Date: Saturday, 11th April 1970.
2 Leeds United 2
Houseman, Hutchinson. Leeds United: Charlton, Jones.
100,000 (Receipts £128,272).
Webb, McCreadie; Hollins,
Dempsey, Harris (Hinton); Baldwin, Houseman, Osgood, Hutchinson, Cooke.
Leeds United: Sprake;
Madeley, Cooper; Bremner,
Charlton, Hunter; Lorimer, Clarke, Jones, Giles,
Gray. Unused Sub: Bates
Referee: Mr E. T.
Jennings (Stourbridge, Worcestershire).
Few FA Cup Finals could match this classic game for drama
and excitement. For United it represented the last real opportunity for glory
in a season that had promised so much. In the days leading up to the big game
at Wembley, jaded United were forced to concede their League title to Everton
and had seen Celtic win 1-0 at Elland
Road in the first leg of their European Cup
Semi-Final showdown. With Paul Reaney out of the
Final after breaking a leg in a League game at West Ham United the previous week,
many critics felt the enormous backlog of top matches had finally caught up
with United and that the psychological advantage lay with Chelsea. Against
Celtic in that European Cup semi-final, Leeds had looked
lethargic, but against Chelsea at
Wembley, the spring was back in their stride and they produced football of the
highest quality, and yet failed to return back to Yorkshire
with the FA Cup. Wembley looked more like Blackpool
beach, with masses of sand spread over the pitch in an effort to patch up the
damage caused by the recent Horse of the Year show at the stadium.
United, sensing the game was their last real chance of
ending the season with a trophy, outplayed Chelsea for most of the match, with
a sparkling display of attacking football with ‘Man of the Match’ Eddie Gray
being in devastating form and totally dominating his opposing full-back, David Webb.Yet United could never convert their superiority into
goals that would put the game beyond the reach of the resilient Londoners. Leeds
scored first in the twenty-first minute with a curious goal. Eddie Gray took an
in-swinging corner on the right, Jack Charlton headed towards goal with little
power, but the ball eluded the swinging legs of two Chelsea
defenders and trickled gently over the line. It looked as if the pitch was
again the cause, with another freak goal twenty minutes later as Chelsea
drew level. Houseman, deputising for the injured Alan Hudson, cut in from the
left, put in a rather weak, if hopeful, long range shot, and Gary Sprake, seemingly mistiming his dive, allowed the ball to
slither under his body.
Determined Leeds pushed forward and
Eddie Gray rattled the cross-bar with a tremendous shot near the end before
United scored the goal they thought would lift the Cup. An Allan Clarke header
hit the post in the eighty-third minute and Mick Jones was on hand to smack
home the rebound with a left-foot shot. The trophy looked destined for Elland Road but, four minutes
later, the usually solid Leeds defence was caught
napping following a free-kick and Ian Hutchinson headed in a second equaliser
from Hollins’ accurate centre from a quickly taken
Ron Harris free-kick.
Even as the sand sapped aching limbs in extra-time, United still carried the game to Chelsea.
The dancing Eddie Gray skipped through the Chelsea
defence for the umpteenth time to put over a cross which Johnny Giles volleyed
towards goal but David Webb made his one positive contribution to the game as
he got the ball away. As the first half of extra-time was approaching the
elusive Allan Clarke hit a snap volley against the crossbar. Fine saves from Bonetti, the woodwork, defensive mistakes and chelsea’s determination had prevented
United from winning the Cup.
At the final whistle two weary teams, who had become the
first to fail to find a winner since the Final had moved to Wembley in 1923,
shared a lap of honour knowing that battle would recommence eighteen days later
to extend United’s marathon season still further.
Billy Bremner and
Gary Sprake before the Billy Bremner
greets Princess Margaret
Billy Bremner, Gary Sprake, Paul Madeley, Johnny
Giles, Norman Hunter, David Webb gets his
Terry Cooper, Mick Jones, Eddie Gray, Peter Lorimer, Mick Bates, Allan Clarke
and Jack Charlton line up for the formal introduction
Jack Charlton watches as Eddie McCreadie and Ron Harris fail to stop his header
Allan Clarke’s header hits the post, but Mick
Jones was on hand to score United’s second goal
Gary Sprake saves as
Jack Charlton and Norman Hunter look on
Mick Jones wins a heading duel with David Webb
as Allan Clarke looks on
Allan Clarke tries a diving header
Eddie Gray taunts David Webb Eddie Gray on the run
Jack Charlton takes on Tommy Baldwin
Eddie Gray skips past David Webb
Jack Charlton takes the ball from Tommy