Saturday, September 15, 2012

15 September 1976 - Derby's Daily Dozen

On 15 September 1976, Derby County secured the biggest margin of victory in club history, beating Finn Harps 12-0 in the UEFA Cup.

The match came at opportune time for Derby; after having won the league in 1975, they finished fourth the following season and started the 1976-77 season by going winless in their first five matches. Those results left them in nineteenth when Finn Harps arrived at the Baseball Ground for the opening leg of their first-round UEFA Cup tie.

It turned out to be a treat for the Derby faithful, who watched as the home team easily outclassed the visiting Irish side. The goals rolled in from Charlie George (3), Leighton James (3), Kevin Hector (pictured) (5), and Bruce Rioch (1), including a handful that were created when Derby players stole the ball off a throw from the Finn goalkeeper. Hector's five goals set a Derby record for a European match, while the margin is the club's largest across all competitions.

Although Derby's winless streak in the league stretched to eight, they proceeded to win the second leg against Finn, but by the much closer scoreline of 1-4. Unfortunately for them, they were eliminated in the next round by AEK Athens, 5-2 on aggregate.

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