BY STEVE MITCHELL

It was FA Cup quarter-finals day in England and after the four ties that took place this afternoon, we only know the identity of one of the semi-finalists.

DALGLISH GOAL SENDS LIVERPOOL INTO THE LAST FOUR & KNOCKS THE HOLDERS OUT

Surely a contender for player of the year, Kenny Dalglish’s second-half goal ensured Liverpool’s place in the FA Cup semi-finals at the expense of holders Ipswich Town. The Scotland international once again made the difference, in a cagey tie which always looked as though it would be settled by a solitary goal.

Beaten finalists when they were chasing an historic treble in two years ago, Bob Paisley’s side now have a real chance of claiming the first double in English football since Tottenham Hotspur back in 1961.

 

THOMAS RESCUES UNITED AT THE LANE:

The game of the weekend was at White Hart Lane where two FA Cup heavyweights clashed in the quarter-finals of this season’s competition.

Tottenham Hotspur hasn’t been in an FA Cup Final since they last won the competition back in 1967, whereas this afternoon’s opponents, Manchester United, lifted the trophy two years ago.

Fans were queuing to get into the ground from around lunchtime, many of them making the trip from the North-West.

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When the action got under way, it was the home side that made the early running and they were almost ahead in the opening minutes, when United keeper Gary Bailey fumbled a cross which was turned in by Spurs striker Chris Jones.

To his amazement however, referee Keith Hackett disallowed the goal for an alleged infringement, but replays showed that the youngster had misjudged the flight of the ball in the stiff wind blowing around White Hart Lane; United were off the hook…for now.

Next to go close for Spurs was defender Don McAllister, as he latched on to a beautifully flighted free-kick from Glenn Hoddle, unfortunately for him and for Spurs, his header hit the crossbar.

The home side were in total control; Argentine midfielder Ossie Ardiles tested Bailey again with a glancing header, but he wouldn’t have to wait long to give his side the lead.

When Spurs won a free-kick mid-way inside the United half shortly before the half-hour mark, his Argentine colleague Ricky Villa sent a teasing ball into the United box and Ardiles was the first to react, beating Bailey to the ball to put the home side ahead.

The visitors were rattled; Northern Ireland midfielder Sammy Mcllroy lost his cool after another decision went against him and from the ensuing free-kick, Bailey pulled off a sensational save from Jones as United failed to clear their lines, although the linesman had his flag raised for an infringement.

United boss Dave Sexton couldn’t wait to get his team into the dressing-room after they failed to trouble the Spurs goal in the opening 45 minutes.

Whatever was said seemed to do the trick, as United came out second-half looking a totally different side. England winger Steve Coppell came close to levelling things when he found himself with only goalkeeper Mark Kendall to beat, but he fluffed his lines at the crucial moment.

Then Jimmy Greenhoff, in a rich vein of form at the moment, flashed a shot into the side-netting. Coppell then went close again, but his header was tipped behind by Kendall who was suddenly the busier of the two goalkeepers.

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Tottenham’s reprieve lasted just a few more seconds as from the resulting corner, Welshman Micky Thomas crashed the ball home to level the contest; his first goal for Manchester United.

John Pratt ensured Bailey was still concentrating when his long range effort was easily gathered by the young man from South Africa.

Spurs skipper Steve Perryman then almost gifted United the lead when his optimistic back pass fell into the path of Coppell, but he was forced wide by Kendall and could only centre to a goalmouth void of United team-mates.

Then came Tottenham’s best move of the second-half when substitute Peter Taylor combined with Ardiles, but the Englishman’s shot flashed just wide of Bailey’s right-hand post.

In what was turning into a fantastic football match, Mcllroy went on a marauding run towards the Spurs penalty area, but as the ball fell at the feet of Ashley Grimes, his left-foot effort was blocked by Kendall.

When United are in this kind of form they are an absolute joy to watch and one wonders why Sexton has spent most of the season trying to move them away from this style of attacking play.

His team could have won it at the death, but Mcllroy saw his shot cleared off the line by Terry Naylor before Grimes flashed hopelessly wide.

A wonderful game finished 1-1 and the two will be back at Old Trafford on Wednesday for the replay.

 

SHREWSBURY TAKE WOLVES TO A QUARTER-FINAL REPLAY:

On a Molineux pitch that would have suited the Second Division side, Shrewsbury Town held Wolves to a 1-1 draw to keep their cup dreams alive.

Graham Turner’s men have been the talk of the competition this season, having already disposed of Manchester City in round four.

Special mention has to go to Shrews keeper Bobby Wardle, who pulled off a string of fine saves, two in particular, from Wolves midfielder Steve Daley.

The visitors also had their chances and the hero from the win against City, Paul Maguire, almost gave his side the lead but was foiled by Wolves keeper Paul Bradshaw.

Kenny Hibbitt was next to try his luck for the home side, but his shot flashed wide with Wolves players still protesting to referee Clive Thomas, that they should have been awarded a penalty in the build-up.

