Newsletter #36

This one’s out in record time. We have a Match Report from Paul and another is promised for MCIVTA 37. The reason this issue is going out today is due to Wednesday’s match at Palace. We should have enough material to put out an issue on Wednesday around 3.00pm which will hopefully include the latest team news for what must be the most important game we’ve played in a very long time (excluding relegation battles that is). I’ve included the latest league standing and all the results since before Xmas as well as this weekend’s FA Cup ties for those in faraway places.

Next game, Crystal Palace away, CCCup Q-Final, Wednesday 11th January


NOTTS COUNTY vs. MANCHESTER CITY, FA Cup 3rd Round, 8th January, 1995

It was a bright and sunny but wintry Sunday in the East Midlands and City were out for revenge after their 5th round exit at the hands of County in 1991 at a very different Meadow Lane. The pitch has been moved away from the river Trent by about 20 feet, giving room to build a small stand at that end of the ground where previously there were only five or six rows of seats. The other three sides of the ground look to have been completely rebuilt, resulting in a tidy ground with a capacity of around 17,000 and good views from everywhere. City fans made up about half of the 12,376 attendance which I would have expected to result in a tremendous atmosphere, especially in view of the classic Cup-tie football that was about to unfold before our eyes. Strange then that though the City fans made a lot of noise in sporadic bursts, the home fans were very quiet almost all the way through, despite their side holding a lead for much of the game.

Despite the well-publicised injury problems, City were able to field what is essentially the first choice midfield (Summerbee, Flitcroft, Lomas and Beagrie) and forward line (Walsh and Rösler); the defence of Foster, Ian Brightwell, Kernaghan and Phelan wasn’t exactly reserve team material either. City kicked off and started brightly, looking a class above the home side who appeared to be a little overawed in the first ten minutes, not really surprising considering their position five points adrift at the foot of division one and having lost their last five games. Lomas nutmegged a County forward whilst deep in his own half, a sign of confidence amongst the City side. Nevertheless, County hit the bar from a free kick 25 yards out after 5 minutes that would have reminded City not to be complacent. On 10 minutes, Flitcroft fouled Devlin who reacted angrily and lashed out with both feet at Flitcroft, making contact too. Amazingly, referee Mike Reed booked neither player.

County began to get into the game and it became clear that City’s two central midfield players were having off days to say the least. Passes were going woefully astray and the defence was getting exposed. A sustained period of pressure from County led to the opening goal, the ball being fed out to the left wing where there was acres of space for Legg to look up and deliver a measured, low cross that Rob Matthews volleyed home at the near post. Within two minutes City were level. Beagrie picked up the ball just inside the County half and went on one of his mazy runs, cutting inside and hitting a low shot from about 20 yards. Inexplicably, goalkeeper Steve Cherry didn’t make a move and to our delight the net bulged. Cue the somersault! This burst of activity managed to stoke the atmosphere up a bit but two minutes later we were behind again. The ‘Pies appeared to be operating a shoot on sight policy which was looking dangerous as a number of efforts had gone narrowly wide. Another attempt from 25 yards by Matthews bobbled just in front of Dibble and for the first time in several matches he failed to hold the ball. The huge County striker Devon White, booked earlier in the game, went for the 50-50 ball with Dibble and just got there first, poking the ball just inside the post and knocking Dibble senseless at the same time. Dibble was motionless for quite a while and looked shaky for the rest of the half but fortunately was able to continue.

The home side had two good chances to extend their lead in the remainder of the first half, the first a lob over the sluggish Dibble which was well wide and the second a hurried shot blazed over the bar from ten yards when a goal looked a certainty. Notts County were playing very well and thoroughly deserved their lead at half time, City having failed to create a single decent scoring chance in the whole of the half, including the goal! At half time David Brightwell replaced his brother who appeared to be struggling after picking up a knock on his calf again. The second half was more even, chances being created at both ends. After only two minutes a ball was half cleared from a corner to Lomas who hit a wonderful volley which was heading straight for the bottom corner of the goal in front of us until an excellent diving save from Cherry pushed the ball past the post. Beagrie was in tremendous form despite the constant attentions of two defenders; it was a good job really because of the rest, only Alan Kernaghan can take any pride from this match. Uwe ran about a lot but wasn’t getting anywhere, Flitcroft and Lomas were having stinkers and the defence was caught AWOL on a number of occasions. One worrying thing that has started to happen in recent games is that Walsh and Rösler (Uwe in particular) have been taking on defenders in the penalty area and going down after the slightest of challenges instead of ploughing on as they would have done earlier in the season. The referees are rightly having none of it but I wonder if this is something coming down from the chairman?

