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TRANMERE ROVERS 2 V HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1

FA Cup Third Round, 27th January 1968

Despite being seventh from bottom in Division 3, Tranmere Rovers made then top flight Huddersfield Town look distinctly second best in the 3rd round FA Cup tie but owed the winning goal to a diminutive Welsh winger who could not even consider himself a first team regular. Graham Williams was in the second season at Prenton Park and had been in and out of the side but on this occasion wrote his name in lights just 4 minutes from the conclusion of a pulsating cup tie that had a crowd over 20,000 in a state of frenzy at times. Perhaps thinking of a replay at Leeds Road, Huddersfield were back-pedalling towards their own goal as Rovers drove forwards in waves, hoping to finish the job there and then. There seemed little imminent danger when Williams picked up the ball just inside the visitors half. With his head down he bustled passed two Huddersfield defenders, shaped to cross the ball but then swerved inside onto his less favoured right foot and cracked a venomous shot passed John Oldfield in the Town goal from fully yards range. ’The lads are always taking the mickey out of my right so I had to do something to shut them up’ said Williams at the time. The crowd went wild, and had every reason to do so, as Rovers had hardly relaxed their grip on the match from the 2nd minute when they deservedly took the lead through Kenny Beamish, who fired past Oldfield in the penalty area. 3minutes later, though, Huddersfield Town were level. A then 19 year old but nevertheless highly rated centre-forward by the name of Frank Worthington out jumped the centre-half Joe Pritchard to head home an inch perfect free-kick from Derek Parkin. ‘The sun was in my eyes! Said Joe. Cumbes had no chance. Surprisingly, the goal signalled the limit of Towns attacking ambitions. Having got back on terms they simply retreated back into their shells with schemer Colin Dobson – marked out by Dave Russell as the architect of most of towns moves – well policed by Johnny King. In the opening half hour Huddersfield had several close shaves. Twice last – ditched tackles halted George Yardley as he was about to score while Alan King had the ball whipped off his toe as he shaped to shoot. Apart from their goal Town’s only opportunities were a Worthington header that brought on a magnificent save from Cumbes and another chance which Dawson spurned. Indeed, poor Frank Laboured gamely on his own for of the match with most of his teammates seemly content to hang on for the draw that Williams deservedly denied them in the 86th minute. If Williams grabbed all the headlines, the contributions of Barrie Martin, Alan King, Joe Pritchard and George Yardley all deserved special mention. When news filtered through that Everton had won at Southport many of the players, including Ex-Blue Graham Williams, expressed the hope the draw would pair them together i the 4th round – but that, as faith would have it, would have to waite.

Tranmere Rovers: Cumbes, S. Storton, Martin, J. King, Pritchard, A. King, McNamee, Stevens, Yardley, Beamish, Williams.

Huddersfield Town: Oakfield, Parkin, Catlin, Nickolson, Mielczarek, Hellawell, Dobson, Worthington, McGill, Hill .

Referee: W. Hanley (Cannock)

Attendance:20,038

v Huddersfield 1968

BOOKMARK AND BACKGROUND

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MOTTO: UBI FIDES IBI LUX ET ROBUR which means "Where there is faith, there is light and strength."

Designed by Ned O'Toole, Paul Harmon and Oisín Ronan.
Special thanks to Tranmere Rovers Football club for the information.
Also to Keith Taberer, Des Ferguson, Joanne Duggan for supplying some of the photos.