On This Day In History - 5th April
Sunday, 5th Apr 2020 10:26
For some reason there seem to be more games played on 5th April than most other days, here we take a look at them both significant and not so much.
In 1968/69 Queens Park Rangers would spend most of the season rock bottom of the league winning only 4 games, this is usually a story of how we were one of those wins, but for a change we weren't, we drew at Loftus Road and beat the already relegated side on this day at the Dell 3-2.
Mind you it hadn't looked like that with an hour gone, Rodney March on 7 minutes and Bridges on 50 mins had given them a 2-0 lead, but they were bottom for a reason and on 65 minutes their flaws showed and they left big Ron Davies unmarked to head home and 4 mins later he scored again with another header, on 78 minutes the turnaround was complete when an own goal gave Saints victory in front of 22,103.
In 1974/75 league leaders in Division Two Manchester United were the visitors, Saints made this game all ticket to avoid the chaos of the relegation clash a year earlier when over 10,000 visiting supporters had swamped the ground and got into the Milton Road early on meaning a lot of Saints fans were locked out when the gates were shut before kick off.
But with United's Red Army restricted in numbers and Saints fans staying away due to the poor performances on the field, the gate of 21,866 was some 9,000 down on the game a year earlier , they saw Mike Channon miss a penalty on 55 minutes and Lou Macari score the only goal with 13 minutes left, Manny Andruszewski hit the post but United held on to clinch promotion back to the top flight, little did most in the ground realise or even think it possible that the next time the two teams met it would be at Wembley.
10 of the 12 on duty at Wembley took part in this match Bobby Stokes was ironically on the bench for this one and Hugh Fisher played, the two who would play a year later who were missing were Peter Rodriguez and Paul Gilchrist.
1979/90 saw Saints head up to Arsenal on the Easter weekend, Alan Sunderland scored after 20 minutes and Phil Boyer on the hour for the 1-1 draw, Boyer would end up as the First Division's top scorer with 23 goals.
Brighton would have a strange season in 1982/83, they would reach the FA Cup Final and take Manchester United to a replay, but they would also be relegated rock bottom of the table, Saints had hauled themselves up to 6th in the table and were looking towards qualifying for Europe again after a terrible start, we should have won this midweek game, but the Seagulls held on for a 0-0 draw described as a setback by Lawrie McMenemy, there were still 7 games left, but we would win only 1 of them and take only 6 points to peter out to 12th place.
Fast forward to 1994/95 a trip to Anfield saw us go down 3-1, Richard Hall giving us a 13th minute lead before Robbie Fowler equalised on 28 minutes , in the second half Ian Rush repeated his two goal burst 9 years to the day after his White Hart Lane double in the FA Cup Semi final broke our hearts.
Photo: Action Images
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