11th February 2002, 7.45pm
Stadium of plight. £2 admission.
chilly - despite the fact this damn ground is fully enclosed, a
chill wind whips around it - how?
Half time: mackems 0 Newcastle Reserves 0
48 mins A Boyd corner down the Newcastle right, in front of the
toon section, dropped kindly for Bernard to slam in a shot from 15 yards
that bounced back off a defender on the line. McMenamin was there
in classic goal poaching mode to sweep home the rebound from close range
into the side of the net. 1-0
84 mins Another cross from the right, this time a beauty from
makeshift winger Bradley Orr that dropped perfectly for Cort to
power a header home, shrugging off the attentions of a pair of hapless
mackem defenders to do so. 2-0
mackems 0 Newcastle Reserves 2
some mackem muttered in the Sunderland Echo:
There was no faulting the
players' workrate, but only Newcastle hit any kind of flow in a derby to
"At least the Magpies had the consolation that £7million striker
Carl Cort came through his first full game after a long injury lay-off,
and scored to put himself in the frame for when the rivals meet in the
An understandably delighted Tommy
"It was as good as last week was bad and I'm talking purely in terms
"If that was
not right we would've found ourselves in trouble.
a great deal of chances at either end in the first-half but in the
second-half we started to get a hold of the game.
"We produced a
few patches of good football.
"Last night was
a night for the players to redeem themselves.
"Nine of last
week's team started and I was delighted with their application and
"The front two
did well, Brian Kerr worked from box to box and Bradley Orr did well in an
About goalscorer Cort he said:
"That game will have done Carl the power of good - he got through an
awful lot of work and was shattered afterwards,"
have scored that goal last week. He's a bit sharper and the good thing is
his knee's not troubled him.
with the physical side of the game and he's had no complaints afterwards.
"It was a
competitive derby match and he's come through it very well - and he'll get
better, he's trying to find his quick feet again."
Newcastle's reserves did what no other
United side has ever done last night - won at the Stadium of plight. Two
Premiership draws, a reserve draw and defeat and a Youth Cup stalemate,
meant it was sixth time lucky as second half supremacy won it for Tommy
In a drab first half Steve Harper was
probably the busier of the two keepers as the mackems threatened to make a
breakthrough by pumping the ball to the edge of our area and chasing after
it - the school of science this was not.
After the break however, we remembered our own footballing pedigree and
began to play in the cohesive way that this side can when they put their
mind to it, tempered with a steely backline. At times Marcelino, Quinn and
especially Griffin all fought fire with fire when the kicking and
shirt-tugging started from the frustrated home players.
Within three minutes were were ahead, and despite one or two scares, we
never really looked like blowing our first victory at any level on this
ground. Cort's goal was the icing on the cake, and in the closing stages
we threatened to overrun the mackems and strike further blows, much to the
delight of the travelling mags, who exuberantly celebrated both goals.
Man of the match? Whisper it quietly but probably Marcelino. As another
onlooker said - if you didn't know the history, you'd assume that he was
another first teamer on the way back from injury like Cort. It's immensely
frustrating that the bloke is as unpredictable as the weather, but has
obvious talent in the defensive arts.
Congratulations to Lewis Guy who
got on near the end for his first reserve appearance and Stephen Taylor
for his first call-up to the reserve bench. Both lads were rewarded for
good displays in the Academy games at the weekend, and promoted in this
international week to cover for absent colleagues.
After the awful home display last week against the smoggies, this was a
pleasing return to form and a deserved victory to reward the efforts of
the players. Quite simply we wanted it more than them, and once we'd
adjusted to their strong arm tactics we outplayed them.
The sight of the stands emptying rapidly as Cort's header hit the back of
the net was what makes watching football at this level enjoyable - on
nights like this, the travelling, crap performances, sparse crowds and
seemingly ever-present rotten weather are all forgotten.
Now we've broken our duck at this place, let's hope the first team can
inflict further punishment in a few weeks time, and hand out a
long-overdue beating to those miserable wretches in red and white. We
may have given them a Metro extension, but they'll get nowt else off us.