Goals: A: Wright (90)
Line up: Immel, Edghill, Phelan, Curle, Symons, I.Brightwell, Flitcroft, Summerbee, Kinkladze (Quinn), Rösler, Beagrie
Report by: Robert Watson
I had a good feeling for this match. I had read the Sunday Times in the morning and which concluded "Placing so much emphasis on one playmaker [Kinkladze] has its pros and cons. Until City have all their injured players back and come to understand Kinkladze's needs they will go on suffering the cons. It may be a while yet before City reach their maximum potential." A view which was repeated by the now departed Paul Walsh in the match programme. Also Gerry Creaney was introduced to the crowd before the game. The Arsenal fans had brought their rubber sex doll with them - I thought there's an opportunity for a match report title like 'Inflated Dreams' or something, anyway on with the match:
01min: Beagrie announces his return with a foul on Parlour.
02min: Edghill heads back into the path of Bergkamp who shoots wide from just outside the box.
04min: More danger. Wright lobs the defence to allow Jenson a shot, however Phelan gets there first and concedes a corner.
05min: Foul on Wright outside right hand side of City box. Uwe is headed in the face when the free kick is taken, Edghill heads away.
09min: Wright sees Yellow for a foul on Curle.
10min: Beagrie's first run then passes to Phelan who accelerates. Tries to play the ball through for Kinkladze but there is a hand ball. Referee denies this. Kinkladze gets a cross in - easy for Seaman. Actually its amazing that City get the second chance at the attack as so far they have been second to the loose ball of which there have been many.
12min: Kinkladze shot from outside the box - easily wide.
13min: Flitcroft follows Winterburn towards the Arsenal corner flag before dropping him. Curle claps Flitcroft.
14min: Seaman kicks out, Symons heads back, Rosler shoots, easy for Seaman.
16min: Kinkladze completely jinxes Keown before Parlour blatantly brings him down.
19min: Immel throws out to Summerbee, who tries to take on Winterburn, ball out for Arsenal throw. At least he tried to take a man on for once!
20min: Merson through ball for Bergkamp to run onto and shoot from just outside box - Immel collects at second attempt.
23min: Dangerous freekick just outside box (Symons on Bergkamp I think), Wright's shot going in, ball palmed over by Immel.
30min: After a period of lots of headers and not exactly installing a lot of confidence in me, Phelan sprints up sideline and crosses, Rosler volley is not clean and ball is easy collected by Seaman.
33min: Curle gets ball caught between his legs, loses it to Merson whose shot is blocked by Edghill for a corner.
34min: Another Phelan run, turning inside his shot from outside the box is blocked.
35min: Back pass from Symons to Curle intercepted by Wright who is then blocked by Phelan. Phelan loses ball to Parlour who shoots. Saved by Immel. Immel throws ball out to Phelan who loses it to Parlour although the City defence rectifies the situation.
38min: Yet another Phelan sprint, passed to Kinkladze, pass to Summerbee who turns and shoots over from outside the box. Arsenal clear before a foul on Adams by Rosler.
40min: Man on my left asks me if I am a Newcastle scout having watched me notetaking for 40 minutes (man on my right is an Arsenal supporter!). Thus I miss the action as City give away a free kick outside the box. Bergkamp (or was it Merson) takes and it is just little wide of the post. Good effort.
42min: Bergkamp push on Symons and a free kick. Man on my left shouts "Get Back To Your Porn, Bergkamp !".
45min: Summerbee fails to control a (high) ball, balls falls between Winterburn and Edghill. Winterburn shows his studs and sees Yellow.
So to half time. The game had been poor. Again City had about (just less than) half the possession but Arsenal had all the chances really. You may have noticed the lack of mention of some City players. Say no more !
48min: City camped in their own half. Summerbee sees Yellow for foul on Winterburn. Stretcher comes half on but Winterburn hobbles to the side of the pitch. Bergkamp takes the freekick - just wide of the post but Immel had it covered.
52min: Flitcroft sees Yellow for showing his studs to Keown.
53min: Phelan sees Yellow for a foul on Parlour (mind you Parlour wasn't holding back). The game has become more physical and passionate since half time. City still camped in.
55min: City get ball in Arsenal third and indeed the box but Flitcroft is offside before Summerbee crosses. Amazing, Summerbee actually can take people on and beat them !
