Date: Saturday 19th January 1980.
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.
United 1 Nottingham Forest 2
United: Connor. Nottingham Forest:
Leeds United: Lukic;
Cherry, Stevenson; Hamson, Greenhoff,
Madeley; E. Gray, Hird,
Connor, Entwistle (Graham), Hampton.
Anderson, F. Gray; McGovern, Lloyd, Needham;
Francis, George, Birtles, Bowles, Robertson.
Referee: K. Redfearn (Whitley
Leeds United found goals hard to come by in
1979-80, scoring only thirty-six times in their forty-two match Division One
campaign. It was the season that Kevin Hird finished as
top scorer with just eight goals, and three of those were from the penalty
spot. Jimmy Adamson’s side went into their home game with Nottingham Forest
having won their two previous league games,
predictably though, by 1-0 score-lines, but a lack of firepower was again in
evidence as Forest beat them 2-1.
Forest gave a debut to Charlie George, the £500,000
rated Southampton striker, signed a couple of days before, on
loan with a view to a permanent transfer, but it was United
who opened the scoring with a goal from promising young striker Terry Connor.
The seventeen-year-old hammered a low shot past Peter Shilton
after a quarter of an hour, but his sixth goal in eleven outings since he had
forced his way into the team two months earlier, was not sufficient to bring
United victory over Forest.
United, who had grabbed a surprise 1-0 victory
at Arsenal in their previous fixture, courtesy of another goal from Connor,
managed to pin Forest back in defence for long spells
but they suffered a blow seconds before half-time, when Scottish international
winger John Robertson broke through from midfield to supply a perfect cross
from which Garry Birtles headed the equalizer. Forest had cut it so fine that the referee blew for half-time only a couple of
seconds after the ball had entered the United net.
Losing a goal just before half-time is
considered, psychologically, to be a bad time but United restarted confidently
and Gary Hamson and Brian Greenhoff
kept Peter Shilton on his toes with a couple of
blistering on-target, long range efforts. But Forest showed the stuff champions are made of when, against the run of play,
they snatched an eighty-second minute winner, Trevor Francis netting after United’s defence had failed to
clear John Robertson’s corner.
“We have a team that, to a certain extent, is
still learning, and as yet we do not have the qualities to dominate a game
against the better and stronger First Division teams. But we gave Shilton a lot to do,” Adamson said and regarding the Forest winner added, “When the corner was taken John Lukic
started to come for the ball and then hesitated. I thought that, had it been at
the other end, Shilton would have picked it up. But
John is just a kid and he’ll learn from his mistakes. Having said that, Lukic did not have many saves to make and, possibly, we
would have beaten most sides in the First Division with our performance.”
Terry Connor fires home the Leeds goal. (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Terry Connor gets in the shot which brought the
Arthur Graham goes close. (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Trevor Francis scores Forest’s second goal
Peter Shilton saves
from Gary Hamson
Gary Birtles and
Trevor Francis scored the Forest goals Terry Connor scored for Leeds Kevin Hird on
Former United players Frank Gray and John
McGovern played for Forest John Robertson was a danger and his corner
gave John Lukic
the winning goal
Gary Hamson kept Peter Shilton
on his toes
Charlie George was on loan Wayne
Entwistle was substituted