Date: Monday 4th May 1987.
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.
United 3 West Bromwich Albion 2.
United: Sheridan (pen), Pearson, Ormsby. West
Bromwich Albion: Dyson,
Leeds United: Day, Aspin, McDonald,
Aizlewood, Ashurst, Ormsby, Stiles, Sheridan, Pearson, Baird, Adams. Unused Sub: Edwards.
Bromwich Albion: Naylor; Dickinson,
Burrows; Bennett, Dyson, Singleton; Palmer, Goodman, Robson, Lynex, Anderson.
over West Bromwich Albion which completed Leeds United's
home fixture list in 1987 was a cause for celebration amongst United fans. A 3-2 win on May 4th secured United's place in the Division Two play-offs and midfielder
John Sheridan was carried round the pitch on a lap of honour
by a group of supporters.
Leeds' exile from the First Division had
started in 1982, but their hard-fought defeat of a mediocre West Brom side set all minds thinking of a
return to the top flight. Billy Bremner's side went
on to reach the play-offs final after eliminating Oldham Athletic over two legs
with the aid of the away-goals rule, but their challenge was ended by a
dramatic tussle with Charlton Athletic, who had been dragged into the contest
after finishing fourth from bottom in the top flight. Their two-legged tie
ended in stalemate after both clubs won their home fixture 1-0 and United were
eventually beaten after extra-time of a replay at St Andrews on 29th May.
the season had provided much entertainment for United's
supporters and their victory over West Brom was a fitting end to a home
campaign which saw Leeds
claim fifteen wins and four draws from twenty-one fixtures. Albion almost ruined the day by threatening
to steal a point, but Leeds
should have claimed a more convincing victory. A draw would have been a poor
reflection on United's impressive display and they
were a class above West Brom from the moment John Sheridan broke the
deadlock with a penalty on thirteen minutes.
midfielder was gifted his fifteenth goal of the season after visiting defender
Martin Dickinson was penalised for hand ball and
United moved further ahead six minutes before the break when John Pearson
pounced on a mistake from keeper Stuart Naylor, who failed to collect Carlton
Palmer's back pass. But Albion, who had hit the post through Don Goodman, pulled a goal back when Paul
Dyson beat keeper Mervyn Day with a header and it was
left to Brendan Ormsby to ensure that David Burrows' eighty-seventh-minute
effort came too late to deny Leeds the spoils.
Report from YEP (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Sheridan was carried shoulder-high by supporters round the Elland Road pitch, Don
Revie rang to congratulate Leeds United’s
Billy Bremner and Leslie Silver. The club chairman,
spoke glowingly of the potential of his club. Leeds, with their eighth successive home
win, had reached the play-offs for a place in the First Division for the
following season and it was as though they had already bridged the five year
gap since they last tasted life at the top. “We’ll break open the champagne
bottles at the appropriate time.” Insisted Mr. Silver, “but whatever happens
now it’s been a marvellous season.” Nearly
twenty-five thousand had turned up for Leeds’ last Second Division game of the
campaign, and they would not go until Billy Bremner
and the team came out, fifteen minutes after West Bromwich Albion had been
beaten, for a lap of honour. “We go into next season
with confidence and there is money available to buy, too,” said Mr. Silver. But
first Leeds had to finish the job and their
captain Brendan Ormsby made it clear they feared no
one in the knockouts ahead. “Sides who come here are going to be worried about
us. We are not bothered who we get.” Mark Aizlewood,
the hub of the side since his £200,000 arrival, said, “This place will be a
sell-out but we are not celebrating yet because the final push starts now.”
results on the following Saturday could still have stopped Leeds, but for all practical purposes it
was Brendan Ormsby’s eightieth minute goal in this
game that put Leeds on the brink of the First Division.
He did a jig of delight after John Pearson had knocked down Mark Aizlewood’s cross to set-up a twenty yard drive and made it
3-1. But there was a scare for Leeds when Albion scored their second goal four minutes from
time. That final goal was knocked in from close range by David Burrows. Ten
minutes before Brendan Ormsby’s goal Paul Dyson had
headed in a twice-taken free-kick from Steve Lynex.
But together with a last-minute injury to Jack Ashurst,
which left him with a broken nose, those goals were the only set-backs of the
day for Leeds. The game opened perfectly for Leeds. After a couple of escapes Albion conceded a penalty when former Leeds defender Martin Dickinson handled.
“I was protecting my face when Ian Baird drove the ball at close range. The
decision was a joke,” said Dickinson. John Sheridan smacked in the
thirteenth minute penalty and though Steve Lynex and
Don Goodman had the chance to equalise, Leeds pushed further ahead in the
thirty-ninth minute. Carlton Palmer knocked over a high cross and Albion’s goalkeeper Stuart Naylor did well
to palm the ball from under his crossbar. But John Pearson was following up and
comfortably forced in his first home goal for Leeds.
John Sheridan opens the scoring from the
Micky Adams almost makes it three
The ball rebounds off the cross-bar and John
Pearson follows up to make it 2-0
celebrates scoring Leeds’ third goal (Three items Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
John Sheridan is chaired off by jubilant fans
after the final lap of honour Results, Table and remaining fixtures
Leeds-born Martin Dickinson It was
converted by John Sheridan. John Pearson and Brendan Ormsby
conceded a penalty to his former team
David Burrows and Paul Dyson scored the West Bromwich goals. Keeper Stuart Naylor was born in Wetherby, Don Goodman in Leeds.
Aizlewood, Bobby McDonald, Jack Ashurst and Micky Adams were all acquisitions by Billy Bremner.
Carlton Palmer later played for Leeds