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Season 2003-04
Manchester City  (a) Premier Reserve League
Monday 22nd September 2003, 7pm

Venue: Ewen Fields, Hyde, 3 entry.

sweaters were worn

Manchester City Reserves

0 - 1 Newcastle United Reserves


Half time: Man City 0 Newcastle 0

47 mins Chopra shot 1-0

Full time: Man City 0 Newcastle 1 

We said

Tommy Craig said:

"It was an excellent result and equally excellent performance. We were back to our best having had one blip against West Brom.

"I'm delighted to get back to the form we've shown and every player put a good shift in last night. It's difficult to name a man of the match as everyone did ever so well. It was a hard-earned victory for us, though we had a lot of chances.

"Carl Cort and Darren Ambrose could easily have left with two goals each. Darren crashed the ball against the bar and Carl had two shots very well saved. He was excellent.

"We were on top for the 90 minutes and Michael Chopra did it again. Both him and Carl put a lot of work in and he got his reward just after half-time. Michael's always bubbling when he's scoring goals and he played very well."


And away we go.....

After having succumbed to an extra time winner on this ground last season, Newcastle Reserves held out for virtually the whole of the second half on Monday to claim a deserved victory over Manchester City.

And our second successive 1-0 success came courtesy of some sharp finishing by Michael Chopra, barely 90 seconds into the second half.

There had seemed little danger when midfielder Martin Brittain had been upended in the centre circle, but as the referee played on, a lightning break forward from Kris Gate saw him play in Chopra, who had outpaced the home rearguard to crash his shot home via the City crossbar.

In truth the goal was long overdue, with three genuine first half opportunities having been spurned. First to try his luck on 11 minutes was Darren Ambrose, who arrived in the box to meet an accurate low centre from the right from Cort, but for the second week running saw his blast cannon back of the underside of the crossbar and away to safety.

Undaunted, Ambrose was well positioned in the 20th minute to test City 'keeper Ellegaard, but his low shot from a searching Brittain cross lacked power.

As had been seen during part of last week's home reserve game, Ambrose was again employed in a left flank role, an area which brought some reward, especially in the opening forty five minutes.

Attention switched to the other end though, as a City counter ended with a sprawling Adam Bartlett pushing away a decent effort from Eire u21 striker Stephen Elliott.

The Newcastle custodian also denied the same player in the 41st minute, reacting quickly to parry a curling strike away to safety.

By then though the Magpies should have been ahead, a fine headed effort from Cort just after the half hour bringing out an equally impressive one-handed clearance from Ellegaard. Credit to Chopra for gathering up a loose pass to start this move off down the right and also to Brittain for a measured delivery.

The unfortunate Cort was to spurn more reasonable opportunities on 57 minutes, when he shot wide after a fine Orr through ball found him with space in the City area. And 12 minutes later when McClen blocked a defensive clearance to inadvertently play him in, the former Wimbledon forward could only rifle his effort straight at the City 'keeper.

With the game entering it's final stages and City pressing forward, Tommy Craig introduced Andy Ferrell to try and solidify the midfield, alongside Bradley Orr.

Working in tandem with Steve Caldwell and Stephen Taylor in central defence, City were kept at bay and reduced to speculative long balls and snatched shots that bounced harmlessly off the tin terrace roof behind Bartlett's goal.

Once again the organisational instincts of the Scottish international were apparent, with Orr dropping back a number of times to fill in for the absent Taylor.

Had City utilised the likes of Fowler, McManaman or Wanchope as they have in recent reserve games, or even Macken, our defence may have had a sterner examination. As it was though, a young City side with only the lazy Berkovic of any repute couldn't have had many complaints if they'd lost by more than a single goal.

An energetic and purposeful display from Newcastle then, thanks in no small part to the well-tended pitch at Ewen Fields and another decent return from what is becoming our happy hunting ground, in the North West.

With an away game against Bolton up next, hopefully we can maintain our encouraging away form and register another success.



Page last updated 14 July, 2016