There was little urgency from the City side (Dibble in particular); perhaps they’re all stuck in “grind out a nil-nil” mode after the recent performances against Liverpool and Newcastle? After 62 minutes, Horton decided to take a gamble by taking off Foster and replacing him with Quinn. This proved to be the turning point of the match as it became apparent that County had a weakness in the air. Quinn was able to hold the ball up well and the extra man forward stretched the home defence a little more. The equaliser came in the 68th minute from a very similar situation to the second goal against Villa. Beagrie won a free kick close to the corner flag. He took the kick himself and it was flicked on by Quinn at the near post to the unmarked David Brightwell who headed into the empty goal. He looked very pleased and ran to the City fans behind the goal to celebrate. Not unexpectedly he was booked for over-celebrating. Chances continued to appear at both ends and Brightwell nearly blotted his copybook by heading an attempted clearance against his own crossbar. Before the frantic last five minutes, I witnessed the longest throw-in I’ve ever seen in my life. From a position about 20 yards from the goal line, a County player (couldn’t see who it was) threw the ball well past the opposite six yard box, the equivalent of a deep corner kick. We’ll have to watch out for that in the replay.

Both sides could have won the game in the last five minutes as City pressed forward for a winner. First Uwe had an unchallenged header from 8 yards out but hit it straight at the ‘keeper. Next, a poor kick-out from Cherry when challenged by Rösler after a back-pass went straight to Quinn; his first touch was good and he came into the penalty area but blazed his shot high and wide. In the last minute, McSwegan was sent clear down the left and with only Dibble to beat from the corner of the box, he chipped the ball over the onrushing City ‘keeper but sent it wide of the far post. The second half had been more even but a County winner wouldn’t have been undeserved. County’s performance belied their lowly league position and recent form; a repeat of this City performance on Wednesday will surely see us crash out of the Coca-Cola Cup against a Palace side who, having not scored since 30th November, put 5 past Lincoln City and will be in a confident mood.

Man of the match: Beagrie (excellent form)

Final score 2-2

Paul Howarth


Headline in the Sun “goals” supplement:


Referring, of course, to David coming on for Ian and then scoring our equalizer. Another 3rd round pratfall avoided, so I feel (reasonably) confident that we can beat County at home and go on and take Villa. Could this be a two cup season ?). Apparently Niall made all the difference when he came on after an hour. Also, we did get some revenge for the County goalie’s (Steve Cherry) inspired performance against us 3 (?) years back, when Peter Beagrie scored our first equaliser; he cut in from the wing, beat a couple of players and then appeared to pass the ball into the box – in fact it was a shot (I think!), which went in by the right hand post as Cherry just stood there and watched !. Haven’t seen the second equaliser yet, but Brightwell then went on to head against our bar just before the end, as did one of the County forwards. Jammy – but good to see the luck go with us for a change.

Rags play tonight; spotted on Ceefax after Wrexham’s unsurprising victory over Ipswich, on drawing Rags or Blades … “Wrexham draw United”, then a page of info about it. Funny … you used to have to win your game to go through to the next round of the cup I thought. Alex Ferguson (Churl of the British Empire, courtesy the Guardian!) is claiming this morning that most of his squad have ‘flu … could be feeling a cold wind blowing? I have noted over the past couple of weeks that callers into 606 & “James & the doc” who ‘support’ the Rags are getting twitchy and/or critical about them. Let’s hear it for the media backlash !

BTW, “James & the Doc” … it’s on Radio 5 at 6pm on Sundays, immediately after Sport on Sunday, and is vary good – James H Reeve is a diehard blue, and the Doc, … well, the Doc is the Doc – he’s had some pretty rude things to say about City in the past (I believe him to be the originator of the “laughing stock” joke), but seems to have a love of/or respect for the club, and takes me back to a time when I believe relations between the two sets of fans were better than they are these days. The program is essentially a phone-in, but has a few regular spots – John Peel chips in now and again, a blue radio 1 dj has a regular top ten spot (slapheads / big bellies / crims / whingers … that sort of thing {guess which club got the top four spots in the latter category?)), and there is the cracking “Bradshaws of Barnoldswick”, a tale of a football supporting family of yore. So … so give this program a try, it’s a jewel!

Up the Blades!

