With the blues taking on Huddersfield this weekend, we look back at a match from a bygone era. And to be honest, there was only ever going to be one for this match.
November 7th 1987
City had been relegated from Division One the previous season, while Huddersfield had narrowly avoided relegation to Division Three. When the teams met, City had won just six out of sixteen games and sat 10th in the league. By comparison, Huddersfield had won their first match of the season a week earlier, beating Millwall 2-1 at Leeds Road, and sat firmly at the bottom of the table. And with the TV cameras watching, it could go one of two ways; either City would lose, or they would turn on the style.
Huddersfield started brightly, with former City man Andy May having a pop and Duncan Shearer almost getting on the end of a cross. But it was David Cork who wasted Huddersfield’s best chance. A mistake by Steve Redmond allowed the Huddersfield man some space, but his shot whistled past the post. It was a chance that Cork, and Huddersfield would regret not taking.
After that scare, City started to play. Midfield warhorse Neil McNab received the ball and took it to the edge of the area. Completely unchallenged, McNab unleashed a left foot shot that flew past keeper Brian Cox and settled in the corner of the goal.
On 29 minutes, Tony Adcock slipped the ball through to Paul Stewart, who beat the offside trap, then fired across the keeper to make it 2-0. Five minutes later it was 3-0. Paul Stewart charged forward and played in Andy Hinchcliffe on the left. The full back’s perfect cross was met by Tony Adcock on the six yard box to score his first City goal since his move form Colchester.
City had more chances to score as Huddersfield failed to get close to the blues, and City went further ahead on 41 minutes. Paul Simpson charged away but his cross was blocked. The ball fell back to the winger, who played a perfect cross for an unmarked David White to tap home.
Half time: City 4-0 Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield started the second half brightly, but again failed to make an impact in the City box. City broke forward again and Simpson’s brilliant 53rd minute cross was met by Adcock who hammered the ball into the back of the net for 5-0. Huddersfield heads dropped completely and City’s tails were up again.
City missed another two chances before five became six. Keeper Eric Nixon’s long ball forward eventually found its way to Simpson on the left wing. His perfect far post cross was met by the head of Paul Stewart, and the ball fell into the net.
Just a minute later, Adcock completed his hat-trick. Dispossessing the defender, Adcock ran through on goal and slotted past Cox to make it 7-0 to City. 68 minutes gone, Huddersfield tried to enter damage limitation mode, but City weren’t in the mood to let that happen.
A rare Huddersfield attack was broken up and McNab played the ball to Adock, who drew the defender before playing in HInchcliffe down the left. With acres of space to run into, the defender drew the keeper before passing to Stewart who completed his hat-trick with nine minutes to go.
There was still room for more. Adcock beat the offside trap to run onto McNab’s ball over the defence. His cross was blocked by the defender, but fell kindly to White, who sent a rocket of a shot into the back of the net. With five minutes left, and the fans baying for ten, could the blues provide?
First they had to watch Huddersfield mount a comeback. John Gidman bundled Cork over in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. The visiting fans went wild and up stepped May to slam the penalty into the top corner. The former blue waved to the Kippax, who gave him a warm welcome back to Maine Road after joining the Terriers in the summer.
It seemed that would be the end of the scoring, but City had other plans. Another Huddersfield launched the ball forward, but it fell to Simpson. His left foot punt up field found White, onside and a while half of the pitch to run into. The keeper raced from his area and attempted to bring White down, but the speedy winger stayed on his feet to slot home number 10 and complete his hat-trick.
It was the last kick of an extraordinary game that saw the blues young side attract attention from across the country, and give the blues hope that they could get out of the second division at the first attempt.
Full Time: Manchester City 10-1 Huddersfield Town
City: McNab (13), Stewart (29, 67, 81) Adcock (34, 53, 68) White (41, 85, 90)
Huddersfield: May (90)