fore and af­ter the break, but their stri­kers ap­peared leth­ar­gic and in­ept in front of goal. On a more pos­it­ive note, Mar­tin Bu­chan en­joyed a good af­ter­noon and gov­erned the Man­chester Uni­ted de­fence wi­th bo­th au­thor­ity and calm, whi­le fel­low de­fender Ste­ve Ja­mes also de­livered an im­press­ive per­form­ance dur­ing the who­le of the ninety min­utes; com­mand­ing in the air and com­posed wi­th the ball at his feet. Shef­field Uni­ted and Eng­land U23 in­ter­na­tion­al mid­fielder To­ny Cur­rie, for his part, gave an­oth­er ex­cel­lent ac­count of him­self and the for­mer Wat­ford play­er had sev­er­al at­tempts at goal dur­ing bo­th halves of the ga­me, in­clud­ing a dan­ger­ous shot in the sec­ond frame which for­ced a mag­ni­fi­cent save from Man­chester Uni­ted cus­todi­an Al­ex Step­ney. The Shef­field Uni­ted play­ers ap­pealed in­stantly and loudly for a pen­alty-kick as Alan Wood­ward was taken down in­side the eight­een-yard box by Ja­mes in the 73rd min­ute of pro­ceed­ings, but of­fi­cial Nor­man Pa­get of Cov­entry de­cided to take no ac­tion at all. The Bramall Lane en­counter look­ed to be end­ing goal­less un­til the 88th min­ute of the meet­ing when Man­chester Uni­ted and Wales for­ward Ron­ald “Wyn” Dav­ies, who had be­en in­stru­ment­al in the 3-0 vic­tory over Der­by at Old Traf­ford, con­ceded a pen­alty for a per­fectly le­git­im­ate chal­lenge on Shef­field Uni­ted cent­ral de­fender John Flynn in­side the area. Wood­ward calmly walked up to take the spot-kick and the 26-year-old wing­er made no mis­takes what­soever in dis­patch­ing the ball in­to the back of the net in front of a 37,000 strong ho­me crowd. It was with­out doubt a bril­liantly taken pen­alty and Step­ney, who had be­en out­stand­ing be­tween the sticks through­out the mat­ch, could not in any way be blamed for con­ced­ing the goal.

Else­where in the Fir­st Di­vi­sion, Liver­pool be­at Leeds Uni­ted 2-1 in front of a 46,000 crowd at El­land Road where Larry Lloyd and Phil Bo­ersma sco­red one goal each for The An­field­ers, Cov­entry City suf­fered a 3-1 loss to Chel­sea at High­field Road, West Ham Uni­ted emer­ged 2-0 vic­tors over Birm­ing­ham City at Up­ton Park, Crys­tal Pal­ace fell 2-0 to Nor­wich City at Sel­hurst Park, Ever­ton de­feated New­castle Uni­ted 3-1 at Good­ison Park, Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur went down 2-1 to Der­by Coun­ty at Base­ball Gro­und, Wolver­hampton Wan­derers ran out 5-3 win­ners over Sto­ke City at Mo­lineux, Ips­wich To­wn were de­feated 2-0 by Lei­cester City at Port­man Road, whi­le Ar­senal edged out South­ampton by 1-0 at High­bury thanks to a sec­ond-ha­lf goal from Ge­orge Gra­ham. In the Sec­ond Di­vi­sion, As­ton Vil­la emer­ged 1-0 win­ners ag­ainst Mill­wall at Vil­la Park cour­tesy of a pen­alty goal from Bru­ce Ri­och, Black­pool were beaten 1-0 by Middles­brough at Bloom­field Road, Bris­tol City were held to a 0-0 draw by Hud­dersfield To­wn at Ashton Gate, Brighton and Hove Al­bion suc­cumbed to 2-0 de­feat at the hands of Ports­mouth at Frat­ton Park, Luton To­wn and Burn­ley shared the points in an en­thralling 2-2 draw at Kenil­worth Road, Queens Park Ran­gers out­classed Car­diff City 3-0 at Shepherd´s Bush, Carl­isle Uni­ted drew 1-1 ag­ainst Shef­field Wed­nesday at Brunton Park, Ful­ham and Ori­ent shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Craven Cot­tage, Hull City over­came Swin­don To­wn 3-2 at Booth­ferry Park, Not­ting­ham For­est were trashed 4-1 by Sun­der­land at Roker Park, whi­le Ox­ford Uni­ted lost 2-0 to Pre­ston North End at Man­or Ground.

Fol­low­ing the frus­trat­ing and un­ne­ces­sary 1-0 de­feat ag­ainst Shef­field Uni­ted at Bramall Lane, Man­chester Uni­ted were now bot­tom of the Fir­st Di­vi­sion ta­ble wi­th six points, one point be­hind bo­th Cov­entry City and Sto­ke City. The So­uth York­shire club, mean­while, re­mained in mid-ta­ble on thir­teen points, along wi­th Chel­sea, Leeds Uni­ted, Ips­wich To­wn, and Nor­wich City. For their next Fir­st  Di­vi­sion fix­ture, Frank O´Farrell´s re­leg­a­tion threat­ened Man­chester Uni­ted si­de would now make the jour­ney to the Black Coun­try to take on fif­teenth pla­ced West Brom­wich Al­bion at The Haw­thorns, hop­ing to win their fir­st away ga­me of the 1972-73 sea­son. Shef­field Uni­ted Te­am: Tom Mc­Al­lister, Ste­ve Gould­ing, Len Badger, Ted Hems­ley, John Flynn, Ed­die Colqu­houn, To­ny Cur­rie, Tre­vor Hock­ey, Alan War­boys, Billy Dearden, Alan Wood­ward. Sub­stitutes: No­ne. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Al­ex Step­ney, Mar­tin Bu­chan, To­ny Dun­ne, Ste­ven Ja­mes, Ian Don­ald, To­ny Young, Wil­lie Mor­gan, Bob­by Charl­ton, Wyn Dav­ies, Ian Storey-Moore, Ge­orge Best. Sub­sti­tute: Sam­my McIlroy.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted de­feated Shef­field Uni­ted 3-0 in a Lea­gue Di­vi­sion One ga­me at Bramall Lane on the 14th of Oct­ober 1967 thanks to one goal each from Bri­an Kidd, De­nis Law, and John Aston.


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