Thursday, March 22, 2012

English Leagues in the 70s : Chelsea Watford FA Cup 1969 1970

14 March 1970
White Hart Lane,

Attendance: 55,209
Referee: Gordon W Hill

 This was a great FA cup year. There was lower division interest until the latter stages, moments of sensational individual brilliance, and a classic, albeit brutal, final. Right from the first round, the shocks arrived. Even before the flawed genius of an ageing and alcoholic Jirnmy Greaves arrived, Brentwood showed dial they carried a threat. Their win over Reading was a major surprise, as Reading had half an eye on promotion to Division Two. The West Midlands Regional League doesn't sound terribly glamorous. The reality reflected that feeling; it was an outpost of non-league football, and one of its teams, Tamworth, had done well to even reach the first round. Their opponents, Torquay United, were in the Third Division but possessed no Cup pedigree, having only once ventured beyond the third round, and that had been in 1955. Despite taking the lead. Torquay remained true to form, losing 2-1 to goals from Tamworth's prolific forwards Graham Jessop, a clay-worker, and Ray Holmes, a car plant man. Gillingham showed how to take care of lesser teams in the next round, beating Tamworth 6-0 at a canter. Tamworth have never since made the draw for the Second Round. Pride of place in the third round went to Sheffield United, who hosted eventual Champions Everton. The Toffees boasted the midfield 'holy trinity' of Kendall, Harvey and Ball, who were sent cursing back to Goodison after a 2-1 defeat. The Blades' 'reward' was a tough trip to Derby, where the Rains gave Everton a lesson in professionalism. John O'Hare grabbed a couple in a 3-0 win.

 A Blackpool side good enough to win promotion (for one year) were also too good for Arsenal. After a creditable 1 -1 draw at Highbury, the Gunners were spiked 3-2. Having cleared Becher's Brook, Blackpool then fell at the water-jump,  Non-league Sutton United made it into the hat by winning their third match in the competition proper — all against other non-league teams. At last a prize draw — the mighty Leeds at home. Unfortunately for Sutton, Revie's machine was in good working order, Allan Clarke helping himself to four and Peter Lorimer to two in a 6-0 caning. As far as top flight opponents were concerned, Sutton were sent to Coventry for nearly twenty years until . . . read on. Second Division teams were having a good time. By the time the Cup was down to the last sixteen. Division Two had as many representatives as Division One. While all the lower division teams fell, four Second Division sides won through, but none of them drew each other. Swindon, after their League Cup heroics the previous year, were scoring for fun until they too were steamrollered by Leeds with two more for 'Sniffer' Clarke; Leeds were giving no quarter. Middlesbrough had seen off a poor West Ham in round three, and met Manchester United in the last eight. They fought tooth and nail, only going down 2-1 in a replay. This was a creditable effort considering the merciless way United had crushed the aspirations of Fourth Division Northampton in the previous round. You would have put your shirt on George Best's mind being elsewhere at the prospect of the County Ground in February. Maybe there was a desperately attractive blonde in the crowd who tempted George to turn on the style. Whatever the reason. Best showed his full repertoire in an amazing performance, scoring six in an 8-2 rout. It was Willie Morgan, one of the many shaggily-coiffured forwards to labour under the sobriquet of'the new George Best, who saw United through   with   the   winner   against Middlesbrough.

 Chelsea, in the main, had made light of some heavy opposition. Wins against Birmingham and Burnley — in a replay, after a faltering performance in a 2-2 draw at home — were despatched before a convincing 4-1 away win at Crystal Palace saw them into the last eight. More London opposition in near neighbours QPR stood in their way. Another four goals away from home was a convincing response from the Kings Road dandies, Peter Osgood continuing his score-in-every-round streak with a classy hat-trick. Only Watford of the Second Division sides prevailed. Bill Shankly ungraciously described them as the worst team ever to have beaten Liverpool. Beat them they did, all the same, with a Barry Endean header from a cross by the man of the match, the inspirational man with the film-star name, Ray Lugg. It wasn't a fluke, Liverpool were very poor. Chelsea got the luck of the draw. Watford's course was run. They were hammered out of sight at White Hart Lane; the 5-1 scoreline reflects the game. Chelsea later won the final...

Watford  Walker, Welbourne, Williams, Lugg, Lees, Walley, Scullion, Garbett, Endean, Packer, Owen (Garvey 65) Scorer Garbett 12 Manager Ken Furphy
Chelsea 1 Peter Bonetti, 2 David Webb, 3 Eddie McCreadie, 4 John Hollins, 5 John Dempsey, 6 Ron Harris, 7 Charlie Cooke, 8 Alan Hudson, 9 Peter Osgood, 10 Ian Hutchinson, 11 Peter Houseman Scorers Webb 3, Osgood 58, Houseman 73, Hutchinson 75, Houseman 79 Sub Not Used Hinton Manager Dave Sexton

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