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On This Day: 1974


10:00 2nd March 2013

Richards clinches Wembley win

March 2 1974 saw Wolves triumph over Manchester City at Wembley to claim the League Cup - their first major trophy in almost fifteen years.
Wolves had defeated Halifax, Tranmere Rovers and Exeter City in the early stages of the competition, before producing a 1-0 win against reigning champions and eventual FA Cup winners Liverpool to progress into the last four.
At that stage, they met Norwich City, with a John Richards goal in each of the two legs ensuring that Wolves booked their place at Wembley with a 2-1 aggregate victory.
In the other semi-final, City defeated Plymouth Argyle to set up an all-top division final.
The Mancunians were favourites for the final, boasting a fearsome forward line that included the likes of Colin Bell, Francis Lee, Denis Law and Rodney Marsh.
Bill McGarry's side, captained by Mike Bailey, included names that have since gone into Wolves folklore, including Richards, Kenny Hibbitt, Derek Dougan and Dave Wagstaffe.
It was Wolves who had the better of the first half, and took the lead on the stroke of half time when Hibbitt struck home a half volley from just inside the box.
The second period saw Wolves goalkeeper Gary Pierce - who was standing in for the injured Phil Parkes - make a series of saves, but he was finally beaten by Bell, who produced a fine finish at the back post to equalise on the hour.
McGarry's side weren't to be denied though, and were able to celebrate a winning goal five minutes from time - Richards tucking away a cut-back from around twelve yards out to clinch Wolves' first piece of silverware since 1960.
It was Wolves' first League Cup triumph, and, despite a relegation in the intervening seasons, a second was to arrive just six years later, when Andy Gray's goal secured victory over European Champions Nottingham Forest.
The club's performance in the competition has been less than spectacular since then though, with a quarter-final appearance in the 1995/1996 season the best that subsequent Wolves teams have been able to achieve. 

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