Argyle today stand just two steps away from Wembley after producing the
most amazing FA Cup triumph in the club’s 80-year history.
Plymouth supporters have waited a lifetime to see their team produce
just one giant-killing act on a First Division ground.
history was unfolding before their eyes and they could hardly believe
are not through to the quarter finals on a fluke. For the first time
ever, they figure in tomorrow’s draw - and they’re in the hat on
sheer soccer merit.
may have cut it fine struggling to dismiss Southend, Barking, Newport,
and Darlington but there was no disputing their clear-cut superiority
over the First Division stars in this memorable tie.
took Argyle less than 10 minutes to break down the class barrier at The
Hawthorns. By halftime, West Brom’s superior Football League status
was fading fast. Once Argyle scored ‘status’ was virtually
were the masters in every department. They assumed far more authority in
all facets of the game, and even disbelieving Albion fans would
reluctantly have to testify to that.
West Brom’s pre-match optimism, generated by the change of management
and the arrival of ‘miracle worker’ Johnny Giles, was shattered by
an Argyle side, battling superbly and refusing to be overawed by so many
international reputations both on and off the field.
John Hore stressed so much afterwards this was a real triumph for
teamwork, with every man playing a major role, not only to stop West
Brom, but also to work confidently on their own well-drilled strategy
and I mean everything went according to plan. From a composed start,
Argyle kept calmly building on the conviction that they could play it
around just as sweetly as any First Division club.
perhaps, for folk more used to seeing Plymouth Argyle struggling,
fitfully, to get their game together, week in, week out in the Third
this really happened and, for once. Hore’s green-shirted heroes didn’t
waste all their possession play.
got their shots in. too, and Tommy Tynan’s match-winner is worth a
hundred TV action replays this week.
fear that Argyle might regret not cashing in earlier on their positive
approach work evaporated in that one magical moment in the 58th minute.
Barron left his line to intercept a forward pass from Leigh Cooper just
outside his goal area. There seemed no risk for the former Argyle ‘keeper,
until Gordon Staniforth sprinted in to beat him to the ball and slant it
back across the box.
steaming in from outside the penalty area, collected the pass on his
chest and, despite the close attention of a defender, propelled a
first-time drive into the net.
or four more defenders blocked the route to goal but the ball sneaked in
past Barron’s right hand as he stood flat-footed trying to recover his
stadium erupted as Argyle fans hailed the goal. And they cheered the
whole team, too, because everyone had worked so hard to deserve such a
the Green Army of travelling fans must have been filled with
apprehension at the start when Giles and his newly-appointed management
team of Norman Hunter and Nobby Stiles paraded on the pitch to milk the
applause of an ecstatic Hawthorns welcome.
within minutes of the kick off, Giles had to watch grimly as his team
were pinned back on the defensive and, then worse, as West Brom showed
little idea of how to go forward.
Brom’s attack rarely got a look in. Smith stuck to dangerman Garry
Thompson like a leech. He quelled Thompson’s aerial menace by ensuring
he won the ball first - and he invariably succeeded.
cool and composed under pressure, blotted out twin striker Michael Perry
so effectively that the player was substituted seven minutes after the
Nisbet, clearly revelling in this one-sided contest on his return to The
Hawthorns, reduced Morley’s threat to a whimper by refusing to allow
the winger near the ball, let alone control it or start using his speed
Crudgington was troubled only twice in the first half and dealt
competently with a header and a stinging shot on the turn from Thompson.
midfield department battled heroically, challenging every Albion attempt
to get the ball moving in Plymouth’s direction. They never relented
with crunching tackles and 110 per cent commitment that was helped in
the physical exchanges by the affable, but firm refereeing of Durham’s
Peter Willis, who did all he could to keep the action flowing.
Giles said at half time had little effect on his team’s morale in the
second period, and Tynan’s early goal made matters even worse for
their mistake-prone defence.
almost succeeded with a blockbuster of a free kick that was deflected
only inches off target by a defender, and Albion kicked into touch, in
desperation, far more than an average Third Division side in trouble.
cry ‘Drink up thee zider’ echoed from the Argyle sections of the
ground as Albion’s defence rocked back on their heels like a bunch of
Saturday night revellers leaving a party.
this was Argyle’s party and everything was swinging their way.
Whitehead headed dangerously over Barron and his own crossbar to stop
Rogers meeting a penetrating cross from Tynan after a brilliantly-worked
move on the right by the rejuvenated striker.
legs tired visibly after so much physical effort, but their spirits
never flagged and they just kept on going forward, looking for a second
goal to wrap up this remarkable victory.
- Crudgington: Nisbet. Uzzell, Harrison, Smith, Cooper, Hodges,
Phillips, Tynan. Staniforth, Rogers. Sub: Rowe.
Brom - Barron: Whitehead, Statharn, Zondervan, McNaught, Bennett,
Jol, Thompson, Perry (Luke), MacKenzie, Morley.
Argyle - Tynan.
Mr. P. Willis (Durham)