|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.
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