FA CUP FIFTH ROUND MAKES HISTORY FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS:

The Football Association face a severe fixture backlog as the winter weather continues to decimate the domestic programme.

For the first time in history, an entire FA Cup round is wiped out due to the snow and ice covering the country and the only First Division game to beat the weather is at The Dell, where Southampton face Everton this afternoon.

MIDWEEK ROUND-UP:

So in light of this, let’s take a look back at what did manage to take place over the past week.

WREXHAM GIVE SPURS AN ALMIGHTY SCARE AT WHITE HART LANE:

Tottenham Hotspur were once again pushed to the limit in the FA Cup by Second Division Wrexham on Monday. The Welsh side earned a creditable 3-3 draw at White Hart Lane and must have been heartbroken that the replay, which was set for Thursday, had to be called off due to the weather.

Bobby Shinton and John Lyons, who scored a brace, were the heroes for Wrexham on the night with Spurs having to thank Glenn Hoddle, Chris Jones and an own-goal by the unfortunate John Roberts, for keeping their cup hopes alive.

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Spurs have already come close to shock elimination by non-league Altrincham and now they have another tricky tie to negotiate; once the snow melts.

GREENHOFF GOAL ENOUGH TO SINK FULHAM:

On the same night, Manchester United set up a fifth round tie against Colchester United after a second-half Jimmy Greenhoff goal finally saw off the challenge of Fulham. Having been held to a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage in the first meeting, the Red Devils struggled to overcome the Second Division side on a freezing cold night at Old Trafford.

Colchester fans must have been delighted with the result, but today’s mouth-watering clash at Layer Road has fallen victim to the weather and will now be played on February 20.

SAINTS MARCH ON AFTER NARROW WIN AGAINST PRESTON:

The other cup tie to beat the big freeze on Monday took place at Deepdale, as Southampton narrowly beat Preston North End thanks to a first-half goal from veteran midfielder Alan Ball. The Saints now have a home tie in the fifth round against the winners of the Leeds United vs. West Brom game.

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LIVERPOOL RETURN TO TOP SPOT AFTER CONTROVERSIAL WIN OVER BIRMINGHAM CITY:

Liverpool are back at the summit of the First Division after a hard fought 1-0 win over Birmingham City at Anfield on Tuesday.

In front of just over 35,000, a first-half goal from Graeme Souness ensured Bob Paisley’s men took both points and they still have games in hand, an ominous sign for the chasing pack.

It seemed as though the game would have to be called-off earlier in the day, but a pitch inspection around lunchtime gave the green-light for it to go ahead. Liverpool ground staff then spent a frantic afternoon clearing the snow from the pitch, to ensure a game of football could take place.

Despite their position at the foot of the table, Birmingham City were actually the last team to win at Anfield, but right from kick-off, the home side were always in control despite being far from at their best.

Souness’ winning goal was clouded in controversy however; with Blues boss Jim Smith claiming that the ball had actually been fisted into the net by Steve Heighway.

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“We made more chances than they did,” declared Smith afterwards, “We deserved to get a result. The ball was going straight towards our goalkeeper when Heighway pushed out a fist and deflected the ball onto the post and into the net.”

The Irish striker did admit that the ball had struck him, but not with his fist and certainly not intentionally.

10 days ago, the Reds were magnificent in seeing off title rivals West Brom, on Tuesday they fought against both the conditions and the opposition, who look almost certain to be relegated at the end of the season.

Liverpool boss Bob Paisley stated afterwards that, “It was impossible to play flowing football on that pitch,” before adding that, “It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t a good match to watch, but we’re glad we got the points.”

 

GUNNERS MOVE INTO SECOND AFTER DERBY WIN AT LOFTUS ROAD:

Arsenal have moved into second spot, albeit having played several more games than the teams around them.

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Tuesday night’s 2-1 win against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road, catapulted Terry Neill’s side above title contenders Everton and West Bromwich Albion. Goals from David Price and Liam Brady ensured the Gunners headed back across the capital with both points.

