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Woods Wonder Strike Ends Deadlock
Written by clivebleedingthomas on Thursday, 7th May 2020 09:00

A sixth round FA Cup tie of greater length than most season's cup runs had begun almost three weeks earlier in front of the Portman Road record crowd of 38,010, a record that still stands.

David Johnson, Jonty, had come so close to winning the tie at the first attempt, but it ended goalless.

Subsequent replays at Elland Road and then at the neutral venue of Leicester City’s Filbert Street left the two sides undefeated but still waiting to see who would meet West Ham United in the semi-final.

Time was running out and so the third replay, again at Filbert Street, was played on a Thursday evening just 48 hours after the second. Only two goals had been scored in the three matches, which were watched by an aggregate attendance of 123,279.

Ipswich Town 3 Leeds United 2 FA Cup Sixth Round Third Replay Thursday 27th March 1975

The cost of travelling plus work constraints contributed to the tie’s smallest attendance of 19,510 at Filbert Street. Perhaps some people had grown tired with watching the same two teams.

I count myself fortunate to have been able to get to this match, I had missed the other two replays; it produced a moment that I can still visualise as if it was yesterday.

Town got off to a dream start after only five minutes. Mick Mills crossed from the left, Norman Hunter blocked Clive Woods’s shot which rebounded to Trevor Whymark, who buried the ball in the netting with a fierce right-foot drive.

Leeds came back and their pressure was rewarded in the 32nd minute. Billy Bremner’s freekick was played short to the right where Eddie Gray and Paul Reaney played a one-two resulting in Reaney crossing for Alan Clarke to score at the near post.

Problems were piling up for Town when David Johnson left the field in the 35th minute with a hamstring injury that had been troubling him since the opening five minutes, Roger Osborne replacing him.

The sides were level at half-time, but within five minutes of restarting the Town had regained their lead, a slice of luck playing its part.

Allan Hunter’s clearance of a Mick Mills freekick went straight to Colin Viljoen positioned just outside the penalty area. The South African’s shot deflected off Bryan Hamilton’s heel wrong-footing keeper Paul Stewart.

The match flowed from end-to-end and in the 72nd minute the two teams were once again level. Town’s diminutive keeper Laurie Sivell, under great pressure, punched the ball out directly to Johnny Giles who headed it back into the net. Sivell appeared to be impeded in what was a crowded six yard area, Clarke seeming to hold him back.

In the 81st minute, six hours and 49 minutes into the tie, came the moment that I, along with quite a few people I have spoken to about it, can remember very clearly.

I was standing on the terrace on the Main Stand side of the ground, the Town were attacking the left hand goal. George Burley passed to Clive Woods, who stepped inside Giles on the edge of the penalty area. From the moment he struck it with his right foot those of us standing around me could see it curling from outside the goal inwards past Stewart and into the net.

Town fans, along with the Leicester fans who had sided with us against the ever-unpopular Leeds team, were elated. So were the Town players who continued to mob Woods well after his wonder finish.

We weathered the stormy 10 minutes remaining to book our place in our club’s first ever FA Cup semi-final, where Clive Thomas had his influence upon our hopes.

Teams: Town: Sivell, Burley, Mills,Talbot, Hunter, Wark, Hamilton, Viljoen, Johnson (Osborne 35), Whymark, Woods.

Leeds United: Stewart, Reaney (McKenzie 71), Gray, Bremner, Madeley, Hunter, Gray, Clarke, Jordan, Giles, Yorath.

Town fans had feared the worst when the announcement of the team revealed what they feared - Kevin Beattie had failed a fitness test and would be joining us as a spectator.

Drafted in to combat England international striker Allan Clarke was a 17-year-old making his senior debut: Johnny Wark. We soon realised that there was no need to worry, shepherded through the game by Allan Hunter, the young Scotsman did a great job on 'Sniffer' Clarke.

Speaking after the game Kevin Beattie was full of praise for his young deputy: “I’ve got no chance of getting back the way Warky played. He was brilliant."

John Wark was to play his last game for the Town over 20 years later.

Less than 48 hours after this match the Town took on Leicester City in a Division One match at Portman Road. Woods and Viljoen scored the goals in a 2-1 victory - not bad for a team, most of whom had played four matches in eight days.

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

kozmik added 11:34 - May 7
I was there too, slept in the back seat of a car I found open on the Tuesday night :)

Cakeman added 13:41 - May 7
I wasn’t there as I was still a Schoolboy then but remember listening to it live on the radio and going mad running up and down the kitchen area when the winning goal went in. My friend who was listening with me was far from impressed as he was a Leeds fan as most glory hunters were in those days!

Tufty added 18:47 - May 7
I remember Woodsy being interviewed about his winning goal.
He just said "a lil bit o maajic"

ESSEX75 added 19:58 - May 8
How do you remember all that detail from so long ago fantastic days though


fifeblue added 15:44 - May 9
I also have vivid memories of that evening.

ElephantintheRoom added 09:09 - May 10
This was the cup run where Town went toe to toe with the champions and cup holders and beat both of them... and then threw it away against West Ham. It was also the year that Beattie's career was effectively ended whilst barely into his 20's. There is a tendancy (which I share) to blame Clive Thomas for all of Town's woes... but the stark truth is that Town had three achille's heals. One was the small squad. One was Robson's blind spot with injury-prone talismans. And the other was In Town's goal. Sivell was just far too short to be a goalie at the highest level. IF we pretend that Beattie was still a force to be reckoned with in 1974-75 then this might well have been the very best teams of the Robson era... certainly the unforgettable matches, rose-tinted memories and crowds would suggest it.

Devontractor added 02:00 - May 13
Where you at Stamford Bridge in 1975 ElephantintheRoom? I was and Clive Thomas robbed Town of two perfectly good goals. (How the hell can a ref call offside from behind play whilst the lino -in line with play - called the goal good. Clive Thomas always had to be the centre of attention.

north_stand77 added 22:07 - May 18

I was lucky enough to go to the home game, then up to Elland Road ( got back at 5 am and had to bunk off work that day), then up to Filbert St on the Tuesday and the Thursday nights!!. Was 17/18 at the time and it was one big adventure. The feeling I got when Clive Woods scored was fantastic!

Then off to Stamford Bridge....remember crying on the way back to the car, we were SO cheated.

Devontractor added 12:01 - May 25
I was lucky enough to go to all four matches. That Clive Woods goal had Town fans as delerious as the players. However I've always thought that if the match had gone on for another 10 minutes, it would have been 3-3.
BTW, no excusing Clive Thomas. I was at Stamford Bridge and remember twice a referee behind play over-ruling a linesman in line with play on offside decisions. Fans were incredulous.

oldburian added 14:26 - Oct 16
Thomas would tell his linesmen that all they were required to do was tell when the ball went out of play, everything else he would decide. Every official in those days hated being his linesman, and yes I was there at Stamford Bridge. There always doubts about him, you can ask Brazil.
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