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This Season 
 Match Reports 2000-01 - Mackems (h) 

Newcastle Reserves 0 mackem Reserves 1

Date: Monday 11th September, 2000, 7pm

Venue: Kingston Park 

Conditions: The mist rolled in

Crowd: 3,200 including the completely bonkers Cardiff Boss Bobby Gould 


Referee:  G.Atkins


NUFC: (normal home kit) Harper, Griffin, Serrant, Hamilton, Caldwell S, Caldwell G, Gavilan (Gall 75 mins) , McClen (McGuffie 60 mins), Coppinger, Ameobi, Kerr.  
Subs n/u: Orr, Chopra.
Booked: Steve Caldwell 46 mins, illegal challenge on Dichio.

SAFC: (normal home kit with white shorts)  Marriott, Maley, James, Byrne, Williams, Thirlwell, Summerbee (McGill  73 mins), Peeters, Dichio (Wainwright 56 mins), Nunez, Oster. 
Subs: Kennedy, Butler, Clark.
Booked: James 20 mins, general nastiness.  Dichio 71 mins, verbals. 

9 seconds. United tried to break the quickest goal of the season receord set by Man City last week with their 14 second opener, but mackem 'keeper Marriott was quickly off his line to smother Coppinger's shot. 
13 mins. Following an extended sequence of passing involving most of the Newcastle outfield players, Hamilton teed up Coppinger for a shot form just outside the area in a central position. He hit it well enough, b ut saw the ball glance off the angle of right hand post and bar and bounce into the crowd.
16 mins. Justifiable shouts for a spot kick as Ameobi was  fouled in the area by a mackem defender, but the referee waved play on.
18 mins. A last-gasp Gary Caldwell interception whipped the ball from the toes of Nunez as the diminutive but dangerous striker shaped to shoot.
27 mins. Slightly against the run of play, the visitors went ahead after Thirlwell was allowed to continue his run unchallenged into the United area. Although Harper came to meet him, the ball ended up in the back of the net after the goalkeeper's block rebounded back off Thirlwell. 0-1  
30 mins
. Newcastle attempted to hit back immediately, and created two good chances within seconds; Coppinger again being guilty of missing the target, and then Kerr striking the bar again with a strong shot from 20 yards.
32 mins. Kerr involved again, as he began a flowing three man move upfield which culminated in Ameobi slipping the ball between two defenders for Coppinger to advance on goal. Once again though he was crowded, by a combination of the goalkeeper and defenders.
33 mins. The almost invisible Gavilan tried a snap shot but was unable to prevent it spinning well over the mackems goal.
38 mins. More United pressure, but still no reward as Gavilan and Ameobi combined on the right to again find Coppinger in space. This time the pass to him was slightly over-hit, but the young striker managed to force a corner.
42 mins. After an opening period in which he barely featured, Gavilan was more prominent in attack as the half ended, causing fullback James one or two problems. The Paraguayan again played in Coppinger for another good chance but Marriott in goal once again foiled him almost before he had the chance to get his shot away.

Halftime: NUFC 0 SAFC 1

48 mins A good-looking chance was launched into orbit by Ameobi from 15 yards out, but the raised offside flag of a linesman spared his blushes.
51 mins. Nunez evaded Gary Caldwell with a neat turn and then pushed the ball past brother Steve, only for Harper to rescue a dangerous situation with a block. 
53 mins. Almost a repeat of the previous incident, Nunez again leaving Gary Caldwell behind with his trickery and pace, but this time brother Steve was alert to the threat and made a timely interception to hack the ball clear.  
56 mins. Bye bye Milton, as he ended up leaving the field in the Physio's arms after a wholehearted challenge from Steve Caldwell left him in prone midway into the United half. Speculation in the freeloaders enclosure included theories on it being past his bedtime, that Bobby Saxton had promised to read him a story, or that someone had reported a missing gnome from their garden.....
59 mins. A brilliant run from Des Hamilton seemed destined to penetrate right through the visitors defences, and his layoff to Kerr was promising, but Marriott was able to comfortably deal with his shot.
60 mins. A tactical reshuffle by Tommy Craig, with midfielder McClen removed and replaced by McGuffie who slotted into right back. Griffin then swapped over to left back, leaving Serrant to forage down the left wing.
70 mins. Gavilan again woke from his slumbers to dribble round Maley and centre with a dangerous low cross that passed across the mackem 6 yard box without anyone being on hand to add the vital touch. Serrant gathered the ball on the left and sent it back in, but the arriving Shola Ameobi could only slide in an divert wide of the upright.
73 mins. Andy Griffin appeared to be struck in the face by an elbow from Summerbee, who wasn't booked but was subbed within seconds of the incident. A minor skirmish broke out near the touchline but didn't escalate into anything more serious. Griffin was able to continue.
79 mins. A dangerous break down the left wing from the visitors saw substitute McGill send a hanging cross over towards the far post to where Wainwright was lurking. A stretching Harper just managed to claw the ball clear.
81 mins. After breaking up an attack, Gary Caldwell hit a pinpoint first time ball upfield for Coppinger to run on to, but a magnificent intervening tackle from Williams averted the danger and brought deserved applause from round the ground.
83 mins. The second and decisive goal should have been claimed by Wainwright, as Dichio found him in space on the left side of the Newcastle box, only for the substitute to fire wildly over the top after taking the ball past Harper.
86 mins. One last chance for an equaliser, as Kevin Gall managed to win a corner off Maley and Serrant took it, dropping the ball dangerously in the heart of the Sunderland area. Steve Caldwell tried to bundle it over the line, but sheer weight of numbers saw it eventually cleared to safety.

Final Score: NUFC 0 SAFC 1


Three games gone for the reserves and no wins to celebrate yet, when all nine points could easily have been claimed. After being pegged back by equalisers from Boro and Manchester City, a reasonably experienced lineup just couldn't get back on level terms after conceding a goal to the mackems, and sent most of a decent crowd (for K. Park) back home disappointed.

As the mists descended, the chances of at least a point from this game also disappeared from view, as an encouraging first half performance from the home side turned into a comparitively turgid second period.

All three recent Premiership debutants had their moments, with Kerr and Coppinger unlucky not to get on the score sheet, but Ameobi was fairly unproductive and his lack of aerial ability ensured that the mackem defence kept a clean sheet, the home side got more and more frustrated, and our passing game broke down as the evening wore on.

Breaking the habits of a lifetime, some slight semblance of credit must be given to the visitors, for whom Nunez showed some good touches and was difficult to shake off the ball (something to do with his low centre of gravity.) Their defence also showed some resilience against a United XI who had all tasted Premiership action (albeit only from an unused spell on the bench in the case of the Caldwells.)

A pity then that the increased attendance (over 1,300 more than last year) couldn't see the side claim a victory, but hopefully some more of them will have been sufficiently impressed by the first half at least, to return when the likes of Leeds, Sheff Weds and Bradford visit Tyneside. The quality of the football at this level is normally good, and the chance to see some of Bobby's Boys Brigade display their emerging talent for the price of a metro ticket must surely be better than stopping in the house to watch some rotten London derby...  

PS - The mackems were represented off the field by around the same number as appeared last season (75-100), some of whom openly wore their colours in the unsegregated crowd - one positive thing to note from the night. A few ribald comments were heard in both directions, but the visible police presence and extra stewards had an incident-free night. Nice to see that some people at least can indulge in a bit of banter and rivalry without feeling the need to try and remove limbs and eyes of the other faction. 


Page last updated 14 July, 2016