Date: Saturday 23rd August 1980.
Venue: Carrow Road, Norwich.
City 2 Leeds
Woods. Leeds United: Hart, Graham, Connor.
Norwich City: Hansbury;
McDowell (Barham), Downs; Mendham, Bond, Powell; Woods, Fashanu, Royle, Paddon, Goble.
Leeds United: Lukic;
Cherry, Greenhoff; Flynn, Hart, Madeley;
(Thomas), Connor, Sabella, Graham.
Referee: Mr. R. Toseland
Adamson would have feared for his future when Leeds United's
supporters unveiled a banner reading 'Adamson out' at Carrow Road after only two games of the
Division One season. United's boss was almost two
years into his job at Elland Road, but an opening-day
defeat to Aston Villa and a 3-0 rout at Middlesbrough
had turned the tide of opinion against him. Adamson's calm demeanour
rarely betrayed his emotions, but even he could not avoid punching the air
after Terry Connor's goal claimed victory over Norwich City. By the final whistle, United's supporters were chanting 'United are back'. The
relationship was doomed to failure, however, and Adamson eventually left Elland Road at the start of October following a
grim run of form, but Carrow Road provided him with one final moment
were a mediocre side and were relegated from Division One on the final day of
the season, a day which saw Brighton rescue themselves at City's expense with a
home victory over Leeds. Adamson handed Paul Madeley
his first start of the season at Carrow Road, and the disorganised
defence that had struggled badly against Villa and Middlesbrough appeared to swell with confidence.
Two late goals gave Norwich the chance of salvaging a result, but
United controlled much of the game and never looked like leaving Norfolk with anything other than a
Leeds took the lead in the sixth minute
when a rebound from Trevor Cherry's free-kick saw Paul Hart smash an easy
finish into the net, and, inspired by Argentinean playmaker Alex Sabella, the visitors prevented Norwich from settling in midfield. City's defence quickly tightened up, though, and Leeds were
forced to wait until the fifty-fifth minute for their second goal when Connor
laid on an opportunity for Arthur Graham. The two-goal advantage seemed enough
to ensure United's win but their backline was
unexpectedly breached with twenty minutes left by a striker's finish from
Justin Fashanu. The Canaries forward, the late
brother of former Wimbledon midfielder John, rose unmarked to head home a right-wing cross, and the
goal threatened to spoil Leeds'
otherwise flawless afternoon.
players, however, refused to sit on their lead, and the Elland Road boss was forced into a public
reaction when Connor grabbed a third goal with six minutes remaining. Sabella created the chance with a brilliant piece of skill,
taking four defenders out of the game with a mazy run and cross, and even a
quick reply from Clive Woods could not unsettle Leeds. The result bought Adamson time but
seven days later his side was beaten at Leicester, and a subsequent 3-0 defeat to Stoke left his
position in grave doubt. Three games later, United took drastic action and
handed the manager's job to Leeds legend Allan Clarke.
Reports (Courtesy of Mark Ledgard)
Adamson went to Norwich City with one international injury and
he dropped four others to come up with a side that which had balance and commitment
and was good enough to deserve the win that gave United their first away
victory since the previous January. It represented a breakthrough for a Manager
and team under fire.
Leeds had to scramble through the final
twenty minutes, their right to both points could hardly be contested on the
strength of a performance that was sharper and firmer than seemed possible
after the recent maulings by Aston Villa and Middlesbrough. Much of it had to do with
confidence, but after those two opening displays they needed the right lift in
the self-belief department and Arthur Graham provided the perfect springboard
in the vital opening exchanges. Paul Madeley’s return
to the back four gave the defence a calm and solid
look, making it a surprise when goals were scored against them rather than the
expected occurrence in the opening games. The midfield was busy and inventive
while Terry Connor, before the game was not too old, was matching Arthur Graham
at the spearhead.
minutes Leeds, with the help of early goals in
both halves, ruled the game. They had Jeff Chandler throwing everything he had
into his roaming role, Paul Hart shrugging off an eyebrow injury which needed a
couple of stitches to find his commanding touch again and John Lukic benefiting from the sure approach of the men in
Norwich were caught on the
hop first by the speed of Paul Hart. He followed up Trevor Cherry’s well struck
twenty-five yard sixth minute shot after Brian Flynn’s short free-kick to loop
the ball home from an angle after Barnsley-born Roger
Hansbury had managed only to parry Trevor Cherry’s
shot. As Leeds pushed forward spurred on by Paul
Hart’s breakthrough Gary Hamson was checked in the Norwich penalty area but Leeds received no more than an indirect free-kick.
