Match Reports 2000-01 - Mackems (h)
Newcastle Reserves 0 mackem Reserves 1
Monday 11th September, 2000,
The mist rolled in
Crowd: 3,200 including
the completely bonkers Cardiff Boss Bobby Gould
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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.