What Really Happened Sat 6 September 1969

Wolves drew 3-3 at home to Forest with the news that Peter Knowles had played his last game for Wolverhampton and football overall. He retired from football to work for Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Guardian of the time quoted him as saying: “I have made my decision and though I appreciate what people are saying I have no intention of changing my mind. My mother has nothing against my religion. She just can’t understand why I have to give up football. It has broken her heart and she would do anything to make me change my mind. But I am old enough to think things out for myself. I am quite happy and there will be no regrets when I leave Molineux for the last time.”

Meanwhile Derby handed Everton their first defeat of the season (2-1). According to the Guardian Derby are the best team to come out of the Second Division since Leeds. Mackay’s presence and ruthless crunching tackles are a highlight. Everton weren’t allowed to gain ascendency in midfield. McGovern was “resolute”, Durban had “easy control” and Carlin was skilful. Ball provided “fretful brilliance” for Everton, while Kendall and Harvey made many passing mistakes.

Liverpool beat Coventry 2-1. Coventry had enormous courage and talent and it was unrewarded it the end. They matched Liverpool in the first half and defended resiliently in the second, though Liverpool managed tho score the winner in the 94th minute. Coventry were well organised.

Crystal Palace won their second win for the season, beating Stoke 3-1. They achieved it with a “nuggety, hard running display”. While Stoke are looking at a youth policy to populate their team, it was their skilful veterans, Eastham and Dobing that provided their impetus against Palace. There were around four good opportunities created by Eastham and Dobing, but Ritchie could only score one and missed the others.

Chelsea were “determined from the outset” to snatch a point at Maine Road and City didn’t have the creativity or guile to “pierce a defensive screen that often comprised 9 men”. While Lee and Summerbee were unconvincing, Bell seemed City’s only threat. The match finished 0-0.

Spurs’ 0-1 win at West  Ham, a “match without quality” was highlighted by Alan Mullery’s suspected fractured left ankle. Luckily it ended up just being a bruised nerve. The Guardian saw the first 50 minutes as “barren untidiness”. Great line. Bond and his surging runs was the Hammers only potent weapon, while Gilzean was “graceful” and Greaves showed some “sharpness”. Even the eventual goal was disputed. Gilzean’s back header ended with Pearce “vigorously” tackling Lampard. Pearce won the ball and scored. To add to matters the linesman raised his flag. A foul for Lampard surely? In fact he wanted to bring to the referee’s attention that Lampard had pulled on Pearce’s shirt. Thankfully the referee allowed the goal to stand.

Arsenal – Sheff Wed 0-0

Crystal Pal – Stoke  3-1

Derby – Everton  2-1

Ipswich – Newcastle 2-0

Leeds – Man Utd 2-2

Liverpool – Coventry 2-1

Man City – Chelsea 0-0

Southampton – Burnley 1-1

Sunderland – WBA 2-2

West Ham – Tottenham  0-1

Wolverhampton – Nott Forest 3-3

 

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