Yet when Trevor Cherry performed a similar foul further up the field on Steve
Goble he received his second booking of the week. The incidents, however, could
not upset Leeds’ concentration and when Terry
Connor turned Brian Greenhoff’s aggressive lob
forward down the right, into a cutting low cross, there was Arthur Graham to
shunt the ball home from close in. The fifty-fifth minute fairly reflected the
difference between the two sides, a difference which continued to widen and
should have been finalised when Alex Sabella beat Tony Powell in the centre circle, to leave
himself with a lone charge on the Norwich goal in the sixty-ninth minute.
Kevin Bond managed to get across to him but the Argentinian
left the Norwich captain with a wiggle of the hips, only to see
Roger Hansbury make a fine close-in stop. “I was
disappointed it did not go in,” said Sabella, “but
pleased I was able to do something about it later.”
brink of a three goal lead, however, Leeds found themselves immediately at 2-1, Norwich switching straight downfield to
outnumber the Leeds defenders for the only time in the
match, Justin Fashanu hitting home a right wing
cross. “With the crowd behind them, and their tails up, suddenly we were in a
battle,” said Jimmy Adamson, But then there was Sabella.
He was settling down to the First Division game better by the minute, enjoying
showing his skills on the short-cropped grass, a lesson the Elland
Road’s groundsman might heed. There were six minutes
left and Leeds needed the breathing space of
another goal when Brian Greenhoff took a throw-in
deep on the right. Sabella beat one man with his turn
as he collected the ball, another on his run to the goal-line, yet another as
he cut in and a fourth with his low short cross. “I knew I had cut four of them
out of the game and then looked for a Leeds player,” he said. The player was the sure
footed Terry Connor, the knock in a formality. Alex Sabella
had arrived. However, Norwich had not had enough. They swept
straight downfield again and won a corner then with the help of Kevin Bond’s
flick on at the near post, Clive Woods headed a firm goal.
nothing but praise for the attitude of our players,” said Adamson. “Madeley played like he did ten years ago. Sabella’s run provided the match-winner with the kind of
magic you don’t get from English players, but Graham was my man-of-the-match,
he was tremendous. For us the season starts here, we are hoping that we can now
go from strength to strength.”
And Bill Mallinson commented:
Leeds boss Jimmy Adamson’s shake-up
brought the desired result in a five-goal thriller. The Manager overlooked five
of his Internationals. The experienced Paul Madeley
was back and brought a steadying influence to a previously shaky Leeds defence.
It was Madeley’s defensive partner Paul Hart who got United off to a confidence-boosting start with a goal after
only six minutes. Norwich goalkeeper Roger Hansbury could only parry a fierce low shot from Trevor
Cherry and Hart, following up, turned the ball home. Arthur Graham increased
the lead when he finished off a smart piece of right wing work by Terry Connor.
midfield man Alex Sabella enjoyed his best match so
far, but spoiled a good chance late on. A run from deep inside his own half
ended with his shot rebounding from the advancing Roger Hansbury.
Sabella made amends with a scintillating piece of
work in which he beat three Norwich defenders to lay on the opportunity
for Terry Connor to turn the ball home from close range. Norwich had opened their account in the
seventieth minute when Justin Fashanu, under close
challenge from Brian Greenhoff, forced the ball home
from close range. Their second came from Clive Woods, who headed home a Steve
Goble cross five minutes from the end.
Terry Connor gets United’s
photos below Courtesy of Mark Ledgard)
Paul Madeley shadows
Graham Paddon tries
to squeeze past Kevin Hird and Trevor Cherry
Leeds United 1980-81: Adamson’s Team
Row: Paul Madeley, Byron
Stevenson, Paul Hart, John Lukic, Tony Arins, Neil Firm,
Row: Gwyn Thomas, Gary Hamson, Terry Connor, Alex Sabella,
(Manager), Alan Curtis, Eddie Gray, Martin
Dickinson, Wayne Entwhistle.
Row: Arthur Graham, Kevin Hird,
Jeff Chandler, Trevor Cherry, Brian Flynn,
Carl Harris, Peter Hampton, Marshall Burke.
Paul Hart, Arthur Graham and Terry Connor
scored the three Leeds goals
Trevor Cherry’s free-kick led to first
goal Alex Sabella
Paul Madeley played his first game of the
Justin Fashanu and
Clive Woods got the Norwich goals Roger
Hansbury was in goal Mark
Barham was the substitute
John McDowell and Greg Downs were at full-back.
Kevin Bond and Tony Powell were in central defence. Strikers were Joe Royle
Peter Mendham, Graham Paddon and Steve Goble were
in midfield with Clive Woods