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In the second-half Shrewsbury sensed another giant-killing and striker Steve Biggins thought he’d broken the deadlock, only to see his effort cleared off the line by Geoff Palmer.

Wolves striker Billy Rafferty then had his head in his hands as Wardle pulled off another great save, then it was the turn of the visitors once again, as player-manager Turner’s overhead kick was saved by Bradshaw.

Then, on 34 minutes, the breakthrough came courtesy of Rafferty, whose shot gave Wardle no chance. Had that now put paid to Shrewsbury’s FA Cup hopes? Not likely, because with less than five minutes on the clock, Maguire was brought down in the penalty area by Peter Daniel; Ian Atkins making no mistake from the spot-kick to earn the visitors a deserved replay on Tuesday at Gay Meadow.

 

WEST BROM & SOUTHAMPTON TO MEET AGAIN IN FIFTH-ROUND REPLAY:

After playing in front of 95,000 fans in Belgrade this week, West Bromwich Albion were back on familiar ground as they hosted Southampton in a delayed fifth-round FA Cup tie at The Hawthorns.

Ally Brown got the home side’s goal but Phil Boyer’s strike for The Saints ensured a replay at The Dell on Monday to decide who will meet Arsenal in the quarter-finals.

FIRST DIVISION ROUND-UP:

Speaking of The Gunners, they are back in the hunt for European places next season after a 2-0 home win over Bristol City at Highbury. First-half goals from Graham Rix and Frank Stapleton moved the North London side into third place in the table.

Leeds United move into fourth after a narrow 1-0 win against Derby at The Baseball Ground. John Hawley’s second-half strike sealing the contest.

Everton failed to take advantage of Liverpool’s cup commitments after being held 1-1 at Goodison Park by Nottingham Forest. George Telfer was the Toffees goalscorer this afternoon with Colin Barrett replying for the champions.

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Down at the bottom, Chelsea were beaten 2-0 by Norwich City at Carrow Road thanks to goals from Justin Fashanu and Martin Peters, whilst Birmingham City were held to a goalless draw by Coventry.

Finally, Middlesbrough ended Aston Villa’s recent good run with a 2-0 win at Ayresome Park, Mark Proctor and Micky Burns the goalscorers.

RESULTS:

FA CUP FIFTH ROUND:

W.B.A 1-1 Southampton (Brown A; Boyer)

 

SIXTH ROUND:

Ipswich Town 0-1 Liverpool (Dalglish)

Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester United (Ardiles; Thomas)

Wolves 1-1 Shrewsbury Town (Rafferty; Atkins pen) (FULL MATCH PROGRAMME BELOW)

 

FIRST DIVISION:

Arsenal 2-0 Bristol City (Rix, Stapleton)

Birmingham City 0-0 Coventry City

Derby County 0-1 Leeds United (Hawley)

Everton 1-1 Nottingham Forest (Telfer; Barrett) (FULL MATCH PROGRAMME BELOW)

Middlesbrough 2-0 Aston Villa (Proctor, Burns)

Norwich City 2-0 Chelsea (Fashanu, Peters)

League Division One table after close of play on 10 March 1979

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Liverpool 27 19 5 3 58 10 48 43
2 Everton 30 15 11 4 42 26 16 41
3 Arsenal 29 15 8 6 47 25 22 38
4 Leeds United 30 14 10 6 54 35 19 38
5 West Bromwich Albion 25 15 6 4 52 25 27 36
6 Nottingham Forest 25 10 13 2 29 17 12 33
7 Manchester United 27 12 7 8 40 43 -3 31
8 Aston Villa 26 9 11 6 32 23 9 29
9 Southampton 28 10 9 9 34 32 2 29
10 Norwich City 29 6 17 6 40 43 -3 29
11 Coventry City 29 10 9 10 34 46 -12 29
12 Tottenham Hotspur 28 10 9 9 31 43 -12 29
13 Bristol City 31 10 8 13 35 39 -4 28
14 Ipswich Town 28 11 5 12 36 35 1 27
15 Manchester City 28 8 10 10 40 36 4 26
16 Middlesbrough 28 8 6 14 38 39 -1 22
17 Derby County 28 8 6 14 29 48 -19 22
18 Bolton Wanderers 26 7 6 13 32 47 -15 20
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 28 8 4 16 26 49 -23 20
20 Queens Park Rangers 29 4 10 15 26 45 -19 18
21 Chelsea 28 4 7 17 29 58 -29 15
22 Birmingham City 29 4 5 20 25 45 -20 13

UPCOMING FIXTURES:

MONDAY MARCH 12

FA CUP FIFTH-ROUND REPLAY

Southampton v W.B.A

TUESDAY MARCH 13:

FA CUP QUARTER-FINAL REPLAY:

Shrewsbury Town v Wolves

FIRST DIVISION:

Ipswich Town v Coventry City

Liverpool v Everton

Middlesbrough v Derby County

WEDNESDAY MARCH 13:

FA CUP QUARTER-FIANL REPLAY:

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur

FIRST DIVISION:

Nottingham Forest v Norwich City

W.B.A v Chelsea

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

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