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Halcyon Days 
   Part III

1980-81 Season

The lads, still reeling from their meagre single-point haul from the first two games, face a trip to "unfashionable" Bolton. This is not a trip to the elegant curves of the Reebok Stadium. This is a trip to Burnden Park. A place where the locals tear bits of terracing off with their teeth and then hurl them, with great intent to endanger life. Just what was needed to blow the early season cobwebs away.

Bolton (a) Sat Aug 23rd 1980

Brian Kidd, yes Fergy's former lanky lap-dog, bags himself a dubious hat-trick as we tumble to the foot of the table. The first goal deflects off Billy Rafferty's arse after a "technical error" by Kevin Carr. Another of Kidd's goals is an on-the-line tap-in that stole the glory from one of his colleagues. Once a tosser, always a tosser.

Diary entry

"Then did some beer mats [your guess is as good as mine, here...]. Then after that Newcastle played Bolton 0-1, 0-2 H.T. 0-3, 0-4. We are very bottom of div. 2. Had scran."

Journal Merit Marks: Carr 7, Kelly 6, Davies 6, Shoulder 7, Boam 5, Barton 5, Rafferty 6, Shinton 5, Clarke 5, Wharton 6, Koenen 5. Sub: Cartwright 6.

The only player getting a regular touch of the ball gains a clear advantage at the top, while David Barton maintains his early season form.

Player Ave
Carr 7.00
Wharton 6.67
Shoulder 6.50
Davies 6.33
Rafferty 6.33
Kelly 6.33
Cartwright 6.00
Carney 6.00
Shinton 5.67
Koenen 5.67
Boam 5.33
Clarke 5.33
Barton 5.00

Next up is another B from Lancashire. This time it's the boys from Gigg Lane in the Second Round of the League Cup. Jim Iley's side includes Pat Howard who is standing next to Neville Southall on the team photo.

Bury (h) Wed Aug 27th 1980 League Cup 2nd Rnd 1st Leg

80-08-27-bury-h-f.jpg (303335 bytes)David Hogg is once again in fine form in his programme column. He bemoans the injuries to Mick Martin and John Brownlie, proclaiming, "United needed those two injuries like Jimmy Carter needed Teddy Kennedy." He also informs us that a couple of parachuters wanted to drop in before a game. One "pleasant foreign-sounding gentlemen" asked for a grid reference as he doesn't know Scotland too well. Strangely, I don't think he ever made it.

Wharton, Shinton and Clarke get the boot for this one. They are replaced by Terry Hibbitt, Gary Nicholson and Phil Leaver.

Such was the quality of the game, my match analysis had to be continued on another page:

Diary entry

"Went to match. 1-0 Rafferty, superb goal (see back for rest). It went 1-0 superb 25 yard shot from Rafferty. Then 1-1. Then after H.T. Rafferty turned superbly in the area got pulled - penalty. Shoulder put it in 2-1. Then 2-2 - header. Then 3-2, Rafferty again."

Journal Merit Marks: Carr 6, Kelly 6, Davies 6, Shoulder 7, Boam 6, Barton 6, Rafferty 8, Hibbitt 7, Leaver 6, Nicholson 7, Koenen 8. Sub: Cartwright 6.

The two "new" boys shine.

Player Ave
Hibbitt 7.00
Nicholson 7.00
Carr 6.75
Rafferty 6.75
Wharton 6.67
Shoulder 6.67
Davies 6.25
Kelly 6.25
Koenen 6.25
Cartwright 6.00
Carney 6.00
Leaver 6.00
Shinton 5.67
Boam 5.50
Clarke 5.33
Barton 5.33

Next time - McGarry out, League success, Cup demise.

Niall MacKenzie

Halcyon Days

Page last updated 25 June, 2009