Competition: F.A Cup 6th Round.
Score: Arsenal 1
Attendance: 62,573. (Receipts £8,109)
Arsenal: Swindin; Scott, Barnes; Forbes, Compton (L), Mercer; Cox, Logie, Roper, Lewis, Compton (D).
A Cup fever gripped
Second Division Leeds had set off in style in the Third
Round and had won easily at
The teams were:
A crowd of 51,000 saw Harold Williams net the goal as United
drew with First Division Bolton Wanderers at Elland
Round in the Fourth Round. With the
Tickets for the game were put on sale at a Reserve fixture
against Derby County and it drew an attendance of 31,000 such was the demand
for tickets, and a crowd of over 50,000
were on hand to see United beat Cardiff 3-1 with goals from Harold Williams,
Davie Cochrane and Ray Iggleden. United were
unchanged from the winning eleven at
As a reward for their Fifth Round triumph, United drew the
plum sixth-round tie at Highbury against the mighty Arsenal. The clamour for
tickets was unprecedented and an estimated 150 coaches made the trip from
United, who had one of the worst FA Cup records of any club
in the Football League, were up against Arsenal with a fine FA Cup record who
sat in fourth position in the First Division compared to United’s
Second Division status. Underdogs
While the Arsenal defence proved to be superb, United’s defence was equally dominant with young Welsh star John Charles eliminating any threat from the Gunner’s centre-forward Don Roper, while full-backs Jimmy Dunn and Jim Milburn subdued their wingers and half-backs Jim McCabe and Tommy Burden prompted a series of intelligent United raids.
As the fascinating match reached half-time there was an high expectancy of at least a replay at
Such a goal would have broken the hearts of most teams but
United moved their game up a notch and penned Arsenal in their own half with
wave after wave of attacks.
So Arsenal held out and went on to win the Cup, going on to beat Chelsea in the Semi-Final 2-0 before defeating Liverpool by the same score at Wembley, leaving Leeds to reflect on what might have been, but managing to finish fifth in the Second Division.
Arsenal: Back Row: Joe Mercer (6) Captain, Wally Barnes (3), George Swindin (1), Archie
Macauley (4), Freddie Cox (7).
Front Row: Laurie Scott (2), Reg Lewis (10), Peter Goring (9), Jimmy Logie (8), Denis Compton
(11), Leslie Compton (5).
Alex Forbes Don Roper
Alex Forbes played right-half in place of Archie Macauley and Don Roper played centre-forward
in place of Peter Goring.
LUFC: Back Row: Eddie McMorran (8), Frank Dudley (10), Jimmy Dunn (2), Harold Searson (1),
John Charles (5), Jim Milburn (3), Jim McCabe (4).
Front Row: David Cochrane (7), Ray Iggleden (8), Tommy Burden (6) Captain, Len Browning (9),
Eric Kerfoot, Harold Williams (11).
In the Cup Run Eddie McMorran
played the first two games at
while Ray Iggleden played the final three. Eic Kerfoot did not play any FA Cup games.
Harold Searson saves from Denis Compton with Jimmy Dunn on hand
Reg Lewis toe-pokes the winner past Harold Searson as John Charles and Jimmy Milburn converge.
Jimmy Dunn climbs highest to win a header
Harold Searson saves from Denis Compton as Jimmy Dunn and Tommy Burden watch
Goalkeeper: Harold Searson Right Back: Jimmy Dunn Left Back: Jimmy Milburn
Right Half: Jimmy McCabe Centre Half: John Charles Left Half and Captain: Tommy Burden
Centre Forward: Len Browning Inside Left: Frank Dudley Outside Left: Harold Williams
Eddie McMorran were with this squad but did not play at Highbury, while Grenville Hair and Jimmy Milburn are not in the photograph.
The Road to Highbury:
Competition: F.A Cup 3rd Round.
Attendance: 22,832. (Receipts £1,814 12s 9d)
United won their first FA Cup–tie since before the war in the 1938-39 season in the Third Round at home to Bournemouth and only their second FA Cup victory on opposition soil since the club was founded in thirty years previous! It was a win achieved in convincing fashion.
It had seemed a tricky fixture against the Cumbrian team, but it turned out to be a superb attacking
performance by United in the first half, as they ran in five unanswered goals
in the first forty-three minutes. United were off to a flying start as Len
Browning gave them the lead after just four minutes, when he controlled a fine
through-ball at speed before sweeping it into the net past
Major Buckley had come up with an innovative move of using
Eddie McMorran, who was usually a striker, as a deep
lying forward in a role later to be perfected by Don Revie
The Cumbrians pulled one back a minute before half-time through Jimmy Lindsay and former Blackpool striker George Dick got Carlisle’s second after seventy-two minutes but United were never threatened and coasted to an easy victory.
The game was a tactical triumph for Major Buckley over the young Carlisle Manager Bill Shankly, who became the legendary Manager of Liverpool and had many a tactical battle with Don Revie when both teams were in their prime in the late sixties and through the seventies. The game also marked the first FA Cup appearance of the young Welshman and future Legend John Charles.
Frank Dudley scored twice at
Competition: F.A Cup 4th Round.
