Date: Tuesday, 10th October 1978.
Venue: Bramall Lane, Sheffield.
League Cup Third Round.
United 1 Leeds United 4.
United: Calvert. Leeds United: Currie, F. Gray, E. Gray (2).
40,899 (Receipts £60,042).
Sheffield United: Johns; Cutbush,
Calvert; Kenworthy, Matthews, Speight; Anderson,
Harwood, Finnieston, Sabella,
Hamson. Unused Sub: Franks.
Leeds United: Harvey;
Stevenson, Cherry; Flynn, Hart, Hampton; E. Gray, Hankin,
F. Gray, Currie, Graham. Unused Sub; Harris.
Referee: G. Courtney (Spennymoor).
Although Leeds United failed to maintain the
same consistent challenge for First Division honours
under Jimmy Armfield that they did under Don Revie they did enjoy some notable successes. Taking over
from Brian Clough just a few weeks into the 1974-75 campaign, Armfield took them to the final of the European Cup and to
an epic four game FA Cup quarter-final with Ipswich Town that same season. In 1976-77 they were beaten by Manchester United in the
semi-final of the FA Cup and the following year they reached the semi-final of
the Football League Cup before losing over two legs to Nottingham Forest.
lost his job at the start of the 1978-79 season and
his replacement, Jock Stein, went forty-four days later, after seeing the side
take three games to overcome West Bromwich Albion in the second round of the
League Cup. That win clinched a tie with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane but with
team matters in the hands of regular Ďstand-in bossí Maurice Lindley, there was
an air of uncertainty about the club.
Sheffield United and Leeds United had been
involved in a number of First and Second Division Yorkshire derby games over
the years but on this occasion Leeds were well established in the top flight while
the Blades had been relegated in 1976 and were battling for survival in
Division Two. However, a superb 1-0 win over Liverpool at Bramall Lane in the
second round, courtesy of a goal from midfield man Gary Hamson,
had booted morale and many felt the scene was set for yet another form book
After an uncertain start Sheffield United went
into this game having won two and drawn one of their four preceding games while
Leeds had little reason to be confident having won only one of their last five
games and occupying thirteenth place in the First Division table. The two clubs
had met twice before in FA Cup-ties in 1935-36 and 1967-68, but this was an
unofficial decider, having each won once. Gary Hamson
and the Argentinean Alex Sabella, both later to join Leeds, were in the Blades line up along with experienced ex-Arsenal
defender John Matthews and former Chelsea striker Steve Finnieston.
It was, however, former Sheffield United and England midfield star, Tony Currie who turned on the
magic for the 40,899 fans at Bramall Lane that
night. The supreme showman showed a classic sense of timing to return in style
to his old Bramall Lane stamping
ground and let the home supporters see what they had lost, when he fired Leeds ahead after thirty-two minutes. The midfield artist had not played since
limping off against West Bromwich Albion in the previous Round and it was touch
and go whether he would be fit to face his old team for the first time since
leaving them for Leeds two seasons earlier. Not only did he win his
fitness battle but he opened the scoring and set Leeds on their way to a convincing victory over the Second Division Blades.
Currie timed his run to perfection as Ray Hankinís
head flicked on Brian Flynnís long ball and ran on to steer the ball past Nicky
Johns before blowing kisses to the travelling Leeds
fans behind the goals.Tony Currie, the darling of
both the Unitedís was involved in an absorbing battle
with skilful Argentinian star Alex Sabella, which Currie just shaded. The South American and
fellow midfielder nineteen-year-old Gary Hamson, later both followed Currie up the M1 and joined the Elland Road payroll.
It only took United two minutes to double
their advantage.† Frank Gray carried the
ball unchallenged for forty yards through the mist and curled a tremendous shot
round Nicky Johns into the top right hand corner. Only a third of the match had
gone and Leeds had established a firm grip which became total
command when Nicky Johns could not hold Brian Flynnís free-kick one minute
after the interval and Eddie Gray tapped the ball in at the Shoreham Street end.
Former York City defender Cliff Calvert did manage to get his
name on the score-sheet in the sixty-sixth minute. His shot from the edge of
the area that went in off the underside of the bar but it was to no avail. Ten
minutes from time Eddie Gray got his second and Unitedís
fourth goal, with another gift as he knocked in a loose ball after Tony Kenworthy had blocked a shot from Arthur Graham. His goal
ensured that the effort from Calvert was no more than a consolation and United
chalked up a superb 4-1 win to clinch a fourth round tie with Queens Park
ambitions were thwarted once again at the semi-final stage, for having beaten
QPR and then Luton Town, the incoming manager Jimmy
Adamson saw his side go down 2-3 on aggregate to Southampton in the semi-final.
Sheffield United 1978-79:
Back row: Cec
Coldwell (Coach) , Tony Kenworthy,
Paul Garner, Craig Renwick, Colin Franks,
Jim Brown, Steve Conroy, Steve Finnieston, Simon Stainrod, Mike
Guy, Andy Keeley.
Front Row: John Cutbush,
Gary Hamson, Cliff Calvert, Danny Bergara
Harry Haslam (Manager),
Alan Woodward, Mick Speight, Alex Sabella
Leeds United 1978-79:
Back Row: John Hawley, Paul Madeley,
Paul Hart, David Stewart, Ray Hankin, David Harvey,
Keith Parkinson, Tony Currie, Byron Stevenson.
Front Row: Frank Gray, Eddie Gray, Peter Lorimer, Brian Flynn, Trevor Cherry, Carl Harris,
Arthur Graham, Peter Hampton.
Currie, Frank Gray and Eddie Gray (2) scored the Leeds goals†††††††
Calvert scored for Sheffield†††† Gary Hamson
and Alex Sabella played for Sheffield United and were later to sign for