November 24, 1984: Oxford United 5, Leeds United 2

JOHN Aldridge hit a hat-trick as Oxford United fought back from 2-0 down to thrash Leeds United at the Manor Ground.

The match came a year and a day after the U’s shocked the Yorkshire giants 4-1 in the Milk Cup, during a run to the fifth round that also included a triumph over Manchester United in a tie that required two replays.

But in November 1984 United were the favourites, sitting top of Division 2 with Eddie Gray’s side four places and five points behind them.

This time, though, it was Leeds who looked to be cruising to a comfortable win after Tommy Wright and Peter Lorimer put the visitors 2-0 up midway through the first half.

But a U’s side full of confidence would not be deterred and the advantage had soon disappeared.

Gary Briggs halved the deficit with a header, before Billy Hamilton levelled the scores two minutes later.

The contest was held up when United goalkeeper Steve Hardwick was struck by a coin thrown from the away section, while Leeds fans also tore down a television gantry.

The trouble “absolutely sickened” watching FA secretary Ted Roker, while United’s stopper was genuinely scared.

Hardwick said: “I was frightened for my life.

“It is a tragedy that headlines are going to be about the crowd trouble and not the fact it was a fantastic game.”

With the game finely poised at 2-2, Aldridge took centre stage.

The striker bagged a treble to continue his prolific form, while he was also booked for his part in an incident that saw Lorimer sent off.

U’s boss Jim Smith suggested the Leeds man received a second booking for “industrial language”, but the pair appeared to have made up at full-time.

“I can’t believe it, Lorimer’s signed it.” gushed Aldridge, as he clutched the match ball which had been autographed by Lorimer.

United: Hardwick, Langan, McDonald, Trewick, Briggs, Shotton, Rhoades-Brown, Aldridge, Hamilton, Hebberd, Brock.