Date: Saturday 23rd April 1977.

Venue: Hillsborough, Sheffield.

Competition: FA Cup Semi-Final.

Score: Leeds United 1 Manchester United 2

Scorers: Leeds United: Clarke (pen). Manchester United: J. Greenhoff, Coppell.

Attendance: 55,000 (Receipts £144,000).

Teams:

Leeds United: Stewart; Reaney, Hampton; Cherry, McQueen, Madeley; F. Gray (Lorimer), Clarke, Jordan, Currie, E. Gray.

Manchester United: Stepney; Nicholl, Houston; McIlroy, B. Greenhoff, Buchan; Coppell, J. Greenhoff, Pearson, Macari, Hill. Unused Sub: McCreery.

 

United had had an interesting trip to Semi-Finals of the FA Cup starting with an easy 5-2 victory over Norwich City at Elland Road with goals from Clarke, Reaney, Jordan, McQueen and Hampton. After that goal spree their other wins had been by a single goal margin. A visit to St Andrews saw United triumph over Birmingham City with goals from Joe Jordan and Allan Clarke sufficient to see United through to the Fifth Round by two goals to one. In that Round United had the task of meeting high-flying Manchester City at Elland Road. City narrowly failed to win the Football League Championship, losing out to Liverpool by just one point and as expected it was a very close entertaining affair which looked like going to Maine Road for a replay until Trevor Cherry popped up with a late winner for United to go through by the only goal. The Sixth Round saw United at Molineux to meet the resurgent Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were on their way to the Second Division Championship, and an Eddie Gray headed goal was sufficient to see United through to their Hillsborough Semi-Final encounter with the rebuilt Manchester United.

 

Incredibly United were embarking on their tenth FA Cup Semi-Final since promotion from the Second Division just twelve years previous and their sixth such encounter with their fierce rivals from Old Trafford. In those encounters United had remained unbeaten and Manchester had not even scored. But that was all to change as the balance of power tilted once more to the Lancastrians. After suffering the ignominy of relegation in Unitedís Championship year of 1973-74 the men from Old Trafford had been rebuilt by Tommy Docherty and regained their First Division status at the first attempt in 1974-75. They had several young and exciting players in Gordon Hill, Steve Coppell and Stuart Pearson blended with older heads such as Alex Stepney and were in search of honours once more.

 

Manchester caught United on the hop early with two quick goals and Leeds were always chasing the game from thereon. In the seventh minute the men from Old Trafford forced their first corner which was flicked on by Stewart Houston. Frank Gray was unable to put in a proper clearance and the ball fell for Jimmy Greenhoff, the former Leeds player, who buried it from six yards. Leeds looking nervous, failed to settle in the rain and blustery wind, and were blown well off course after just fourteen minutes. Lou Macari, the man of the match, pulled Leedsí defence out of position and though Gordon Hillís shot was blocked, the ball flew straight to Steve Coppell, who immediately planted a powerful twenty-yard shot past David Stewart.

 

Leeds eventually started to put their game together and had their chances to get back into the match before half-time but failed to take their opportunities to cut the two goal deficit. With sixty-eight minutes gone, Leeds were thrown a life-line when Jimmy Nicholl chopped down Joe Jordan in the box and Allan Clarke despatched the penalty past Alex Stepney. That set up a potentially exciting finish but the men from Manchester were never in much danger of losing against a Leeds side which failed to do itself justice in this latest version of the War of the Roses. The dressing room was a scene of despondency as the players knew they had under-performed with Wembley beckoning. It was, apart from Billy Bremnerís men ten years later, the last time that a Leeds United team was to appear in a FA Cup Semi-Final even until present date.

 

Leeds duo Joe Jordan and George McQueen were to move to Old Trafford in big money deals, whilst Brian Greenhoff, younger brother of ex-Leeds favourite Jimmy, became a Leeds player in August 1979.

 

 

Match Action:

 

 

Lou Macari follows the ball into the net for the first goal, while Stuart Pearson congratulates the scorer, Jimmy Greenhoff

 

 

Frank Gray cannot stop Steve Coppell from getting his shot in for the second goal as Peter Hampton looks on

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Coppell is surrounded by Frank and Eddie Gray and Paul Madeley

Tony Currie disputes a header with Sammy McIlroy as Jimmy Greenhoff and Paul Madeley look on

 

Joe Jordan bursts between Jimmy Nicholl and Lou Macari

 

Gordon McQueen brings the ball out of defence pursued by Sammy McIlroy

 

Gordon Hill controls the bouncing ball as Paul Reaney moves in††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Alex Stepney beats Joe Jordan to a high ball

 

Teams:

 

 

 

Players:

 

Allan Clarke scored for Leeds††††† Alex Stepney was in goal†††††††††††††††††† Jimmy Nicoll and Stewart Houston were the full-backs

 

††††††††††††

Brian Greenhoff and Martin Buchan were the central defenders††††††††††† Jimmy Greenhoff and Stuart Pearson were the strikers†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

The Manchester United midfield was comprised of Steve Coppell, Lou Macari, Sammy McIlroy and Gordon Hill†††

††† ††††

David McCreery was an unused substitute and Arthur Albiston was held in reserve