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Football Round Up – Bob Houston – Observer 1 March 1970 p. 28

League Champions Leeds lengthened their stride as they started the run into the First Division championship with an unpretentious dismissal of strugglers Crystal Palace yesterday.

Everton, the other horse in the First Division two horse race, dropped a point to Forest. Unless they can recapture the exciting early season fluency the championship can be regarded as almost a forgone conclusion.

While manager Bill Nicholson was in Edinburgh watching the expensive Peter Cormack have a wretched game against Rangers and Jimmy Greaves as scoring a hat-trick for the ‘stiffs’ Spurs snatched a surprise 2-1 at Newcastle,  ending United’s run of 10 games without defeat.

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Coventry  0  Chelsea 3 – Tony Pawson – Observer 1 March 1970 p. 28

This was Chelsea at their best, destroying powerful opposition by a devastating combination of strength and skill.

It is surprising that a club with such flair and showmanship as Coventry should have attracted so little publicity in their successful rise up the table. All that would have changed had they beaten Chelsea. Sadly the importance of the match destroyed their confidence and common sense. They were too eager to win, too ready to relish a physical challenge.

Cattlin, kicking blindly at Cooke, the squat and powerful Hunt crashing ferociously into Hudson, these were the early indicators of their steely determination. They set a pattern of harsh, unrelenting challenges that gave the referee a full time job as a lecturer.

Hopes of intimidating Chelsea were ill founded against so strong and assured a team. All the effort and the energy achieved was to destroy Coventry’s own precision.

Chelsea’s forwards allied cunning control to forceful running that took them smoothly passed the massed  blue shirts.

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West Ham  0  Southampton  0 – John Heilpern – Observer 1 March 1970 p. 28

This was a disappointing match. West Ham again failed to play to their full potential and Southampton were no doubt grateful for a valuable point in their fight against relegatioin. Neither made for an exciting chemistry.

To see West Ham is like watching a West End play which has all the ingredients of a huge success except for a decent script. Established stars, respected manager, sound backing – all in the end lead nowhere. West Ham are a team, it seems, without a soul.

Newcastle  1  Tottenham  2 – John Dougray – Observer 1 March 1970 p. 28

Newcastle United’s seemingly irresistible ascent of the First Division – 10 league games without defeat – came to an abrupt halt yesterday, when a revitalised Spurs  deservedly beat them.

Though this was one of Newcastle’s worst performances of the season and their first home defeat since 25 October last, it is only fair to record that Spurs made a significant contribution to United’s fall from grace.

Strong at the back, where the tall England neutralised Davie’s famous leaps and Beal tidied up with the earnestness of a fastidious housekeeper, Spurs admirably guided by Mullery, insistently fought for possession, ere always looking for the quick break and supported each other tirelessly.

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Sunderland smashed Arsenal at Highbury to stabilise themselves at the top of the First Division. Arsenal have only won 1 of their last 7 games.

Forest scored six against Everton. They have now won 11 on the trot and have scored a remarkable 40 goals in those games.

Tottenham have dropped their first point after winning 6 in a row.

Manchester United have now won 5 games straight, though it was a tough game at Stoke. United look ready for the league cup final next week.

Meanwhile Stoke have had only 1 win in 12 games and are now 3 points behind Coventry and survival.

Coventry drew at home with Chelsea. Coventry have only lost once in the last  5 games as they struggle against relegation.

Chelsea have now not lost in 3 games, but they have realistically had a woeful season.

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Leeds suffered a tame draw at home to Crystal Palace and face a busy week with a European tie and the League Cup final next week. Followed by a midweek game at Anfield and a FA Cup semi final against their League Cup opponents, Manchester United.

For Crystal Palace, it was their second draw in a row and they seem to have steadied the ship in the league, as a semi final awaits them in a fortnight and possibly a trip to Wembley.

Liverpool are now 5 games without a win. It was a listless performance on Saturday. For Derby the win at Anfield was a deserved one after a strong performance.

Burnley strong away win at Wednesday. They have won of their last 7 matches and have won 3 away games in a row.

WBA are relegation favourites and there doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel for them. They’ve suffered a terrible season and to add insult, they were smashed at home by Midland rivals Wolves, who comfortably sit in seventh on the table.

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Derby 2  Arsenal  2 – Paul Fitzpatrick – The Guardian 23/2/70 p.16

Arsenal have possible come to the conclusion that there is no future in defensive football. At the Baseball Ground on Saturday the quality of their play must have surprised and delighted a lot of people, but they were not quite good enough to defeat a Derby County side looking much more like themselves.

Wolves  1 Manchester City 3 – Cyril Chapman – The Guardian 23/2/70 p.16

A close look at the two League Cup finalists on successive days did not yield conclusive evidence about their chances at Wembley.

Manchester City were unimpressive for long periods on Saturday when their first league win in 10 matches was largely due to the shortcomings of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

If there was nothing conclusive, there remained some significant impressions which added up in total to an opinion that City are the more likely to emerge victorious on final day.

At the moment there is an irritating complexity in their midfield work, leaving opponents ample time to scuttle back to defensive positions. On the other hand, the Manchester style is well established. It has been a little rusty of late, but in the second half…the forward moves had much of the old flair.

Everton  0  Coventry   0 – The Guardian 23/2/70 p.16

For the first time since November Everton had their midfield trio of Ball, Harvey and Kendall together again at Goodison Park. Ball, returning from his suspension during which Harvey had made his comeback after eye trouble. Their industry was there for all to see, but it failed to chiop a goal from Coventry City’s rock like defence and a 0-0 draw was fairer reward for Coventry than judgement on Everton.

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FA Cup Sixth Round

Watford – Leicester  1-0

Middlesbrough – Manchester United 0-2

Swindon  – Leeds Utd  0-4

QPR –  Crystal Palace  0-2

 

Watford’s FA Cup dream continues beating Leicester and reaching the semi finals. They will face Crystal Palace who had a strong win at London rivals QPR.  The other semi final will be a replay of next month’s League Cup final between Leeds and Manchester United.

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