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Season 2001-02
Bradford (h) Premier Reserve League (North)
Date: Mon 25th March 2002, 7pm 

Venue: Kingston Park 

Conditions: Began in rain, which for once cleared. Not as windy as usual = less hats and small children blowing around the arena.

Newcastle United Reserves

5 - 0 Bradford City Reserves


24 mins Restored to his familiar striking role, Michael Chopra got the first of his three when LuaLua played in Wayne Quinn down the left, his low cross finding Chops who knocked the ball home with ease past on-trial Darlington keeper Grainger 1-0

25 mins A minute later the lead was doubled with LuaLua breaking free down the left. Having reached the byline he wriggled into the box to deliver a perfect cross for Mark Boyd to fire in from close range 2-0

32 mins 
United went further ahead just after the half hour with a mirror image of the first, this time down the right flank. David Cowan found LuaLua who jinked round a defender before rolling the ball to Chopra who shot in low off the left post. This would have been the youngster's hat-trick had he not dragged a 27th minute shot wide after LuaLua had again played him in 3-0

45 mins Cruel luck on City trialist Terry Bowker, who turned the ball into his own net on  the stroke of half-time. Another LuaLua run down the right did the damage and when he slipped over a low cross from the byline, the defender from Unibond outfit Bamber Bridge had nowhere to go.   4-0

Half time: Newcastle Reserves 4 Bradford City 0

81 mins Chopra got his third and became the first toon player to notch a hat trick on this ground since Silvio Maric, bundling the ball past the keeper after his initial shot had been blocked as he ran through one-on-one on to an Orr through ball. 5-0
Full time: Newcastle Reserves 5 Bradford City 0 

We Said

Tommy Craig commented:

"Chopra got three goals which showed a striker's instinct. He's proved he's got goals in him once again.

"The two words I would like to use about that performance are attitude and application. I can't speak highly enough of their attitude to the game.

"I've got to say Marcelino was an example to everybody. Steve Caldwell, David Cowan and Marcelino were the basis from which the win came.

"I don't like talking about titles but we've got a good chance. Without being blase we now expect to win each game we play. We've struck a rich vein of form and hopefully that will continue."


Michael Chopra got his first reserve hat-trick as United went three points clear at the top of the Premiership Reserve League (North). After a fairly even opening 20 minutes, we scored twice in a minute to set up a comfortable victory over a poor Bradford second string at Kingston Park.

On a night when Bradford posed little attacking threat after a couple of early chances, United's defence had an easier night than usual, with Marcelino again showing some good touches and Steve Caldwell never in trouble against a side he played for earlier in the season. 

Wayne Quinn also benefited from the increased freedom to gallop forward down the left whenever possible, swapping roles with Bernard whiler on the opposite flank,  David Cowan turned in an efficient display in his more accustomed position at right-back, after being forced to play at centre half earlier in the season.

There was no place for Elliott after his appearance last week - he now looks set for an imminent first team recall as Distin reverts to centre half. Griffin was also missing, having picked up a leg injury in training. 

The returning Stuart Green had a quiet game on the right flank, a disappointment after his rave reviews while away on loan in the centre of the Carlisle midfield. What we achieve by playing a midfielder we've just released (Boyd) in the centre and sticking out a retained one on the wing is beyond my comprehension...

Lualua had one of his "on" nights, when he decided that passing the ball was a viable option, and with the enthusiastic forward running of Chopra providing a nice contrast to the almost grudgeful meanderings of usual strike partner Ameobi, goals came in abundance. It's also worth remembering that our opponents lie one off the bottom of the league and fielded three trialists, including Sestanovich from Eircom league side Mullingar Town.

Sestanovich didn't have much of a game but was in good company there, former pin up idol of Old Trafford Lee Sharpe going through the motions before being subbed by Bantams reserve boss Mark Prudhoe (who stood on the touchline looking unnervingly like Jimmy Nail.)

Surprise onlooker was Laurent Robert, who we presume was picking up some handy pointers from the galloping left-sided Cornish wing wizard, Wayne Quinn....  



Page last updated 25 March, 2012