City v Ipswich 1981 (Semi Final)

It was the 100th running of the FA Cup and was a competition that City were still in. On this day in 1981 City would again travel to Villa Park to play the Semi Final game against Ipswich. In both the 1955 and 1969 competitions City had to travel to Villa Park for the Semi Final. Unlike those last two times, City would not be the ones lifting the Cup in May, but that is a different story.

Earlier on in the season Malcolm Allison had lost his job as City manager and City were still looking for their first win after twelve games. His replacement was John Bond who had to deal with the squad depleted of experience with the likes of Watson, Hartford and Channon moved on and youngsters Ranson, Caton and Nicky Reid brought in under Allisons tenure.

Bond went out and bought Gow, Hutchinson and McDonald and with the new management team changing up training the whole team found new confidence. After his first game ending in defeat Bond then went onto fifteen games with only two defeats. 

City had a decent League Cup run which came to an end in February but continued that new found form in both the League and FA Cup. 

To the game itself and heading into it Ipswich were the favorites, a very good side managed by Bobby Robson. Fortunately for City, Ipswich struggled to do what they had been doing in the league with ease, which was score. Even Eric Gates missed an early opportunity which gave City confidence that this might be their day. The game was goalless at Full Time and City got another boost when the Ipswich captain took his boots off and started to walk off the pitch. Apparently he was under the impression a replay was in order, when City Captain Paul Power informed him there was another 30 minutes to play he is reported as not being to enthusiastic. With that tiredness on their side and our youth it wasn’t hard to see the power balance truly swing into our favour.

Ten minutes into the first period City won a free kick just outside the area. MacKenzie rolled it to Power and when no Ipswich player came to close him down he just hit a left footed shot. The Ipswich keeper couldn’t keep it out and in the 100th minute of the game City had secured their place in the 100th FA Cup Final

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