Don Shanks got Rangers’ consolation, but this result leaves them in 19th spot and just a point above the relegation zone.

 

RESULTS SERVICE & REARRANGED FIXTURE DATES:

MONDAY FEBRUARY 12:

FA CUP FOURTH-ROUND:

Preston North End 0-1 Southampton (Ball)

Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 Wrexham (Roberts o.g, Hoddle, Jones; Shinton Lyons 2, 1 pen)

FOURTH ROUND REPLAY:

Manchester United 1-0 Fulham (Greenhoff J)

MATCHES POSTPONED:

FA CUP FOURTH-ROUND:

Burnley v Sunderland

Leeds United v W.B.A

Oldham Athletic v Leicester City

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 13:

FIRST DIVISION:

Liverpool 1-0 Birmingham City (Souness)

Q.P.R 1-2 Arsenal (Shanks; Price, Brady)

League Division One table after close of play on 13 February 1979

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Liverpool 23 17 3 3 50 10 40 37
2 Arsenal 26 14 8 4 45 22 23 36
3 Everton 25 13 10 2 37 19 18 36
4 West Bromwich Albion 23 14 6 3 48 22 26 34
5 Leeds United 27 12 9 6 49 32 17 33
6 Nottingham Forest 22 9 11 2 25 15 10 29
7 Bristol City 27 10 8 9 34 31 3 28
8 Tottenham Hotspur 26 9 9 8 29 42 -13 27
9 Manchester United 24 10 6 8 35 41 -6 26
10 Coventry City 24 9 7 8 30 39 -9 25
11 Aston Villa 22 7 10 5 27 20 7 24
12 Norwich City 23 4 14 5 33 33 0 22
13 Ipswich Town 25 9 4 12 33 34 -1 22
14 Derby County 24 8 6 10 29 42 -13 22
15 Manchester City 25 6 9 10 33 33 0 21
16 Southampton 24 6 9 9 26 32 -6 21
17 Middlesbrough 24 6 6 12 32 35 -3 18
18 Bolton Wanderers 23 6 6 11 29 41 -12 18
19 Queens Park Rangers 25 4 10 11 24 37 -13 18
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 25 7 3 15 24 46 -22 17
21 Chelsea 24 4 6 14 27 51 -24 14
22 Birmingham City 25 2 4 19 21 43 -22 8

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 15:

MATCHES POSTPONED:

FA CUP FOURTH-ROUND REPLAY:

Wrexham v Tottenham Hotspur

UPCOMING FIXTURES:

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 17:

FIRST DIVISION:

Southampton v Everton

POSTPONED MATCHES:

FIRST DIVISION:

Aston Villa v Coventry City

Bristol City v Q.P.R

Leeds United v Bolton Wanderers

Liverpool v Norwich City

Tottenham Hotspur v W.B.A

Chelsea v Derby County

Manchester City v Birmingham City

FA CUP FIFTH ROUND:

POSTPONED MATCHES:

Aldershot v Shrewsbury Town

Colchester United v Manchester United

Ipswich Town v Bristol Rovers

Nottingham Forest v Arsenal

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 20:

FA CUP FIFTH-ROUND:

Aldershot v Shrewsbury

Colchester United v Manchester United

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 21:

FA CUP FOURTH-ROUND:

Burnley v Sunderland

FOURTH-ROUND REPLAY:

Wrexham v Tottenham Hotspur

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 22:

FA CUP FOURTH-ROUND REPLAY:

Wolves v Newcastle United

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 24:

FIRST DIVISION:

Arsenal v Wolves

Birmingham City v Tottenham Hotspur

Bolton Wanderers v Chelsea

Coventry City v Manchester City

Derby County v Liverpool

Everton v Ipswich Town

Manchester United v Aston Villa

Norwich City v Middlesbrough

Nottingham Forest v Bristol City

Q.P.R v Southampton

W.B.A v Leeds United

FOLLOW THE WHOLE 1978-79 SEASON IN THE ENGLISH FIRST DIVISION WITH STEVE MITCHELL HERE ON THE FOOTBALL PINK. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @barafundler

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