Jeremy Poynton


The FA Cup 3rd Round Replay against Notts County will be at Maine Road on Wednesday 18th January at 7.45pm. Season ticket holders can claim their seat by presenting application form DD and their season ticket at the ticket office from Monday 9th January. County have been allocated 2,200 seats in blocks S, T & U of the North Stand, so season ticket holders in these areas will have to choose a seat elsewhere in the stadium. Season ticket holders have until 7.00pm on Friday 13th January to claim their seats after which they will go on open sale. Non season ticket holders can apply for tickets in the Kippax immediately and in the Main, North and Platt Lane stands from Saturday 14th January. Membership cards are not required to purchase tickets for this match.

Prices are as follows:

Main Stand blocks B & C:      14.00 pounds
Main Stand, other blocks:     13.00 pounds
Platt Lane & North Stands:    11.00 pounds
Family Stand, Adult:           7.00 pounds
Family Stand, Juniors/OAPs:    5.00 pounds
North Stand K/L, Juniors/OAPs: 5.00 pounds
Kippax, Adult:                 9.00 pounds
Kippax, Juniors/OAPs:          6.00 pounds

BTW, the winners of the replay play Aston Villa at home in the 4th Round.

Paul Howarth


Andy Dibble took the full force of Devon White’s studs in his chest whilst conceding the second goal on Sunday and is now doubtful for Wednesday’s game against Palace. Martyn Margetson is standing by.

Keith Curle will play a practice match before deciding whether or not he’s fit to play on Wednesday.

Steve Lomas has been suspended for 2 matches after picking up his latest booking. Don’t know when the ban starts.

The Mole


I’m going to the Palace game on Wednesday with a couple of Blues and wouldn’t mind knowing a good pub to meet up in, anybody any ideas?

Russ Jenk,


What are the opinions of the readers of the fanzines? I used to get KK and Electric Blue a few seasons ago and found them both informative and humourous. However the continual snipping by BluePrint at KK (and the other way round to a lesser extent) started to get on my nerves, I got fed up with the back stabbing and bitchiness involved and stopped buying them. So my question have they stopped being petty? Are they as good as they used to be or better? Which of the fanzines do people favour?

Martin Ford


Having my interest in the Blues rekindled by MCIVTA meant that a trip to the Academy would be an absolute must at Crimble (Xmas). It’s not that I ever ceased to support City but enthusiasm gradually waned (9 years in exile) along with the dearth of information, all I got was a scoreline in a Swiss newspaper on a Monday.

Planning started well ahead with an email to Martin to find out about the ins and outs of City’s membership and ticket sales scheme, a hot potato if ever there was one! Fortunately, things were made a lot easier by a ‘phone call to my mate Stephen Bolton, also a lapsed Blue (in terms of attendance anyway) who got a couple of membership forms from a workmate, one of which I hurriedly filled out and despatched along with the only passport photo I could find in our apartment. Needless to say, it wasn’t particularly flattering but what the hell! We enclosed a letter asking for both cards to go to my mate’s address as we thought that we might have to present them in order to buy tickets in advance (we were wrong on this one). I had various disaster scenarios running through my head, what if they sent it to my house in the Peak District where it would lie on the floor tantalisingly out of reach of my mate who’d be desperately trying to fish it back out through the letter box? What if they sent it to Switzerland leaving me desperately explaining on the day why I couldn’t show them my card, ‘not heard that one before mate, nice try but piss off!’ I needn’t have worried, City duly despatched the cards to my mate’s house which proves that a least some aspects of the system work without problems.

The next decision to take was which match(es) to go to, this boiled down to Blackburn & Villa. The former was on the 26th and I naïvely assumed it would be in the afternoon like all the matches I used to go to on past Boxing Days, which meant familial commitments would rule it out. It was Villa by default and the tickets were duly reserved with the aid of a credit card and a ‘phone, painless. It was only on Xmas day when reading the TV schedule that I discovered that the Blackburn game was on Sky at 7.00pm. After a short period for it to sink in, I realised that the game was ‘live’ and therefore in the evening! Aaarrgghhhh! I could have gone after all, shafted once again by Sky television; at least I’m getting used to it. I did manage to catch it on TV but I would have liked to attend a night game as I find the atmosphere that little bit special.

