02/11/1955 London England 0-3
Norman Uprichard, Len Graham, Willie Cunningham, Danny Blanchflower, Terry McCavana, Bertie Peacock, Billy Bingham, Jimmy McIlroy, Fay Coyle, Charlie Tully, Peter McParland
Northern Ireland were well beaten but not disgraced on their first ever visit to Wembley, timed to coincide with their FA’s 75th anniversary. England’s win brought them back into contention for the championship after their surprising defeat in Cardiff. The star of the show, on his second appearance for England, was Haynes, who showed himself to be a great asset for England’s future. Besides him, only Wright, who was immaculate as usual, emerged with real credit for England.
The first half was quickly forgotten, as its dullness matched the weather on a grey afternoon. Baynham struggled in the air, but was not made to pay, despite the Irish having rather the better of the first half. England had one good chance, as Haynes flicked the ball to Jezzard, who saw his shot stopped superbly on the line by Graham. Fortunately, the half-time performance by the massed Guards band evidently woke the players up, as the second half was much more lively.
First, Baynham made a fine save to deny Tully, who should have scored. Within three minutes of nearly being ahead, Ireland were two behind. Haynes split the entire Irish defence with a single, superb diagonal pass. Wilshaw advanced onto the ball, rounded Uprichard and slotted the ball into the empty net. Then, almost immediately, a cross by Finney was hooked back by Perry with an overhead lob, and Wilshaw was on hand once more to flick a header home. England were now well on top, and Perry narrowly missed with two opportunities. It was Finney, though, who had the last word. Running onto Jezzard’s pass, he effected a superb change of direction, and sudden acceleration, to find space behind Graham and beat Uprichard with the shot.