Welfare Park, Bedlington
Conditions: damp and soggy.
£4 in, £1 proggies
29 mins Kendrick's pass over the defence
was seized upon by Chopra, who advanced on goal before calmly shooting
low to the goalkeeper's left 1-0
Half time: Bedlington 0 Newcastle Reserves 1
50 mins Strike partner Richard Offiong made the play this time, releasing Chopra
with a run and pass down the centre of the field. Chops again finished neatly
from 10 yards, lifting the ball over the advancing 'keeper.
71 mins 3-0 A treble was duly claimed by
Chopra, but the move began at the opposite end of the field when Collin
claimed a Milner header and launched it upfield. The combination of the United
striker and the bounce of the ball saw Kirkby fail to cut it out, and Chops
controlled with a cushion header to leave the keeper stranded before finishing
into an empty net for the pick of his haul.
Last man to get 3 in the senior cup v Bedlington for us? Silvio Maric.
Full time: Bedlington 0 Newcastle Reserves 3
Tommy Craig commented:
"That was a great opportunistic hat-trick by Michael - he scored three
goals and should have had five. Everyone put in a good shift on a night where we
had to play a different kind of football.
called for a change in philosophy and, to a man, they worked their socks off on
what was a quagmire. Before the game we spoke for half an hour about our
approach and they carried out my instructions to the letter.
"They put the ball in
behind and waited for them to make mistakes as the conditions were a
A smaller than expected crowd at the Welfare Ground saw
a young United reserve side overcome the Terriers, thanks to the predatory
instincts of Michael Chopra and direct tactics of birthday boy coach Tommy
Having survived the recent rotten weather, the pitch wasn't too bad and didn't
really deteriorate. Thankfully there was no standing water to make the game a
farce, but most of those playing managed to pick up a fair amount of Bedlington
clarts on their strips.
The home side attempted to play the ball through midfield, in contrast to United
who opted for a less studied approach in view of the conditions.
All three of our goals came from Chopra's runs into
space and close range finishes past the keeper, with the striker also missing
three other decent chances, one of which brought a fine save from Powell in the
To complete a busy night for Chops he was also booked after an over-eager tackle
on Ian Bogie. Momentarily it seemed as if we were to be plagued by more awful
refereeing at reserve level, but local ref Ilderton realised just in time that
he'd mistakenly pulled his red card from his pocket.
For the Terriers, the familiar figure of Dean Gibb had their best efforts with a
couple of crashing volleys that went just wide.
The home side included former Newcastle
players Ian Bogie, John Milner, Warren Teasdale and Phil Coxall,
but work commitments prevented ex-United academy striking Jonny Mann from
facing his old side.
Newcastle now face an away tie at Ponteland in the next round - date tbc.