Competition: Second Division.
Referee: A. Gunn
was hoping to celebrate his twenty-first birthday by scoring a goal against
Newcastle United and while those hopes went unrealised,
at least Leeds United gave him a victory to celebrate with. Batty could hardly
have asked for a better stage on which to celebrate his birthday than a packed
United had a score to settle with the Magpies, who after trailing by two goals came back to wallop Howard Wilkinson’s men 5-2 at St James’ on the opening day of the season. “That was a freak result, in my opinion,” said Batty, “And we’re all keen to avenge that result,” he added. Mick Quinn, knocked in four of those goals against United and went into this return game as the Division’s nineteen-goal leading scorer, but Batty and Co made sure he did not add to that impressive tally on this occasion.
A crowd of
31,715, the Second Division’s biggest attendance of the season, saw United turn in a splendid defensive display and witnessed
influential skipper Gordon Strachan play a key role
in a great move which produced the only goal of the game. Strachan
gained possession just inside the
The first half contained enough action to warm up a bitterly cold afternoon for fans as both midfields battled for supremacy. The visitors were quite content to soak up United’s sporadic raids and Chris Fairclough and Noel Blake kept a tight hold on Mick Quinn, so neither goalkeeper was troubled too often.
It was a different story in the second half as United went for the jugular but happily for the home side Mervyn Day, back in goal after a three match injury absence, kept his concentration despite long periods of inactivity, making a one-handed wonder stop to keep a fierce low shot from Kevin Dillon out. “I cannot tell you much about the incident because I did not see it clearly. It was an instinctive action on my part, but I was not put under too much pressure because our defence played magnificently,” Day said.
placed Leeds United were battling hard to overtake
Second Division leaders Sheffield United when third-in-the-table Newcastle Unuted arrived at
Howard Wilkinson’s men went on to do their promotion hopes no harm at all with a 1-0 win after an encouraging all-round team display. Skipper Gordan Strachan was described in the headlines as the ‘Jewel in United’s crown’ after an impressive contribution to his side’s cause which earned him Man-of-the-Match rating, but it was striker Ian Baird who got the all-important only goal of the match.
Although Strachan was starved of space and time for much of this
hard fought game, he still managed to make an influential contribution to United’s victory. When he gained possession just inside the
typified the spirit United showed and he did so having to gasp for breath for
much of the game after damaging his ribs when
Ian Baird got the only goal from a Mel Sterland cross after Gordon Strachan had found him with a fifty yard pass Mervyn Day made
a fine save
Noel Blake and Chris Fairclough
kept free-scoring Mick Quinn quiet David Batty silenced the
John Burridge was in
Kevin Dillon and Kevin Scott were the central defence Mark McGhee partnered Mick Quinn up-front
Kevin Brock, John Gallacher, Thomas Kristensen and Liam O’Brien were in midfield