Date: Friday 4th January 1985.
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.
Cup Third Round.
United 0 Everton 2
United: Nil Everton: Sharp (pen), Sheedy.
21,211 (Receipts £72,000).
Leeds United: Hughes; Irwin, Hamson; Sellars, Linighan, Aspin; Wright,
Sheridan, McCluskey (Gavin), Lorimer,
Southall; Stevens (Atkins), Van der Hauwe; Ratcliffe, Mountfield, Reid;
Steven, A. Gray, Sharp, Bracewell, Sheedy.
Referee: Mr D.
Richardson (Great Harwood, Lancashire).
Everton were looking to escape being victims of a giant
killing act in January 1985. The Goodison Park team,
then managed by Howard Kendall, had been handed a Third Round visit to Elland Road where Eddie Gray’s
Second Division side were eager to cause an upset. To add to the excitement the
tie had been chosen for live screening on BBC Television and switched to Friday
night but United failed their screen test, were on the wrong end of a
controversial penalty decision, and never really looked like causing a major
shock. FA Cup holders Everton had the starring role while United were cast as
extras. United received a £15,000 fee to counterbalance any loss at the gate
because the game was being screened live and on a Friday night.
Eddie Gray saw his team battle hard, from start to finish in
a bold bid to overthrow the First Division high-flyers and though in the end
United had to settle for a 2-0 defeat they were not disgraced, but in the end
just could not match the class of the joint leaders of the First Division, who
grabbed their first victory at Elland Road in
thirty-three years. United began brightly with Neville Southall making a
brilliant save to prevent John Sheridan curling a free-kick from going into the
top corner and then hung on to a Peter Lorimer drive.
Everton gradually imposed their authority in midfield but needed a helping hand
to get them off the mark in the thirty-ninth minute.
The all-important first goal came when there seemed little
danger when former Hartlepool
central defender Andy Linighan was unfortunate enough
to give away a penalty for a handling offence as his hand made contact with a
bouncing ball in a tussle with Graeme Sharp as he shaped to clear. The incident
was spotted by a linesman and left referee David Richardson but to award a
penalty and Scottish striker Graeme Sharp stepped up to score from the spot.
There was little doubt that Linighan’s hand made
contact with the ball as he attempted to clear under challenge from Sharp but
there did not seem any real intention to handle. Acting skipper Peter Lorimer described the decision as ‘a joke’ while the United manager believed it to be ‘harsh’. The linesman,
however, thought otherwise and Everton were on the way to a victory.
United could make little headway in attack where Andy
Ritchie, who had done a good job since joining Leeds from Brighton and Hove
Albion in a swap with Terry Connor, was badly missed through injury. Young
winger Mark Gavin did inject a bit of life into the when he came on in place of
George McCluskey in the sixty-seventh minute, but it
was Everton that finished on a high note. Trevor Steven was brought down by
Neil Aspin on the edge of the area, five minutes from
time and Kevin Sheedy forced the ball in at the far
post after young goalkeeper Phil Hughes, under pressure from Andy Gray, had
pushed it on to the bar from the ensuing fiercely struck free-kick.
“Everton are one of England’s
top clubs so we knew it was always going to be difficult for us,” said Gray.
“Though we were not able to create many chances against them we made it
difficult for them too. They had precious few openings,” he added. There were
spells in the second half when United’s promising
young full-back Dennis Irwin was made to sweat by the skilful Sheedy but generally the defence had looked confident, if
hard pressed. One of the more pleasing aspects of the game had been the form of
Andy Linighan and the nineteen-year-old Neil Aspin at the heart of the defence. “We have seen recently
how well this partnership, is forming and the more they play together the
better they are going to get,” added the United manager.
