On Monday February 19th 1973, at the official switch-on of the lights by Don Revie, over 4,000 packed into the Butchers Arms to see Droylsden take on a strong Manchester City side in what was to be the first of three fund raising matches against Division One sides. And after 90 minutes, only one goal separated the two teams – a lovely effort from Phil Henson just before half-time. But the match, it was reported, had had enough good football and incidents to make up for the lack of goals.

‘City had seven players with first team experience on show and were, on the whole, too strong, too quick and too confident for Droylsden. Yet the Bloods’ played with such determination and enthusiasm that the result was never a foregone conclusion. Players like Ron Healey, Alan Oakes, Glyn Pardoe, Colin Barrett, Frank Carrodus and Ian Mellor stamped their class on the game for City and produced some lovely flowing football.

‘City went close on several occasions early on, while the Bloods’ countered through little Eddie Hurst, Les Brown, and Steve Carroll.  A header from Carroll from a pin-point Hurst cross almost brought Droylsden the lead but City went ahead while the pipe band were warming up to come on at the interval.  Mellor and Brennan combined to open up the defence and Henson sent a great dipping shot into the far corner of the net.  Minutes later Gannon, always a dangerous player, had the ball in the net after Rupert Leggatt had bravely saved one attempt, but the City man was ruled offside. In the second half City really showed their paces with Oakes and Barratt doing much of the prompting.  Droylsden still had their chances to pull back, Carroll went clean through but took too long to line up his shot and eventually lost the ball, while Billy Bell found himself in space in the City area but his shot was saved.

Man City: Ron Healey, Glyn Pardoe, Trappe, Colin Barratt, Clarke, Alan Oakes, Phil Henson, Frank Carrodus, Brennan, Gannon, Ian Mellor.

Droylsden: Leggatt, Tivey, Butterworth, Bell, Smith, Shawcross, Brown, Carroll, Nesbitt, Hurst, Clancy.

The attendence of over 4,000 at the match against City helped to pay £1,750 off the new lights which had cost the club £6,300.  A champagne reception was held after the match at the Concord Suite with President Syd Orchant, Chairman Geoff Cooke and club Manager Derek Partridge in attendence

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