September 14, 1985: Oxford United 2, Liverpool 2

ALAN Kennedy’s horror own goal gave Oxford United a 2-2 draw with Liverpool in Division One.

In what proved his final appearance for the Anfield outfit, the full-back beat Bruce Grobbelaar from 20 yards in the 87th minute of an absorbing contest at the Manor Ground.

John Aldridge had earlier put the U’s ahead against the side he would go on to join the following season, before Ian Rush and Craig Johnston turned the tables in the second half.

It was an important result for United, who were on a run of four defeats after taking five points from their opening three games of the campaign.

The U’s were competing in Division One for the first time, having claimed back-to-back title-winning promotions under Jim Smith.

The legendary United boss had resigned that June after chairman Robert Maxwell refused a wage increase, with chief scout Maurice Evans taking over.

Their momentum had stalled a little, with the U’s beaten 5-2 at Coventry City and 3-0 by Manchester United in their previous two matches.

But a crowd of 11,474 packed into the Manor for United’s first league meeting with Liverpool, who had Kenny Dalglish in charge as player manager.

Aldridge gave the hosts the perfect start, heading home Dave Langan’s cross after 15 minutes following some neat interplay down the right.

Both teams had chances in an end-to-end encounter, but United held out until just after the hour mark.

Prolific striker Rush raced into the penalty area to take Jan Molby’s cross on his chest and bundle the ball past Steve Hardwick.

The visitors took the lead with 15 minutes remaining and it was a goal of real quality.

Rush took possession on the left edge of the U’s area and picked out Johnston on the opposite side, with the midfielder taking a touch before firing into the top corner.

It looked like Liverpool would take the points, only for Kennedy’s own goal to level the scores.

Substitute Peter Rhoades-Brown carried the ball from inside his own half and sent a pass forward, which the left-back looked to tidy up.

But Kennedy, attempting to find Grobbelaar, passed beyond his goalkeeper and into the empty net at the London Road end.

The U’s stayed up by a point at the end of the season, winning the Milk Cup on the way, while Liverpool claimed a league and FA Cup double.

United: Hardwick, Langan, Briggs, Shotton, McDonald, Hebberd, Houghton, Trewick, Brock (Rhoades-Brown 79), Aldridge, Charles.

Video: YouTube/Dave Waller