Tuesday, March 20, 2012

English Leagues the 70s: Sheffield Wednesday Arsenal FA Cup 1978 1979

06 January 1979
Hillsborough Stadium,

 The scene was now set for the highlight of the 20-year gap between the Championships of 1971 and 1989 - the hat-trick of Cup finals of 1978,1979 and 1980. The Gunners contrived to win the one they were expected to lose and to lose the two they were expected to win, but that is a typical example of what appearing at Wembley can do. The 1978 game was to be a 0-1 defeat by Ipswich, the 1979 game was to be the 'five-minute final' concluding in the 3-2 victory over Manchester United, and the 1980 final was to be the 0-1 defeat by Second Division West Ham. Arsenal became the first club to reach three successive Wembley FA Cup finals and only the third ever to achieve a hat-trick of finals. The 1978 FA Cup rounds were to see an impressive progression-five successive wins (Sheffield United, Wolves, Walsall, Wrexham and Orient) with 17 goals scored, seven from Macdonald who scored in every game except the final. That being said, it was not the toughest test a finalist has faced, and the Wembley confrontation was to be an unhappy experience. Brady was not fit and had to be substituted, Macdonald was to end with a third losers' medal and was never to have another chance - three days later he went into hospital for the first of many knee operations that ended his career at the age of 29. Roger Osborne scored the only goal for Ipswich to win the contest.

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