MAN. CITY VS. HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (10-1)
TITLE Manchester City F.C. vs. Huddersfield Town Barclays League Division Two Saturday, 7th November, 1987. PUBLISHER Manchester City F.C., Maine Road, Moss Side, Manchester M14 7WN England (UK)-61-226-1191/2 RUNNING TIME Approx 60 mins PRICE £11.99?
I bought this video several years ago now from the souvenir shop at Maine Road so I've no idea what it costs nowadays or for that matter, whether it is still available. The film work is Granada's and is titled 'Barclays League, Second Division Special'. The video is essentially a copy of the programme transmitted on the Saturday night a few hours after the game ended. The cassette itself is from the club and is somewhat amateurishly packaged. The box is one of those you might get from your local video rental shop and the sleeve is the cover of a matchday programme which means that the information is for a spectator and not for a video purchaser, hence there are no timings or credits. Also, as frequently happens, the team was altered after the programme had been printed so Paul Lake was in for Ian Brightwell (only players still with the club) and Tony Adcock for Imre Varadi.
The game is virtually all Huddersfield (including ex-Blue Andy May) for the first ten minutes. There are a lot of empty seats and the atmosphere suffers a little; you really get the feeling that you are watching a second division match. The first goal comes after 13', a sweetly struck left foot shot from the tricky and industrious Neil NcNab. He was just one of three 'old heads' in the team, something we could perhaps do with at the moment(?); the other two were John Gidman and good old Kenny Clements. Huddersfield continue to play well but go further behind in the 29th minute through Stewart, though I suspect the keeper should have done better. Five minutes later and they are three down as Adcock gets his 1st goal for City and his 100th league goal with a sharp header. In the 41st minute an unmarked White side foots in to make it 4-0 at half time. At this point you just have to feel plain sorry for Huddersfield who had the first clear chance and played well but didn't get the breaks.
The second half is once again all Huddersfield for the first 10 mins or so until number five goes in on 53', again Adcock. From here on in, Stewart plays brilliantly, deft little touches, good distribution, excellent running and finishing. Nowadays, it appears to be fashionable to knock him; I've lost count of the times I've been told how utterly useless he is, but here you can see why Tottenham ended up paying so much for his services. He scores the 6th in the 67th minute and Huddersfield don't know what's hit them as the 7th follows from Adcock for his hat-trick a minute later. They do however, get themselves together and still play a passing game but City are raring to get the ball and attack again, despite having the game in the bag. Stewart completes his hat-trick on 81 minutes to make it 8-0 after some appalling marking in the box and the commentator is already talking about poor old Ian Banks, the Huddersfield skipper, having to have an 8-0 defeat on his record! White scores his second on 85 mins and Huddersfield finally get something (a dubious penalty?) for their endeavours when Gidman pushes Cork in the box, Andy May scoring (90'). Amazingly, White gets his hat-trick by steaming up field onto a long ball and calmly rounding the keeper to make it double figures. The fans were screaming for 10 for the last 10 minutes but I guess they never dreamt they would get them, the last one falling in the 90th minute.
This was one of those games that happens every 100 years. City played well, but Huddersfield were just not as bad as the scoreline suggests, although there was some pretty poor defending. Teams far, far worse than them will come to Maine Road and play against far better City sides but they'll get away with a 1-0 or 2-0 defeat; on this day it just all went right. Indeed, Huddersfield had several reasonable chances and City I reckoned had another 5 which could have gone in. 10-1 and 3 hat-tricks in a game, what can you say? The three hat-trick scorers are interviewed in somewhat stilted fashion afterwards with all of them speaking for 30 secs and basically saying 'great, brilliant, I was pleased to get three me, very pleased'! not very enlightening stuff!
Although not a slick product by today's standards (perhaps it's been repackaged?) this is a piece of history and we should all be glad that a TV company bothered to film, what was undoubtedly for them, a relatively unimportant second division match.
All the above are my own personal opinions