56min: Phelan run and loses ball to Dixon who he tracks back to the Arsenal touch line and then Dixon makes an elaborate dive right in front of me. The referee of course has stern words for Terry who has already been booked.
58min: Beagrie beats Dixon and Parlour only to provide an easy cross for Seaman.
59min: City have their tails up. Through ball too long for Summerbee who runs on to pressurise Seaman. Seaman punts the ball out for a throw. Play commences. Bould leaves his arm out to slow Rosler's chase through for a ball he probably wouldn't have got to. Well I reckoned it was a foul!
60min: Rosler 1-2 with Kinkladze which he collects but cannot control, it was a tight move. Ball suddenly at other end. Bergkamp seemingly clear then shoved off the ball by a City defender.
61min: Brightwell (now there's a name you haven't heard all day) crosses, Winterburn heads out. Then Arsenal break. Bergkamp finds Wright in full flight but he is escorted out of play by Symons and then Phelan.
63min: Rosler fouled by Adams or so he claimed. Referee says no foul !
64min: Merson turns Symons outside box (about 25 yards) and unleashes a shot which curls away from Immel's post. Ball immediately returned to Bergkamp via the Arsenal defence from City's goal kick. Foul on Symons by Bergkamp given.
65min: Beagrie intercepts throw-in, dribbles and shoots but it's easy for Seaman.
68min: Rosler throws ball away after tussle with Bould, referee says no free kick.
69min: Wright holds up ball with back to goal. Kinkladze uproots him. Kinkladze sees Yellow.
71min: Beagrie run, plays ball for Rosler who cuts inside at edge of area and is tackled by Adams just before the shot.
72min: Symons heads ball back to Immel just as Wright shaping up to shoot.
75min: Rosler has no answer for Bould and Adams who have reigned supreme to any delivery by air.
76min: Beagrie obstructed in my book anyway but not given. Wright run and shot from Bergkamp lay-off. Beagrie has the ball again, turns Parlour and Dixon the wrong way before supplying the cross, easy for Seaman.
77min: Substitutions made by both sides. Quinn immediately heads to Rosler who has his back to goal lays it off for Beagrie shot - blocked ! City regain possession and float cross in. Quinn goes through Dixon and a free kick is awarded.
83min: Bergkamp fouled by Curle but free kick comes to nothing. City break and Quinn's jump is penalised in the box as he did what (would someone please tell me) to Winterburn.
84min: Bergkamp shot easy for Immel. Game appears to be heading for a draw.
85min: Summerbee again plays like a winger but cross is too long for Rosler. Adams concedes the corner. Corner comes in and goes out to Brightwell who lobs it back in. Just under Seaman's bar but lightening doesn't strike twice does it?
86min: City play the ball out of defence. Quinn finds Beagrie who plays a lovely ball through to that greyhound Rosler who is blocked inside the box by Bould. Rosler off the pitch momentarily for attention. Both Seaman and Adams congratulate Bould, that shows you what a vital tackle it was.
88min: Curle's through ball too long and easy for Seaman.
89min: Beagrie knocks the ball away from the danger area to Quinn who is penalised for what ? Freekick taken quickly before City have got themselves arranged. Dixon, Bergkamp, Dixon, Bergkamp provides a low cross from the right for Wright about 6 yards out who scores ! NIL-ONE !
90min: Last ditch effort by City. Freekick outside box, Beagrie shoots and Seaman gets down well to save before an onrushing Rosler.
Gutted ! The second half definitely showed more commitment but the match lacked really good chances. It must be said that City are looking sterile in the goal scoring department, there is a lack of imagination and flare in the opportunities and Rosler was easily overshadowed by Bould and Adams until the introduction of Quinn. A draw would have been a fair result but that's football!
You may feel from the report that Arsenal had it all their own way - I think a neutral would definitely agree. Perhaps Mr. Gallagher's Banbury is a small hamlet in Highbury ?
Points of promise were that I thought Phelan had a great game as well as Symons and Flitcroft (occasionally). Edghill had his best game of the year IMHO but that's not saying he was good, just not as bad as previous games. Brightwell, Beagrie and Curle were all much better in the second half as was the game itself.
