BY STEVE MITCHELL
FOREST ROUND OFF FANTASTIC WEEK BY EQUALLING ENGLISH FOOTBALL RECORD
Itâ€™s been a great week for Nottingham Forest; on Wednesday, Brian Cloughâ€™s men dumped defending champions Liverpool out of the European Cup at the first-round stage and this afternoon at Villa Park, they equalled Leeds Unitedâ€™s record â€“ going 34 games unbeaten after a 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
After their mid-week exertions at Anfield, it was always going to be interesting to see how much it had taken out of the league champions and when they fell behind to a Tommy Craig penalty in the first-half, many Forest fans probably feared the worst.
They neednâ€™t have worried however, as after the break, the ever improving Garry Birtles laid on the perfect cross for Englandâ€™s Tony Woodcock to level the contest. Despite Cloughâ€™s sideâ€™s unbeaten start, too many drawn games have seen them fall behind pace-setters Liverpool.
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Just as it seemed as though they were about to pick up yet another point, Scottish winger John Robertson set off on one of his trademark mazy runs down the left, after playing the ball inside to Ian Bowyer, the ball somehow found itself back at the feet of Robertson via Archie Gemmill and when he slipped a pass again into the path of Bowyer, Villa skipper Dennis Mortimer was adjudged to have brought his opponent down inside the penalty area.
Television replays clearly showed that the challenge was outside the box but despite Villa playersâ€™ vehement protests, Robertson himself stepped up to slot home the spot-kick and give his side a share of an English football record.
NO EURO HANGOVER FOR LIVERPOOL AS CASE HITS HAT-TRICK AGAINST BOLTON
Anyone who thought that Liverpoolâ€™s exit from European competition in mid-week would have a huge significance on their league form were made to think again as the Merseysiders easily despatched Bolton Wanderers at a wet and windy Anfield.
The game was a personal triumph for midfielder Jimmy Case who bagged all three of his sidesâ€™ goals in another scintillating display of attacking football. The slick surface suited the home sideâ€™s game as they dominated their opponents from start to finish.
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Under the stewardship of Kenny Dalglish in the absence of Emlyn Hughes, it took the Reds just 13 minutes to get on the scoresheet as Case got his first of the afternoon in front of the Kop. Wave after wave of Liverpool attacks, in what looked like a continuation of their mid-week tussle against Nottingham Forest, saw them double their lead six minutes from half-time, Case on target once again.
It looked like damage limitation for Bolton in the second-half but just 10 minutes after the interval, Case netted once again to get his and his sides third of the afternoon. As news came through from Ashton Gate that city rivals Everton had been held to a draw, Bob Paisleyâ€™s side now sit two points clear at the top of the table.
WEEK 8 ROUND-UP:
A brace from Bob Latchford wasnâ€™t enough for Everton as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Bristol City. The Robins are now up into fifth spot as goals from Gerry Gow and veteran Norman Hunter gave the hosts a share of the points.
West Bromwich Albion are just four points behind the leaders after they won 3-1 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this afternoon. Striker Cyrille Regis, skipper John Wile and Tony Brown got the goals for the Baggies; central defender Steve Wicks grabbed Chelseaâ€™s consolation.
A second-half Joe Jordan goal saw Manchester United claim derby day victory over City at Old Trafford. In front of the dayâ€™s biggest crowd of nearly 56,000, the big Scotsman became the hero of the Stretford End as Dave Sextonâ€™s side move into seventh.
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Coventry City remain in contention in fourth spot after a 1-1 draw against Spurs at White Hart Lane. Striker Mick Ferguson was on target for the Sky Blues, young England star Glenn Hoddle scoring for the hosts. A five-goal thriller at Ayresome Park saw Arsenal beat Middlesbrough 3-2. David Oâ€™Leary, David Price and Steve Walford got the Gunnersâ€™ goals; Billy Ashcroft and David Mills replying for Boro.
Leeds United are back to winning ways after a comprehensive 3-0 victory over bottom club Birmingham City. Welshman Brian Flynn put the hosts in front in the first-half, a Frank Gray penalty and a Ray Hankin goal after the break, saw the West Yorkshire side run out comfortable winners.
Norwich City enjoyed a fruitful afternoon at Carrow Road as they beat Derby County 3-0. John Ryan, Kevin Reeves and David Robb inflicted the damage on the Rams. Ipswich Town have had an inconsistent start to the new campaign but Bobby Robsonâ€™s men bagged the points at The Dell this afternoon as they beat Southampton 2-1. Striker Paul Mariner got both goals for the Tractor Boys, Ted MacDougall replying for The Saints.
Finally, Wolves got a much needed win at Molineux against Queens Park Rangers. A Peter Daniel penalty in the second-half proved to be the decisive moment of the contest.
FIRST DIVISION RESULTS â€“ SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30th
Aston Villa 1-2 Nottingham Forest (Craig pen; Woodcock, Robertson pen)
Bristol City 2-2 Everton (Gow, Hunter; Latchford 2) (Download full match programme below)
Chelsea 1-3 W.B.A. (Wicks; Regis, Wile, Brown T)
Leeds United 3-0 Birmingham City (Flynn, Gray. F pen, Hankin)
Liverpool 3-0 Bolton Wanderers (Case 3)
Manchester United 1-0 Manchester City (Jordan)
Middlesbrough 2-3 Arsenal (Ashcroft, Mills; Oâ€™Leary, Price, Walford)
Norwich City 3-0 Derby County (Ryan, Reeves, Robb)
Southampton 1-2 Ipswich Town (MacDougall; Mariner 2)
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Coventry City (Hoddle; Ferguson)
Wolves 1-0 Q.P.R. (Daniel pen)
UPCOMING FIXTURES â€“ SATURDAY 7TH OCTOBER
Arsenal v Aston Villa
Birmingham City v Manchester City
Bolton Wanderers v Leeds United
Coventry City v Ipswich Town
Derby County v Chelsea
Everton v Southampton
Manchester United v Middlesbrough
Norwich City v Liverpool
Nottingham Forest v Wolves
Q.P.R. v Bristol City
W.B.A. v Tottenham Hotspur
FOLLOW THE WHOLE 1978-79 SEASON IN THE ENGLISH FIRST DIVISION WITH STEVE MITCHELL HERE ON THE FOOTBALL PINK. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @barafundler
PROGRAMMES COURTESY OF MILES MCCLAGAN https://www.flickr.com/photos/114058793@N05/sets