Looking Back At: 1974/75 (Part 1)

September

The third meeting with Rotherham in the League Cup now took place at Millmoor, but at two goals down with 20 minutes to play City could only pull one back through another Sam Ellis penalty. A blow was an ankle injury suffered by Peter Graham which meant he had to be substituted by the fit again Alan Harding at half time – and it was Harding who replaced Graham in the starting line-up for the next game, giving a fine display as a striker back at Millmoor yet again for the fourth meeting between the two sides in 16 days. A 2-2 draw was an acceptable improvement on the League Cup defeat especially as it was the first point dropped by Rotherham who were top of the early season league table. Trailing twice in the match City’s second equaliser was scored by Dave Smith to put him top of the scoring charts with three.

The win over Exeter had put City up to fifth in the league table, but despite the good point gained at Rotherham a poor run of results now sent them down to below mid-table. The 2-2 score-line at Rotherham was repeated, but this time at home to bottom-four side Northampton Town. Peter Graham was fit to return to the side with Dave Smith the player surprisingly left out, perhaps due to his having put in a transfer request for the second time in a year, following ‘a long discussion’ with his manager. In the event, it was Smith, replacing Harding at half time who created Dennis Booth’s equaliser to an early penalty scored by future England full back Phil Neal. City’s second equaliser to another goal from Neal came from John Ward with his third goal in three games.

Instigated by Graham Taylor, the visit of Southport to Sincil Bank the following Wednesday night saw the start of a scheme to create more pre-match interest by giving supporters something more than music to listen to over the public address system – known as ‘Radio Red Imps’. Starting from half an hour before kick-off recorded interviews with players and others began to be broadcast along with Taylor himself giving his views on the team and answering questions. The game itself produced a third draw in a row after a first half in which City had only Dick Kryzywicki’s first goal for the club to show for their dominance. Going off the boil in the second half, it was no surprise when the visitors scrambled a late equaliser.

With Alan Harding unfit for the midweek game Dave Smith had retained his place in the side with Colin Symm on the subs’ bench, and it was an unchanged lineup that went to Cambridge United and put on a poor performance in a 5-0 thrashing with four of the goals coming in the last 20 minutes. Harding was then back in place of Smith who was left out of the squad for another away defeat as bottom-of-the-table Swansea won 2-1 in a game which saw Dennis Leigh sent off. The result left City in 14th place and saw the last appearance for the club of Jimmy McGeough. Perhaps due to fellow midfielder Colin Symm returning to full fitness the Irishman would soon be allowed to leave the club and return to Waterford from where David Herd had signed him two years previously.

The poor run of results knocked the attendance down to below 2,500 for the visit of Rochdale the following Saturday but the inconsistent Imps were back to their best with a 3-0 win thanks to another man-of-the-match performance from Peter Graham whose two goals put him out in front as top scorer with five. Back in the starting line-up was Dave Smith amid reports of a transfer deal that would see him joining Third Division Grimsby Town in exchange for former Imp Phil Hubbard who it was said had actually signed for Lincoln. However, it then emerged that the deal had fallen through with Smith unable to agree terms with the Mariners.

Part Two tomorrow

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Looking Back At: 1974/75 (Part Two) – The Stacey West
  2. Looking Back At: 1974/75 (Part 3) – The Stacey West
  3. Looking Back At: 1974/75 (Part Four) – The Stacey West

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