Goals: MC: Creaney (81). NU: Beardsley (17pen), Lee (38), Ferdinand (59)
Line up: Immel, Edghill, Phelan, Curle, Symons, I.Brightwell, Flitcroft (Lomas), Kinkladze (Summerbee), Creaney, Rösler, Beagrie
Action shots: On the Edge by the Daily Telegraph.
Report by: Garreth Ryan
Having made the journey from London, and it being my first trip to Newcastle, I thought I'd better make some sort of a report! If anybody else living in the Southeast or London is considering the trip next season by car, then be prepared for a 4.5 hr trip in the morning (A1 dodgy) and unfortunately we came back Sunday afternoon, it took *7 hours* (4 hrs from Nottingham to London). However, despite the result and the performance it was worth it. Newcastle is really buzzing in a way that only a "one team town" can.....it seems like 60% of the population is wearing black&white stripes, and I felt well out of place walking round in sky blue; we walked round the city centre trying to find a pub with the odd city fan, but no luck. Settled on a pub, just down the hill from St James', for a few Newcie Browns.... Once inside the stadium, the penny dropped that the 1500 or so Blues must have been drinking in the stadium, well the ones that drink anyway....first impressions of the ground are the brilliant design integrity, walkways etc.and 80% of the crowd are in their team strip...a great atmosphere, with City fans leading a lot of the singing,and a great view of the ground even though we were in the corner.......I'm no fan of Maggie-loving Sir JohnHall but it's difficult to be cynical about anything that's been achieved up there...(I can't believe I just wrote that).....
So Beardsley turned up in the starting line-up despite being pronounced unfit the previous day (don't know if AB bargained for this or not). I had placed a hopeful bet for a 1-0 City win just before kick-off, and when Eike had made 7 excellent saves in the first 5 minutes, my reaction to my neighbour was that it was our lucky day....(total bollocks reaction, but you have to,haven't you?) Immel's opening form was the type of performance that soaks up the early pressure, gives the team a bit of confidence etc.......this kind of form _will_ win matches against lesser Premiership sides but this was Newcastle, and whilst the penalty given away by Edgehill 17 (put away by Beardsley) and his sendingoff on 25, closed the book on us early on, United with Beardsley,+ Ginola,Gillespie making unopposed runs and inch perfect crosses to Ferdinand, it would have been tough anyway.
I'm not convinced that City's workrate was anything as high as it was against Arsenal (yes, it's true Skywatchers, that _was_ a good City performance), and newboy Creaney doesn't look like a chaser to me......in fact for all you closet SergeantMajors,Gerry Creaney is a shirt outside the shorts man....Summerbee came on for a largely ineffectual Kinky on 67, and though we didn't look particularly dangerous, he provided some presence on the right wing which was completely unmanned up till then, most obviously,when we were in possession in midfield. Now I can't remember whether he had to get round a man or not but fair dues,he made the cross on 81, which Creaney showed a bit of genuine striker's heading craft with.....Creaney must have known he'd been getting a bit of stick up till then, as he made a defiant "this is what I can do" sort of gesture to the City fans....fair play to him!
City fans had been in good voice right through to the final whistle and I was thinking the players should give us some extra recognition at the end, and they did.......
To sum up then, and to generalise!... plus points: Eike will win games for us, Creaney scores on his début; minus points: City completely outclassed in defence, unable to handle quality wingers, unable to disrupt opponents (within the rules) 6 yellows, 1 red... and like in the Arsenal match nobody will have a go at shooting!
Other thoughts, Huddersfield are 6th in Div.1 with 100% home record; and Ball reckons a win against Wycombe will be a confidence booster!
All the best everyone,
Line up: Immel, Edghill, Phelan, Curle, Symons, I.Brightwell, Lomas, Kinkladze (Summerbee), Quinn, Rösler, Beagrie
Action shots: Curly by the Daily Telegraph.
Report by: Paul Howarth
Another new ground for me and I suspect most of the 1,500+ Blues who made the journey south to Adams Park. The ground is unusual for one so new in that it doesn't look like a warehouse or some sort of industrial unit (like Walsall and Scunthorpe for instance), being solidly constructed and finished with attractive brickwork. Set amidst the Buckinghamshire countryside well away from the town centre, parking spaces were plentiful but amenities such as pubs were much harder to locate (ones that would let away fans wearing colours in anyway). The ground was reasonably full, the low roofs of the stands contributing to the atmosphere and resulting in the loss of 5 or 6 balls.
