since 1878

West Bromwich Albion (0) 1 - 3 (2) Ipswich Town

FA Cup Semi-Final (at Highbury) 1977-78

Saturday, April 8, 1978

Referee: C Thomas (Treorchy)

Manager: Unknown

Highbury 15:00

Attendance: 50922

Manager: Bobby Robson

Match Number: 1663

Goals

Home
 T Brown (76)
Away
 Brian Talbot (8)
 Mick Mills (20)
 John Wark (89)

Substitutions

Home
WileCunningham (60)

Cards

Home
 Mick Martin 
 Robertson 
 Mick Martin (87)
Away
 Mick Mills 

Teams

Home

Gooden

Mulligan

Statham

T Brown

Wile

Robertson

Mick Martin

A Brown

Regis

Trewick

Johnston

Substitutes

Home

Cunningham

Match Report

West Bromwich Albion 1 Ipswich Town 3

Hoist high the Suffolk ensign - Ipswich justly celebrate after deservedly reaching their first Cup final in a pulsating match against West Bromwich Albion at Highbury. Semi-finals are often scrappy affairs, but not this one - it was blessed by tension, skill and high drama from the start.

Two early goals by Talbot and Mills provided Ipswich with the precious foundations from which they would secure their first ever trip to Wembley against Arsenal; yet they were made to run and fight all the way by a tenacious Albion side who refused to die in the face of defeat.

In the 76th minute, Albion climbed back into the game through a penalty by Tony Brown. It was not until the close of play that Wark sealed victory for Ipswich and made a great blue bank of Ipswich fans behind the goal explode with joy and relief.

A match, then, which had everything and much more. Ipswich surprised Albion from the beginning with their clever appreciation of open space and viperish zeal when it came to counter attacking.

The first drama occurred in the 12th minute when Ipswich took the lead, but lost a scorer. Mills sent a free kick to Mariner; Woods took up possession and sent Mills galloping clear on the left. When the centre came over, Talbot hurled himself forward and sent a violent header in off the cross bar.

He collided heavily with Wile in the process and both players retired, blood pouring down Talbot's shirt from a head wound which required three stitches. Talbot never returned, Lambert making a trusty replacement up front, with Osborne moving back to patrol the midfield.

Wile returned to soldier on, his stained bandage around his head making him look like a trench veteran. When Cunningham finally took his place in the second half, Wile retired reluctantly, having performed bravely in the line of duty.

Albion's chances of reaching their 12th Cup final became even more obscure when Mills got hold of a deflection by Regis, following Lambert's corner in the 20th minute, to score a second.

The scoring threat of Regis and the pace of Johnston were effectively contained through some heroic defending by the Ipswich back four in which Hunter and Beattie were outstanding.

But with Tony Brown finding the energy of a 20-year-old, Albion found their way back. Two efforts by Alistair Brown were near enough in the second half and finally Tony Brown scored with a penalty after Hunter had brought down Regis.

The tension in the last quarter of an hour in the Ipswich trainer's box must have been as hot as a summer greenhouse, but Bobby Robson's team held on to weather the storm.

Martin, who had been pulled back into defence, was sent off near the end for a foul on Woods because he had been booked earlier by Referee Clive Thomas along with Mills and Robertson.

Victory was finally confirmed when Wark ran into to beat Godden with a right old thumping header from a Woods corner. Talbot was there to see the goal after spending most of the match lying on his back in the dressing room. It must have done wonders for his blurred vision.

John Moynihan

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1977-78 Reports