Today the 18th January was mine, @colukas & my younger brothers 1st ever Boro cup tie & I count myself so lucky to follow the mighty Boro, with plenty of tears & gerrrrrriiiiiinnnnnn there along the way
50 years ago today 1st divison giants Man City came to Ayresome Park for an FAC 3rd round reply, we went in to the boysend, our dad standing infront in the bob end, seperated by a wall, stood with his mates wearing their donkey jackets
I remember vividly the snow around the touchline pushed up against the advertising boards, the orange ball, which was a new one for us, Man City in their iconic white strip
In the previous game, David Mills had put Boro infront in his 1st FAC game the previous Saturday, Franny Lee equalised (cheated) with 3 minutes remaining falling over his boot laces & awarded a penalty, which he greatly converted
Peter Gardner writing for The Manchester Evening News 17th January 1972 printed
Manchester City’s replay chances were wrapped up neatly by club skipper Tony Book when he told me “We’ll win at Ayresome because at present our away form is far more convincing than it is at Maine Road”
But the FA Cup tie that almost provided the surprise result of the third round is not as clear cut as that
Book is right to a point, but there is a fortune waiting for the man who can fathom the form of a side that wins at Arsenal, West Ham & Stoke in such a brilliant manner, yet trips with an almighty bump at home against the Notts Forests, Leicesters & Middlesbroughs of this world
The Francis Lee penalty 3 minutes from the end saved City in a match Boro could have won by three or four goals had they taken their chances
It is all very well saying City can never play as badly as this again. That argument holds little water, & who is to say Boro cannot lift their game even higher on home territory
That could be the reason team manager Malcolm Allison locked himself away for 90 minutes after a 1-1 draw that exposed outstanding City failings
To win at Ayresome Park tomorrow City must firstcome down from the clouds of a match they thought they had a devine right to win. The effort in attack at times looked good, but only Francis Lee & Mike Summerbee carried real conviction.
There must also be a slowing down of the frantic pace plus more skill & invention in the middle. Too often City have started with a heleter skelter sprint & lost heart when the quick goal did not come their way
And that’s where the North Easterners scored on Saturday. They kept running & working in a match City might well forget
Forget too, Nobby Stiles. Apart from his superb pass that enabled John Hickton to make the cross for David Mills’ 42nd minute goal. The fiery former Manchester United favourite became more of a psychological weapon.
City often forgot the game in favour of attempting to deal with Stiles. They must cut it out tomorrow, or again pay the penalty.
I take City to win the replay, if they add skill to a higher work rate & keep their cool in what will be an electrifying match
This shock exit for City at a snow covered Ayresome Park hinged on 3 controversial decisions by referee Dennis Corbett, the first just before half time, Alan Oakes put in a strong challenge on Derek Downing, but the Boro man managed to cross for David Mills to force the ball past Joe Corrigan for what he thought was the opening goal, however Mr Corbett had apparently already blew up for a free kick to Boro for what he considered obstruction by Oakes & so the sides went in goalless at half-time
In the 63rd minute a ball was played through the City defence to John Hickton who was stood in an offside position, the linesman’s flag was already up as the ball slightly deflected off Tony Towers on it’s travels, Hickton took the ball in his path & scored past Corrigan, referee Corbett awarded the goal but was ‘persuaded’ by a very vocal City side to speak to the linesman that had flagged before the ball had hit Towers. After a quick conflab the referee confirmed he would allow the goal & Middlesbrough were one up.
Five minutes later a flick on from Mike Summerbee seemed to deflect off Boro’s Stuart Boam & into Mike Doyle’s path, who appeared to be in an offside position, Doyley scored what he thought was the equaliser. The linesman had flagged & Mr Corbett disallowed the goal despite protests from the City players, after the game Mike Doyle said “As long as I live I will say I couldn’t be offside because the ball came off a defender & the full back was standing on the line.” Boro’s manager Stan Anderson was also quoted as saying “If what had happened to Manchester City had happened to us I would have been furious.”
The game was difficult for the players with a freezing blizzard blowing throughout the 90 minutes & a slippery top surface, Joe Mercer quipped “A mountain goat could not have played in that lot.”
In the first half there were a couple of near misses but nothing of note on target, Corrigan’s handling wasn’t great as Hickton challenged a cross & the ball fell just wide of the post, & shots by Lee & Towers both were slightly wide of the Boro goal
In the second half, apart from the controversy, the elements were causing City’s normal fluent passing play to be non-existent & all they could muster was a shot by Lee that Platt saved & two shots by Colin Bell which were wide of the mark
Just under 40k at the game seen the mighty Boro win the replay 1-0 courtesy of a Mr Middlesbrough John Hickton goal at the holgate end & another emphatic FAC run starts
We've had some cracking cup ties in my time against man City, along with this game the league cup & FAC 1991-92 season, the 5th round FAC win at Maine road when Juninho scored, though the 1976 semi final 2nd leg defeat is always a bad one bring up
Jim Platt - 1st FAC home game
John Craggs - 1st FAC home game
Stuey Boam - 1st FAC home match
Nobby Stiles - 1st FAC home match
David Mills - Scored v City on his FAC debut
John Hickton - Big John's 8th Boro FAC goal
Joe Laidlaw came on in the 55th minutes for Nobby Stiles
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