With Gerry Creaney cup-tied and Garry Flitcroft suffering from an ankle knock, Niall Quinn and Steve Lomas were drafted into the starting line-up. The first half was a typically end-to-end cup tie but without a great many chances created by either side. City looked really nervous and the lack of confidence within the side showed with many aimless punts up the field and some panic-stricken clearances from players under no real pressure.
City actually had the ball in the net once but the linesman had long since flagged for offside. Edghill was in trouble with the referee again, picking up an early booking but things looked better on the left flank where Phelan and Beagrie looked much more like their old selves going forward. Chief threat from Wycombe came from Miguel DeSouza, a striker quick enough to leave even Phelan behind. He had what looked a good shout for a penalty refused on 14 minutes after Edghill appeared to take his legs in an incident very similar to the one at Newcastle on Saturday. Instead, the referee booked DeSouza for diving.
In the second half City were awful and were well outplayed by Wycombe, who were first to the ball virtually every time. Simple pass-and-move tactics seem to be missing from City's game plan and there was very little communication between our players, with the exception of the industrious Lomas. However, Edghill's poor distribution appears to have spread to the rest of the team now and Lomas was no exception. Kinky was totally ineffective played wide on the right, and although he moved about a bit more in the second half, was unable to impose himself on the game, being replaced by Summerbee once again. Summerbee managed what was pretty well City's only shot late in the second half, after cutting inside from the right flank. His appearance for the reserves appears to have done him some good, though there's still plenty of room for improvement.
At the other end Wycombe forced a steady stream of corners and had a goal of their own disallowed following a blatant foul on Immel by DeSouza. In the end we managed our first clean sheet of the season but there's no chance of another one on Saturday if we play like this. We seem to be getting worse rather than better and the lack of confidence has permeated right through the side. Radical changes are needed, if only to bring some youthful enthusiasm into the side. Hopefully a single win will be enough to restore confidence but it's hard to see where it's going to come from. The lads were booed off the field again and the City fans moaned "One shot! We've only had one shot!" and "Are you watching Alan Ball?"
Final score: 0-0
Goals: M: Barmby (16)
Line up: Immel, Edghill, Phelan, Curle, Symons, I.Brightwell, Lomas, Kinkladze (Summerbee), Creaney, Rösler, Brown (Beagrie)
Report by: Ken Foster
I felt that this would be AB's day of reckoning. Not many of the excuses could wash for this match. Why was I so nervous. I had the feeling that our whole season rested on this match. Flitcroft's absence was obviously worrying AB and he packed the midfield with 4 players and started off playing Edghill on the right wing! I think Brightwell was meant to cover the hole this left behind him. A novel idea really. Edgehill is so crap that we may do better with no right back at all. In spite of these tactical manouvres I thought we played quite well in the first half. We had all the play, forced lots of corners, had several shots (hard to believe I know, but true nevertheless). The best attempt came from Kinkladze whose long range effort was tipped over by Walsh. We looked quite dangerous coming forward but still no killer pass. Rösler was getting frustrated again and Creaney looked as if he'd just come out of the pub. The midfield played well without imposing themselves decisively.
Middlesborough scored when Barmby beat Edgehill on the half way line, laid it off to Hignett who attacked the box, played a neat one two with Fjortoft whose delightful back heel opened us up. A shot come pass left Barmby in the clear to slot home. No tackle from a City player in the whole move. I got to see the goal again at half time on City's close circuit TV and it looked a shade offside, but the camera angle was inconclusive. 1-0 down at half time after looking the better team. Mind you, this was only Middlesborough and they didn't look any great shakes apart from Barmcake. Nice to see the City fans have got their sense of humour back though. After Borough scored their fans chirped up with a rendition of 'Going Down, Going Down....(repeat as necessary). The City fans responded with 'So are we, so are we....'.
