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Stoke City


FA Cup Semi-Final
Villa Park
April 15, 1972

Arsenal and Stoke had some ding-dong battles in the FA Cup in the early 1970s.

The most famous of them is probably the 1971 Semi-Final when Peter Storey's last-gasp penalty - past Gordon Banks no less - earned a replay. What a turning point that proved to be: if Storey had lost his nerve there would have been no Charlie George winner in the 1971 Final at Wembley and, of course, no Double.

The teams got to do it all again in 1972 and once again, Arsenal needed a replay before seeing off Stoke and getting their suits measured for Wembley. But there was plenty of drama along the way.

Our FreezeFrame focuses on the first game of the 1972 face-off, a 1-1 draw at Villa Park. George Armstrong scored Arsenal's goal but the real story came at the other end.

Bob Wilson, Double-winning stalwart and a true presence between the posts, was forced off with an injury. Of course, this was long before the introduction of substitute goalkeepers and striker Ray Kennedy was the solitary option on the bench.

Step forward John Radford. The man usually charged with scoring goals was given the responsibility of stopping them as Arsenal chased a place in the Final. And the big man did remarkably well.

Our image shows Radford grounded and clutching the ball after making a decent save to deny Stoke. Arsenal defender Pat Rice - now the Club's assistant manager - is in close attention while Frank McLintock and Peter Storey can be spotted in the background.

Arsenal did get past Stoke in the end - Radford surrendering the gloves to score in a 2-1 replay victory. But there would be no happy ending at Wembley this time as an Allan Clarke header won the FA Cup for Leeds.

Arsenal team: Wilson, Rice, McNab, Simpson, McLintock, Storey, Armstrong, Ball, Graham, George, Radford. Sub: Kennedy

FreezeFrame is a regular series on Arsenal.com which brings you a classic image ahead of every match. Roll your cursor over the players and click for more information.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
21 Jan 2010