Wembley – Saturday 1st May

1976 FA Cup Final

Southampton 1 (Stokes) Manchester United 0

Southampton : Turner, Rodrigues, Peach, Holmes, Blyth, Steele, Gilchrist, Channon, Osgood, McCalliog, Stokes

Manchester United : Stepney, Forsyth, Houston, Daly, Greenhoff B, Buchan, Coppell, McIlroy, Pearson, Macari, Hill (McCreery)

Southampton, the Second Division underdogs, beat Manchester United, who finished the season third in the First Division, with an eighty?third minute goal by outside?left Bobby Stokes.

From the beginning Manchester United played fast, clever football with neat movements sometimes involving six players as the ball was manoeuvred from defence to attack. Southampton, on the other hand, possessed few skilled ball players and relied on long passes up to their twin strike force of Channon and Osgood.

Pearson and Daly missed two golden opportunities to score in the first fifteen minutes, and then Turner brilliantly caught the ball as Hill attempted to lob it over him and denied United what might well have been the vital goal of the whole match.

That save inspired Southampton and the underdogs began to function with increasing conviction. Determined defence kept out United’s attacks and Channon then showed his England form as he dashed through the centre and forced Stepney to streak out of his goal to bravely smother his close?range shot.

Manchester United had dreadful luck when Macari headed on Coppell’s corner and Mcliroy headed against the top of a post. Then, with seven minutes to go, Stokes ran on to McCalliog’s gem of a through?pass and shot across Stepney into the far corner. Stokes may have been offside, but the TV playback suggested that he wasn’t.

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