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On This Day – January 31st 1970

The 1969/70 season title race had developed into a battle between Leeds United and Everton. With Don Revie’s side only drawing 1-1 at Stoke, this victory for the Blues allowed Harry Catterick’s team to move level on points with the leaders having played a game less.

The home side dominated the match and it was a mystery how only one goal separated the sides after ninety minutes, with only Joe Royle’s 18th strike of the season to show for it. Just after the half hour mark, Royle’s header was saved by goalkeeper John Oldfield but dropped onto the line and the big Number 9 forced it over.

The second half was marred by an incident which saw Keith Newton and Wolves’ combative centre-forward Derek Dougan clash heads in a mid-air collision. Newton was able to continue after treatment, but Dougan was carried off on a stretcher, leaving the visitors having to play the final thirty minutes with only ten men having used their one permissable substitute. Dougan was later to have an operation on his cheek and was out of action for five weeks.

Everton were still without the services of midfield general Alan Ball, who was serving a five-match suspension and was due to return to action on February 21st against Coventry City.

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