Attendance: 51,488. (Receipts £5,323)
Referee: Mr E. Plinston (
The demand for the visit of First Division Bolton Wanderers
was so great that the United’s Directors made the
game all-ticket for the first time in the club’s
It was not a day for good football as the surface was frozen
and the United players wore protective knee pads to
help stop the knee injuries which were prevalent in those conditions. They also
wore special boots but it was
Nat Lofthouse was giving John Charles a hard time with his usual robust performance, but Captain Tommy Burden was putting in an excellent performance and Full-Backs Jimmy Dunn and Jimmy Milburn were able to keep the Trotters at bay. Nat Lofthouse was not going to be denied and after he had already hit a post and seen one goal-bound effort blocked by “Iron Man” Milburn, then grazed the bar and forced several desperate saves from Harold Searson before he finally got the one that counted and scored a well-deserved equaliser in the seventieth minute. United had held out against the odds until there was just twenty minutes to go their resistance was finally broken when Lofthouse finally bundle the ball over the line from close range in typical fashion.
The last twenty-minutes was just one-way traffic with Bolton
laying siege to the Leeds goal and raining shot after shot on the target.
Somehow United survived but few would have given them any chance in the Replay
Competition: F.A Cup 4th Round Replay.
Attendance: 29,440. (Receipts £3,591)
Referee: Mr E. Plinston (
United defied the atrocious conditions to achieve one of the most surprising results in the history of the FA Cup. On a pitch that was almost unplayable and covered in snow, slush, ice, water and combinations of all four, it was United who adapted the better of the two teams and took a surprising 2-0 lead after the ever reliable Frank Dudley had risen to head home an Harold Williams cross in the second minute and then three minutes into the second half it was Centre-Forward Len Browning who rose to head home from point-blank range with Bolton keeper seemingly rooted to his goal-line.
In between John Charles had shown that he was a quick
learner and totally blotted out the robust Nat Lofthouse,
which in turn blunted the
United had to call upon every ounce of their determination to take the game into extra-time and then dug deep into their reserves of energy and like the start to each half they produced a quick-fire goal. This time, five minutes into extra-time it was Frank Dudley who became the hero of the hour as John Charles pumped a free-kick-forward for Len Browning to win the ball in the air and flick it on for the Inside-Left to gleefully shot the ball home via the underside of the bar and despite all Bolton’s efforts they could not draw level and United ran out deserved winners.
Two-goal Frank Dudley may have been the hero, but Manager Buckley was quick to praise all of his eleven men saying, “I’ve seen some wonderful displays of Cup fighting on bad pitches in my long connection with football, including many epic struggles when I was Manager of Wolves, but United’s display was the best I have ever seen. Every man more than pulled his weight.”
Harold Searson saves under pressure from Nat Lofthouse while Willie Moir, Jimmy Dunn, Tommy Burden and John Charles watch.
John Charles and Harold Searson in the mud at
Len Browning and Matt Gillies race for a through ball
Competition: F.A Cup 5th Round.
Attendance: 53,099. (Receipts £5,418)
Referee: Mr W.R.
Cup fever gripped the City of
Harold Searson had a good-luck
charm of a cloth doll and it was now officially adopted as the club’s mascot
and given the name of Lulu (the club’s initials) and he carried it out into the
inclement weather which greeted the two teams on match day. The game had been
in doubt due to heavy rain, but the ground staff had worked round the clock to
make the pitch playable even though it resembled a gluepot. There was even
Wilfred Pickles inviting the fans of
The Welsh International selectors were also there to run the
rule over several
United did not let their followers in the huge crowd down
and scored twice in the first ten minutes. The crowd erupted when Harold
Williams gave United the lead after just nine minutes when he flicked Frank
Dudley’s cross past
The crowd’s cheers quickly turned into boos as six minutes later referee Rodgers spotted an offence during an immense scramble in the United penalty box and pointed to the spot. Alf Sherwood clinically placed the penalty kick beyond Harold Searson to reduce the arrears. Heavy showers continued and there was an inevitable churning up of the pitch and it soon resembled a mud-bath as United strived to get the elusive third goal.
Davie Cochrane had an effort disallowed early in the second
half but the massive crowd were rewarded with a goal which gave more breathing
space after a spell of sustained United pressure. Jim
McCabe, like Cochrane an Irish International, cracked in a shot which was
blocked by Alf Sherwood but Ray Iggleden crowned a
fine display by crashing in the rebound with a glorious twenty-yard drive. The
Back row: Derrick Sullivan, Marwood Marchant, Ron Stitfall, Mike Tiddy
Middle Row: George Edwards, Billy Baker, Glyn Williams, Phil Joslin, Doug Blair,
Roley Williams, Charlie Rutter
Front row: Ken Hollyman, Wilf Grant, Cyril Spiers (Manager), Alf Sherwood Captain,
Insets: Ken Chisholm, Stan Montgomery, Ron Howells.
Back Row: John Charles (5), Jimmy Dunn (2), Harold Searson (1), Jimmy Milburn (3),
Tommy Burden, Captain (6).
Middle Row: Ray Iggleden (8), Len Browning (9), Major Frank Buckley (Manager),
Bob Roxburgh (Trainer), Frank Dudley (10), Jim McCabe (4).