WALES v ENGLAND – Home International Championship – Ninian Park – 8th May 1976

Wales and England had very different priorities as they met for the second time in a couple of months at Ninian Park in this Home International Championship match. For the home side, there was the small matter of  overturning a two goal deficit in their European Championship Quarter-Final 2nd leg against the Yugoslavian’s in two weeks time. England’s plans were distinctly more medium term, as they looked ahead to the start of their 1978 World Cup qualification campaign.

Wales went into the match at full strength, whereas Don Revie fielded a slightly more experimental side, although at that time it was becoming increasingly more apparent that the England manager had no real idea what his strongest eleven was. There were three debutants in the England side, all from the two Manchester clubs, Tony Towers from City and Brian Greenhoff and Stuart Pearson from United. Peter Taylor, of now 2nd Division Crystal Palace retained his place in the team.

As was usual for this opening match of the Home International Championship, coverage was shared by both of the TV channels, with David Coleman for the BBC and Brian Moore for ITV.

Wales had the better start to the game but were poor in attack, a real worry given their need for goals in a couple of weeks time. Despite a lacklustre performance it was England that nicked the game, Peter Taylor scoring the decisive goal on 58 minutes, his second in two games against the Welsh.

Despite the result, Don Revie was harangued by the press for his continuing tinkering with the side. After two years in charge, England had made very little progress, with the side having no real coherent pattern of play. Revie would be desperate for a convincing performance against Northern Ireland during the week.

 

Peter Taylor celebrates another England goal. – Picture from flashbak.com

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