|Saints V Anderlecht 1977 Style|
Fri 13th Jul 2012 13:01
A wind of change was blowing through the UK as Punk Rock emerged but Saints were going all conntinental as they met Anderlecht in the Cup Winners Cup.
Saints had fallen to a 2-0 defeat in the away leg of the Cup Winners Cup quarter final in March 1977, although years later this result would be called into quiestion by many, Saints had had a Channon goal disallowed for what looked like a very dubious call from the linesman, rumours persisted about bribery of officlals around this time, especially as many years later an Anderlecht official admitted that these sort of things had gone on when Nottingham Forest had been knocked out of Europe by the Belgiums also with a perfectly good looking goal ruled out that would have seen them through.
But back then when Anderlecht arrived the only real matter was clawing back that two goal deficit, the 24,337 crowd included a decent number of visitors from Belgium who made plenty of noise and a coulourful spectacle with their Purple scarves etc and many Saints fans swapped colours, (I still have my Anderlecht scarf) and it was a red hot atmosphere at kick off
The Dell erupted in the 61st minutes when Mike Channon was brought down and David Peach converted the penalty, then with ten minutes to go, just when you thought it couldnt get any hotter Ted MacDougall brought the tie level on aggregate and the crowd bayed for blood, surely now there was only one team who were going to win it.
But football plays cruel tricks, Jim Steele who was playing his penultimate game for the club, let an innoculous looking through ball go under his foot and Van Der Elst latched on to it and ran through and finished it off, the away goal was crucial and with Saints now needing to score another two in the remaining seven minutes the atmosphere was deflated in a second and the game petered out to a tame conclusion when it could have been so much greater for Saints.