Date: Wednesday, 10th January 1968.

Venue: Easter Road, Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Competition: Inter-Cities Fairs Third Round, Second Leg.

Score: Hibernian 1 Leeds United 1

Scorers: Hibernian: Stein. Leeds United: Charlton.

Attendance: 40,503.


Hibernian: Wilson; Duncan, Davis; Stanton, Madsen, McGraw; Scott, Quinn, Stein, Cormack Stevenson.

Leeds United: Harvey; Reaney, Cooper; Bremner, Charlton, Hunter; Greenhoff, Lorimer, Jones, Giles, E. Gray.

Referee: Clive Thomas (Wales).


United ventured north not happy about their slender lead but determined that Hibs were not going to crack them. The pitch was rock-hard and good football under those circumstances was at a premium. United were not greatly improved on their Elland Road form, but they did put on a show of great endeavour. Risking injury they fought for every ball. They had to, as Colin Stein, the leading goal scorer in the Scottish League, copied Eddie Gray’s accomplishment of the first leg by scoring in the fourth minute when he chipped the ball over the advancing Gary Sprake. Suddenly United had an uphill battle on their hands on a frozen Easter Road pitch with over forty thousand passionate Hibs supporters roaring on their favourites.


With Liverpool already knocked out United were carrying the Football League banner as last English team left in the competition. But their pre-match preparations were dealt a a blow when the opted to make the near two hundred mile trip by rail and the train arrived two and a half hours late. After Stein’s earlt strike Leeds had to rely on guts and determination rather than skill and flair on the icy surface.


Hibs always did look dangerous on the break and Gary Sprake, clad in tracksuit bottoms, did well to save from Pat Quinn, while Colin Stein managed to miss two presentable chances and Leeds hung on and snatched the crucial equaliser on the night in the dying minutes of the game when Jack Charlton went up for a late free-kick to give United a draw on the night and victory overall with an eighty-seventh minute header. That was how Billy Bremner recalled the action, when as in the first leg, the goal stemmed from a misjudgement by Hibs goalkeeper Willie Wilson, who under pressure from Peter Lorimer, carried the ball too many steps and Welsh Referee Clive Thomas awarded a free-kick. Johhny Giles duly lobbed the ball into the area where the ever-dependable Jack Charlton headed in United’s fiftieth, and most crucial, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup goal in three seasons.


However, Peter Cormack remembered the tie a little differently: “After beating Napoli and Porto before them, we played against Don Revie’s mighty Leeds United. We lost narrowly to an Eddie Gray goal at Elland Road against a team who had players of the calibre of Gary Sprake, Billy Bremner, Norman Hunter, Johnny Giles, Paul Madeley, Paul Reaney, Peter Lorimer, Jack Charlton, Terry Cooper and Mick Jones at their disposal. They then came to Easter Road for the second leg, and we were leading 1-0 and looking good when our goalkeeper Willie Wilson fell foul of the new ‘four step’ rule. The subsequent free kick led to big Jack Charlton equalising and we went out 2-1 on aggregate.”


So look at it anyway you may, United had been pushed very close by their tartan opponents but the bottom line was United were through and when the draw was made in Zurich they had to meet further tartan foes, Glasgow giants Rangers, in the next round. The other quarter-final pairings were Ferencvaros, who had eliminated Liverpool by winning both legs 1-0, and Athletico Bilbao, Dundee v FC Zurich, and Bologna v Vojvodina Novi Sad.



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