Like most of the other games this season, we started the second half poorly. Kinky disappeared, Brown got tired, Edgehill started playing accurate passes to any Middlesborough player in range. It was dire. Creaney was falling over the ball and Uwe gave his shirt to a linesman. Fred Karno's at Maine Road. AB got a lecture from the ref. for protesting too vehemently when the ref gave a free kick for an innocuous challenge from Symons. Something had to be done. Brown and Kinky were replaced by Beagrie and Summerbee. Lo and behold we started going forward again. Summerbee in particular was going past defenders at will and putting some decent crosses over. He rattled the bar with a peach of a shot and I nearly hit the roof of the North Stand because I thought it had gone in. In fact it had done a 'Geoff Hurst' and come out again (Shit! was the cry). Our pressure did not bring the much needed rewards and the players went off to a chorus of boos.
We were beaten by a mediocre side. Edgehill needs to be dropped/sold/forgotten about as soon as possible and I was distinctly unimpressed by Creaney on this showing. He looked as if he'd be more at dropped/sold/forgotten about as soon as possible and I was distinctly unimpressed by Creaney on this showing. He looked as if he'd be more at home playing for Salford Snooker. Apart from that, no grumbles really. It's what being a City fan is all about.
Marks Out of 10
Goals: NF: Lee (10, 46), Stone (82)
Line up: Immel, I.Brightwell, Foster, Curle, Symons, Brown, Lomas, Kinkladze, Beagrie, Rösler, Creaney (Summerbee)
Action shots: Chip by the Daily Telegraph.
"Wycombe, Wycombe, You Are Next!"
Nobody really expected us to get anything here, including the Forest mascot who confidently predicted a 3-0 home win. "That sounds quite reasonable," said his interviewer. City returned a sizeable number of unsold tickets for this game, hardly surprising given City's current form and the 17.00 pounds price tag for seats in the lower tier of the Bridgeford Stand, opposite the new Trent End.
City started well enough, keeping possession well and taking the game to their hosts who in turn looked quite useful on the break. It was Forest who opened the scoring on 10 minutes when City failed to clear a ball 6 yards out after Immel had saved well. Jason Lee reacted first and slid the ball home underneath Immel. City's heads dropped for a while and we looked very edgy at the back. Symons and Immel misunderstood each other and ended up giving a corner away when there should have been no danger; fortunately nothing came of it.
Brian Roy's pace, control and off the ball running was excellent and he was a constant menace to the Blues. A foul on Roy by Brightwell on 40 minutes resulted in him being the 6th or 7th name in the ridiculously-fussy referee's book and this was by no means a dirty match. Tackling seemed to be prohibited and within a minute Brightwell got himself sent off by kicking the ball away after another decision went against us. Lee had been booked earlier for a similar offence so there could be no complaints about inconsistency.
Kinky was looking good, controlling the midfield for us and really getting involved. Beagrie got plenty of service out wide but failed to get any decent crosses in so chances for Rösler and Creaney were few and far between. Overall though, not a bad first half performance.
Forest doubled their lead straight after the restart, Lee pouncing on another rebound from a blocked shot after a corner. The home fans started singing "who needs Collymore when we've got Jason Lee" but I bet they'd swap in an instant if they had the chance. For the next few minutes Forest looked like they'd run riot but City buckled down and tried to pull themselves back into the game. For the next 30 minutes City's 10 men took the game to Forest and created a few chances, the best of which fell to Summerbee (on for Creaney) who crashed a shot against the post after good work by Rösler down the right flank. In this form, Summerbee should soon be back in the starting line-up and it's quite possible that Creaney will take his place as the target for the boo-boys' attention.
Forest looked to exploit the space left by Brightwell in City's defence on the break and went on to score a third goal with an excellent passing move which tore through City, culminating in a neat one-two finished off by Steve Stone from 12 yards. This was pretty harsh on City, who had put in a much-improved performance, though still nowhere near good enough to compete with a side of Forest's class. Most of the travelling Blues sat in resigned silence through much of the game but there was a small group in the corner that kept singing throughout, sometime getting behind the team, sometimes sarcastic and occasionally IMHO a little over the top. I thought that chanting "We're s**t and we know we are" whilst the lads were battling away and playing better than usual couldn't possibly do anybody any good apart from our opponents.
So, a record seventh straight defeat, bottom of the league with only 1 point from 8 games and our heaviest defeat of the season so far, yet I didn't feel too bad. Maybe I'm already resigned to our fate? There were encouraging signs in this game; we weren't as bad as most of the press said and we at least had some chances to miss in this game. Take heart, we're not down yet.
Final score: Forest 3 City 0