Alternate Report (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Everton, the FA Cup-holders, produced a professional
performance worthy of their growing reputation to move safely into the Fourth
Round at Elland Road
in this experimental Friday Night Cup-tie at Elland Road at the expense of
Leeds United. Leeds, in front of a live TV audience,
showed a high level of commitment, but rarely unsettled their First Division
opponents in a match which produced enough passion to compensate for its lack
of goal-mouth incident. A penalty by Graeme Sharp, his twentieth goal of the
season, put Everton ahead after thirty-nine minutes and they needed to soak up
persistent Leeds pressure in the second half before
Kevin Sheedy settled the matter six minutes from
time. Increasing stress on the Leeds defence in the
opening half finally told on Andy Linighan, the tall
central defender, who beat Graeme Sharp to the header from Gary Stevens’ throw
but as the ball fell between them handled it in his anxiety to clear. Referee,
Mr David Richardson’s suspicions were confirmed by his linesman and, although
Phil Hughes guessed correctly, Graeme Sharp’s spot kick had the necessary
power. It took another set piece to give Everton their first win at Elland Road in thirty-four
years. Kevin Sheedy’s free-kick crashed against the
bar as it beat Phil Hughes for pace and, as Leeds failed
to clear, the Everton midfield man completed the job by hooking it in from six
The ageless Peter Lorimer, showing
a consistency of passing not always shown by his colleagues, was Leeds’
inspiration and his example rubbed off on John Sheridan, the Eire Youth
International midfield player, who rose to the occasion with a confident
display. The presence of the TV cameras did not unduly affect a fine Cup-tie
atmosphere as the holders attracted
21,211, Elland Road’s third highest of the
season. Leeds gave them most heart in the first minute
when George McCluskey fell on the edge of the area
under pressure from Gary Stevens and Neville Southall needed to respond quickly
to turn John Sheridan’s curling free-kick round the post. Lorimer,
gathering himself to shoot in typical fashion, brought Neville Southall to his
knees from twenty yards from the resulting corner but Leeds
could not maintain such pressure. Everton worked hard in midfield where Peter
Reid, Paul Bracewell and Trevor Steven, hungry for
possession, produced a succession of one-touch moves. The most incisive move of
all involved Gary Stevens and Andy Gray, both recalled after injury. The
full-back’s long cross from the right was headed back into the path of Paul Bracewell, whose low drive raced wide. Early on, Leeds
existed on scraps. Further forward, Tommy Wright’s pace was cancelled out by
equally swift Everton central defenders and McCluskey,
playing despite suspected tonsillitis never figured until his substitution
after sixty-eight minutes.
Both goalkeepers were largely inactive for the entire match.
Phil Hughes, deputising in the Leeds goal for the
injured David Harvey, settled his nerves after twenty-three minutes as he
caught a corner and his first save, purely routine, came eight minutes from
half-time as Paul Bracewell’s shot lacked conviction.
When Sharp’s penalty flew past him, he had hardly been in the game. Trevor
Steven’s whip-lash volley a minute later, fractionally too high, almost settled
the match there and then. Leeds approached the second
half with renewed vigour. From one rare Everton break Peter Reid fluffed a left
foot volley and Mark Gavin’s introduction on the left, allied with Peter Lorimer’s presence on the right, saw United begin to
provide crosses on either flank. Neville Southall, however, apart from his save
in the opening minute, remained uninvolved. When even Peter Lorimer’s
angled free-kick finished near the corner flag it was symptomatic of a tight
Cup-tie laden with effort but bereft of chances.
Eddie Gray, the Leeds Manager reacted, “Neither side created
many chances. The first goal came at a bad time and I don’t think Andy Linighan intentionally handled the ball. They are a good
side who work hard for each other all over the field and I thought we competed
well.” Everton Manager, Howard Kendall, said, “It was a very impressive
performance. We were never really in any trouble. The anxious moments were in
the first couple of minutes. Our goalkeeper made an incredible save from a
free-kick, which was vital because if we had gone one down it would have
changed the course of the game. There are some saves you think that he has no
right to pull off and that was one of them. He is a brilliant goalkeeper.”
Match Action: (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Leeds United 1984-85:
Back Row: Paul Wilkinson, Adrian Heath, Neville
Southall, Jim Arnold, Andy Gray, Peter Reid.
Middle Row: Coach, Derek Mountfield,
Graeme Sharp, Gary Stevens, Alan Harper, Ian Bishop,
Colin Harvey (Coach), Coach.
Front Row: Trevor Steven, John Bailey, Kevin Ratcliffe, Howard Kendall, Mark Higgins,
Kevin Sheedy, Kevin
Graeme Sharp and Kevin Sheedy
got the Everton goals
Denis Irwin was tested by Kevin Sheedy
conceded a penalty which Peter Lorimer thought was
harsh Neville Southall had claimed the goalkeeping duties
from Jim Arnold
Gary Stevens was right-back Pat Van Der Hauwe was left-back John Bailey was deputy
Derek Mountfield and
Kevin Ratcliffe were the
centre back pairing Graeme
Sharp and Andy Gray formed a potent strike force
Trevor Steven, Paul Bracewell, Peter Reid and
Kevin Sheedy were a very strong Everton midfield
Kevin Richardson and Alan Harper provided
strong midfield cover Adrian Heath and Paul Wilkinson were reliable