Saturday 27th Jan 2001, 3.00pm
Broomfield Park aka The
Shyberry Excelsior Stadium. Home fans in
West (main) stand, Toon fans opposite and stands behind each goal
initially, temperature dropping as darkness approached.
Fabrice Moreau was allowed to run onto
Armstrong's through ball and evade Bernard with ease down the Airdrie
right, almost at the corner flag. He swung over a deep cross into the area
to where Jesus Sanjuan was ideally placed to head
back past a stationary Pringle from 10 yards 0-1
1 Newcastle 0
1 Newcastle 0
Tommy Craig said:
"I thought for both sides it was
a good game and I think the crowd enjoyed it being such an open game.
"There were chances at both ends.
We've now played 12 games this season and we've found that we're playing
some good stuff but not putting the finishing touches to it."
And team captain David Beharall added:
"We always play good football but have got to finish teams off.
Our build-up play is fantastic but we struggle to take our chances.
"The fans who travelled up
deserved a goal from us - they never stopped singing all through the game.
"We saw them all coming up on the
bus and it was crazy. Being Geordies, Jamie McClen and I know what they're
like but some of the other lads couldn't believe so many had travelled for
a reserve match."
The first shot of the game, a Stuart Green range-finder, wide of the post.
4 mins Greeny again - this time forcing the goalkeeper into a save.
Airdrie score (see above)
6 mins Almost an instant response from United, as they swept upfield
and Bonvin's strong shot was well claimed by the keeper.
12 mins Another wakeup call for Pringle in the Newcastle goal, as
Pilvi placed his header from a right wing Moreau cross on to the roof of
27 mins Boyd crossed from the right after good work from Kerr and
Coppinger had worked an opening. McGuffie was well placed to get his
header in, but placed it in the arms of 'keeper Broto.
28 mins More good work from Moreau, who set McCann away down the
right and his cross was knocked down by Brady for Sanjuan to blast
narrowly over the bar.
34 mins United again moved forward down the right through Kerr and
Coppinger, exchanging passes with McClen. Coppinger received the return
ball and played in Bonvin. Unlike the reserve game last week against Man
City however, Bonvin put his shot wide from a similar position.
A rare foray down the Newcastle left saw McClen find the advancing Bonvin,
who crossed low for McMenamin. However, he totally failed to connect with
the pass and the danger was cleared.
The home side almost began the second half in similar style to the first,
with Pilvi heading wide from a Fernandez cross.
50 mins Another glaring miss from Airdrie, as Fernandez pulled his
shot wide of the United goal after latching on to a defence-splitting pass
61 mins Pringle made a confident claim as another cross by
Fernandez from the left threatened to upset the United defence.
72 mins The nearest United had come to a goal so far was this 20
yard shot from Boyd, seeming to catch the keeper unawares. However, he
scrambled across to the other side of his goal to fist the shot round the
80 mins Coppinger broke through for an one-on-one with the keeper
from 15 yards, but Broto was able to come off his line and smother the
81 mins The persistence of Kerr saw United break down the right and
when his cross was floated to the back post, Green shot quickly but
couldn't keep the effort from ballooning over the crossbar.
82 mins More danger from United as Boyd and Coppinger again made
progress down the right, before the latter whipped a dangerous ball into
the Airidrie area. In amongst the confusion, Bonvin missed his shot and
Dimas saw his blocked by a defender.
84 mins Another chance went begging for the visitors after Bonvin
had run into space down the left and slipped the ball through to the
unmarked Dimas. He inexplicably chose to cross in preference to shooting
from a good position and the chance was gone.
85 mins Two penalty claims in the same incident as an Airdrie hand
appeared to divert a Green shot from close range, and then some barging
amongst the players saw a United attacker tumble. The referee waved away
any claims however.
86 mins United's final chance was an ambitious Kerr effort from
long range that slid just past the post.
Not even friendly matches provide a
refuge for Tommy Craig and his troops, who now have this routine
Undoubtedly a team containing some talented individuals, unfortunately our
reserve side have simply forgotten how to put the ball in the back of the
old onion bag, and any hopes of a morale-boosting victory had disappeared
in the opening ten minutes. By then the home side were a goal up and it
was obvious that Coppinger was being played in an unfamiliar withdrawn
Airdrie obviously had a point to prove and were more tenacious throughout,
an attitude that resulted in their creating a succession of chances that
should have brought at least one further goal.
A late flurry from United in the last ten minutes failed to secure an
equaliser and also failed to dim memories of a generally poor team
performance. While United could once again point at their altered
personnel, the only team that got any benefit from this game were the
Scottish hosts. Neither the Newcastle coach or regular reserve watchers
learned anything that they didn't know already.
PS - One nice gesture - although they lost, the Newcastle lads at least
acknowledged the presence of the travelling fans at the final whistle.
PPS - Songs of the day from the toon choir (K.Barrett, The Chap, Fink and
a few others.)
"Braveheart, Braveheart give us a song"
"There's only one Rabbie Burns"
And something about an Airdrie onion having haggis for his tea.
Drink had obviously been taken.
Thanks to the people we met at Airdrie, especially in the stadium bar
after the game. A nice bunch of genuine football supporters, including one
Lanarkshire exile who'd come down from Aberdeen for the game!