Date: Saturday, 7th December 1985.
0 Leeds United 3.
Nil. Leeds United: Snodin,
Kay, Winterburn; Galliers (Cork),
Morris, Thorn; Evans, Fishenden, Fairweather,
Leeds United: Day; Caswell, Robinson; I.
Snodin, Aspin, Linighan; Ritchie, Sheridan, Baird, Hamson,
Referee: Mr D.
unbeaten at home in League games and standing fifth in the Second Division when
Leeds United stepped out at Plough Lane
to bring off a shock 3-0 victory. Neil Aspinís
blood-drenched shirt summed up the competitive nature of the game which saw Ian
Baird, who had scored one of the goals, and a fine one at that, given his
marching orders towards the end.
United had suffered a blow when talented midfield man John
Sheridan was ruled out with a hamstring strain received in training the day
before the game and recently appointed United manager, Billy Bremner, had warned his men they were likely to need
tin-hats and helmets to deal with Wimbledonís much maligned Ďhigh riseí style
of play. ďIt is going to be like the Alamo,Ē he said
before the game and when play got underway his words seemed to have been
well-chosen. Wimbledon threw everything at United early
on, but Neil Aspin, who was playing his first game
after a four week injury absence, produced a typically gutsy performance and
suffered a nasty gash over his right eye for his efforts.
Aspinís all action display brought
the best out of Andy Linighan and full-backs, Brian
Caswell and youngster Ronnie Robinson, but the star of the show, particularly
early on when Wimbledon surged forward, was goalkeeper
Mervyn Day. Although he was booked in the third minute for a tackle on striker
Paul Fishenden, when he raced out of his area, Day
went on to earn ĎMan-of-the-Matchí status with a commanding display, even
saving a twenty-eighth minute penalty.
After battling through those early Wimbledon
raids, United produced some good football, a class apart from the home team.
Ian Snodin buzzed around in encouraging fashion and
it was he, after receiving a pass from Andy Ritchie, who put United on the
winning path with a beautifully worked and executed goal after thirty-eighth
minutes. Ritchie played a part also in the build up to the second goal three
minutes before half-time, when his well struck left-wing cross found Ian Baird,
who bravely headed in. Ian Snodinís free-kick and
good work by Ian Baird set up Martin Dickinson for the third goal just three
minutes into the second-half to round off the scoring. Bairdís departure came
in the seventy-seventh minute, when he was sent off for what the referee
claimed was spitting at an opponent, an accusation denied by the player.
Alternate Report: (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Mervyn Day gave thanks for one moment of leniency from the
referee with an inspirational display which turned around Leeds Unitedís fortunes under their new manager, Billy Bremner. Mervyn Day hacked down Wimbledonís
striker, Paul Fishenden, outside his area after only
five minutes, and was fortunate only to be booked. After five minutes Day flung
himself full stretch to push Glyn Hodges twenty-five
yard shot around the post for a corner and minutes later he made a magnificent
one-handed save to deny Nigel Winterburn. It was no
surprise as he stopped Paul Fishendenís twenty-eighth
minute penalty after a foul by Gary Hamson. This
seemed to be the turning point for Leeds as they got
their act together. With their first real venture into the Wimbledon
half, they scored. What a lovely effort it was. Mervyn Dayís booming kick was
flicked on by Andy Ritchie to Ian Snodin, who beat
his man and hammered the ball into the back of the net. Andy Ritchie was again
in the thick of the action two minutes before the break. Picking up Gary Hamsonís quick throw on the left, he whipped over a cross
for Ian Baird to crash home the second. Within two minutes of the start Leeds
were three goals to the good. Ian Snodinís free-kick
picked out Martin Dickinson, who stroked the ball past Dave Beasant
at close range. The goal seemed to kill the match, which deteriorated into a
succession of free kicks and a number of off-the-ball incidents that the
referee, John Ashworth, did not see. It was the sharp eyes of a linesman that
led to Ian Bairdís seventy-sixth minute dismissal for ungentlemanly
and violent conduct. Baird punched and spat at Wimbledonís
young sweeper Andy Thorn and as the final whistle blew Billy Bremner came on to the pitch to usher away Ian Snodin, who had been involved in a running battle with Glyn Hodges.
Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ian Snodin, Ian Baird and Martin Dickinson scored for Leeds. Ian Baird also got sent off.
†††††††††††††††† Mervyn Day was man of the Match but there were solid defensive displays from
Neil Aspin and
The full-back pairing of Brian Caswell and
Ronnie Robinson defended well