Wednesday August 13 1969

Leeds 1  (Gray 6)

Arsenal  1  (Radford 54)

All friendly before the match.

It is the tell tale sign for Leeds already,  even though we’re so early into the new season. Once again they dominated, yet again they failed to gain maximum points from the match. At least tonight they were rewarded with a share of the points to open their season account.

Arsenal laboured away at setting up defensive positions throughout the match to stop the attacks of the marauding Leeds hoards. It was definitely a physical affair with both sides getting “stuck in” and there were moments when the football was forgotten and mock street fighting replaced it.

If Leeds were feeling tense, they didn’t show it. In the sixth minute, Giles sent over a lovely ball towards the Arsenal goal. From a wide position Gray glided into the box, met the ball and sent it into the top corner of Wilson’s net.

Leeds defended stoutly for the rest of the half, nullifying Arsenal ball players and turning the match, at times, into a mere kicking match. The visitors did have two opportunities at the end of the half to equalise. Both times Sprake saved magnificently from Storey and Radford close shots.

Leeds’ intent in the second half seemed ominous from the kick off as Bremner sent a shot of sincere intensity towards Wilson, only to see the ball hit the post and ricochet viciously into safety.

Then a moment of relaxation by Leeds allowed Arsenal to equalise. With a deftly touch Graham allowed Radford to bypass the Leeds defence and face Sprake once again. This time Radford found his timing and the ball nestled in the net; Arsenal had equalised.

The rest of the half was all Leeds as they continuously attacked the Arsenal goal. Wilson performed miracles as he saved, to my knowledge 7 gilded chances, including saving Arsenal from three corners in a row late in the game. Indeed with mere seconds to go, Wilson sacrificed himself to save a venomous shot from six yards out.

In the end Wilson’s heroics earned Arsenal a share of the points. Leeds must now be the epitome of football frustration, yet perseverance and domination will reward them with a victory in the near future. At least both sides have gained their first points for the new season.


At times the tackling was fierce.

Leeds: Sprake, Reaney, Cooper, Bremner, Madeley, Hunter, O’Grady, Lorimer, Clarke, Giles, Gray.

Arsenal: Wilson, Rice (Court), McNab, McLintock, Ure, Simposn, Robertson, Storey, Gould, Graham, Radford.


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