THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

D2 RESULTS 13107313 October ~ Jack Charlton's Middlesbrough led from the end of September and were champions by 15 points, a divisional record under two points for a win. Their success was based around a tight defence which conceded only eight goals at home and a powerful midfield featuring 20-year-old Graeme Souness and his fellow Scot, Bobby Murdoch, a European Cup-winner with Celtic. Like his older brother, Bobby Charlton was experiencing a first season in management, at Preston. But after today's victory they won only four more games and went down in 21st place.

The goal against Sunderland was a penalty by Neil Young, who had got Man City's winner against Leicester in the FA Cup final four years earlier. The Preston side included Charlton's old Man Utd and England colleague Nobby Stiles, who became the club's manager in 1977.

The Sunderland side that lost at Preston included nine of the 11 who had caused one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history when beating Leeds 1-0 in the 1973 final. The two players missing were central defenders: Richie Pitt, who had retired through injury aged 22, and Dave Watson, who was to become an England regular after joining Man City in 1975. Sunderland finished sixth, two points off a promotion place.

Luton were runners-up behind Middlesbrough, having been in the top three for most of the season. Their winner against Swindon was scored by another ex-Man Utd player, winger John Aston, who had been in United's European Cup-winning team in 1968.

Orient had to beat Villa at home in their final match to go up in third place. But a 1-1 draw meant they missed out by one point to Carlisle, whose season had concluded with a home victory over Villa six days earlier. Orient (contrary to this table, they had dropped "Leyton" from their name in 1966 and only regained it in 1987) haven't come close to promotion from the second level since. The TV cameras did at least catch their win over Luton, two weeks after these fixtures. Carlisle's debut season in Division One ended in relegation and they went down again in 1975-76.

Malcolm Allison's Crystal Palace looked doomed after winning only two of their first 24 matches. A run of six victories in ten then lifted them out of the bottom three, but they went down on the final day after drawing at Cardiff while relegation rivals Sheffield Wednesday beat Bolton. Swindon finished bottom after being in the relegation places for almost the entire season.

D2 TABLE 131073

Results & table from statto.com

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