Date: Saturday 14th October 1978.
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.
United 1 West Bromwich Albion 3
United: Stevenson. West Bromwich Albion:
Brown, Regis (2).
Leeds United: Harvey; Stevenson, F. Gray;
Flynn, Hart, Madeley; E. Gray, Hankin,
F. Gray, Currie, Graham.
Bromwich Albion: Godden: Batson, Statham; Cunningham, Wile, Robertson; B. Robson, A.Brown, Regis, Cantello, A.
(Tony) Brown. Unused Sub: Trewick..
Referee: K. McNally (Nannerch,
For most of
the 1970s, describing Leeds United as "Elland Road pushovers" would have prompted
laughter throughout West Yorkshire. The United team who lifted the Division One title in 1974 did so with
only one home defeat and the decade as a whole provided little merriment for
clubs visiting Elland Road. But the start of the 1978-79 season opened a chink in United's armour as three defeats from their first five league games
at home raised concerns that their fortress was crumbling.
"Elland Road pushovers" was how the Yorkshire Evening
Post described Leeds, who were in the hands of caretaker manager Maurice
Lindley following Jock Stein's sudden resignation after they were beaten 3-1 by
the Baggies. United's home schedule had started with
a 3-2 defeat to Manchester United, while Tottenham
had also taken maximum points from Elland Road, and
the loss to Albion left captain Trevor Cherry scratching his head. "We
will have to have a rethink about our play at home," he said. "In fact, about a lot of things. It should have been
our day. We are playing with some flair but without consistency at home. We are
far too vulnerable."
was a creditable one for Albion, although the West Midlands club could not have known that the result would begin a wait of almost
three decades for a win at Elland Road. That victory on October
was the last occasion when Albion claimed United's scalp in West Yorkshire until 2007 and their boss on that
day, Tony Mowbray, could not have wished for a more
comfortable afternoon than Ron Atkinson endured back in 1978.
was twenty minutes old when Leeds opened the scoring with a goal which Arthur
Graham and Byron Stevenson attempted to claim. Both players appeared to drive
the ball into the net after a free-kick caused havoc in Albion's box and the goal was later
awarded to Stevenson, his first senior effort for Leeds, through the toss of a coin. The
strike should have given United a grip on the fixture, but West Brom reached the interval on level terms
after Tony Brown beat goalkeeper David Harvey with a thirty-ninth-minute strike
which clipped the post and bounced into the net.
Cherry was twice denied after the break by brilliant saves from Tony Godden and
Albion turned the screw with two goals
from Cyrille Regis in the final ten minutes. Eleven
days later, United named Jimmy Adamson as their new manager and their home form
took a rapid upturn. Leeds
suffered just three more defeats from their remaining 16 games at Elland Road and finished the season in fifth
position, eighteen points behind champions Liverpool.
Match Action: (Photo courtesy of Mark Ledgard)
Byron Stevenson and Arthur Graham practice synchronised shooting as the Welshman scores the United goal,
his first for the club.
Leeds United 1978-79: with Maurice Lindley as caretaker Manager
Back Row: Geoff Ladley
(Physio), Jim McInearney
(Coach), Paul Madeley, John Hawley,
Paul Hart, David Stewart, Ray Hankin, David Harvey, Keith Parkinson, Tony Currie,
Byron Stevenson, Brian Green (Coach), Bob
Front Row: Frank Gray, Eddie Gray, Peter Lorimer, Brian Flynn,
Maurice Lindley (Caretaker Manager), Trevor
Cherry, Arthur Graham, Carl Harris,
Brown and Cyril Regis (2) scored for West Brom Byron
Stevenson scored Arthur
Graham also had a
claim to the Leeds goal
Trevor Cherry was twice denied by fine saves
from Tony Godden Ron
Atkinson the West Bromwich Albion Manager