Saturday 31st was pretty cold in the Peak District and right on cue it began to snow like buggery about 11.00am, precipitating visions of being snowed in; our house is slap bang in the middle of nowheresville! Luckily, conditions weren’t bad enough to prevent me getting a lift to Chapel en le Frith station where the train turned up on time. My mate joined me at Disley and we had a trouble-free journey to Manchester. Being a couple of mid 30 year-olds, decision-making has become a process fraught with difficulty, should we have a few pints in Mankie or go to Maine Road and sample the wares there? After several freezing minutes I recalled Roger Sharp’s report of the Newcastle game where he mentioned getting a taxi to the Academy without too great a financial penalty. Seeking warmth, we jumped into a taxi to be greated by a typical Mancunian taxi driver, Asian with an inpenetrable accent. I must have been too long in CH as my mate seemed to be able to converse with him without much trouble. We arrived at Maine Road shortly after and only 4 quid lighter. I’d only ever do it this way round, the traffic is so bad on the return leg that I guess it would probably cost in excess of a tenner.

It was only 1.30pm but there were already plenty of people around. We went into the souvenir shop which was loads better than I remember it. I went to United’s about 6 years ago to get a video for my father-in-law and then on to City’s to get myself a present. The contrast then was stark to say the least, the rags‘ was glitzy and bright whilst the Blues’ was totally depressing and dingy. Although it’s still relatively small, the place is bright with plenty on offer at reasonable prices. By now we were bloody freezing and as we came out to look at shirts in the window it began snowing! Martin didn’t believe me when I told him but it was definitely snowing and in central Manchester at that! Naturally the shirt I fancied wasn’t available in my size so I had to make do with a hat. We’d both been on a 15 mile walk in the Peak District the day before and despite being well kitted out with outdoor gear we weren’t relishing the thought of hanging around for the next 75 mins. We took a look at the ‘members only’ social club with 2 bruisers on the door; plenty of people were going in so I was wondering whether you had to be a member of the social club or just a member of MCFC. On enquiry I was told that membership could be had for a quid. We stumped up our money and entered a building which could have been a metaphor for the way things were built in the 1960’s, no doubt the architect lives a suitable distance away from his creation in leafy Wilmslow! To our surprise, the place was big inside and had a pretty good atmosphere, being filled with Blues, lots being families rather than traditional beer-swilling lads. Being of the latter persuasion (at least when not at home) we decided to get a couple of pints in. I eyed up the bitter which was Stones, at least that’s all I could see from where I was standing; why on earth are we selling a Sheffield brew when there are perfectly good local ones? With bitter you pays yer money and what you get ranges from nectar to absolute piss. Looking at the turnover and the lack of a caring landlord I plumbed for lager which tastes the same everywhere (OK a bit of a generalisation I admit) what better than a couple of cold beers on a bollock-freezing Saturday afternoon!

After half an hour, in walked the guys selling the ‘Rösler’s grandad bombed Old Trafford’ T-shirts which were a very reasonable £4.99 and were selling quickly. As my mate said, he couldn’t possibly miss the chance of annoying the rags at his workplace so a purchase was inevitable. We entered the Main Stand which was pretty full; I’d just been telling my mate about the alcohol ban in grounds so I was made to look pretty stupid by a super-abundance of bars and loads of Blues holding pints. Can someone please explain why banning alcohol on the terraces but allowing people to get ratlegged inside the building is OK? Being sheep we decided to have another; the barwoman informed my mate that the beer was piss (her words) and he concurred, after parting with his cash. By now we were getting hungry but Frannie’s philosophy hasn’t yet reached the food outlets, well those that cater for plebs like us anyway. The fare was identical to that on offer in 1974, water/fatburgers and pies, I decided to hang on to my money! I did however, spot the ‘Joe Mercer Suite’ which was guarded by a friendly steward who informed me that it cost 200 quid a year to join; presumably that only gets you through the door and the food is extra? It seems to be the way to go though, it (and the others) already made a million last year which shows that there is definitely a market for it. Hopefully the down-market catering will soon be the recipient of a boot up the arse and may even start selling such exotic foreign food as pizzas!

One thing that struck me were the amount of families around; when I had a season ticket in the late ’70s, bringing your family was decidedly dodgy considering the level of violence. A great change for the better, I’ll be taking mine along soon; who says indoctrination is a bad thing?! Well, if one thing’s certain in this life it’s that I never learn! After 20 mins I was dying for a piss and spent the rest of the half cross-legged. Same again in the second half but at least the Blues were attacking the North Stand end which was better for a spectacle-less me. I don’t want to describe the game but it was good to see Rösler in the flesh, especially his header as we went 2-0 up but I was a little disappointed that no substitutions were made when City had come to a standstill with 25 mins to go. No Gaudino and no Niall, never mind. On the way back we decided to walk to the station, a pleasant stroll (8-)). We passed UMIST library where I thought of Martin toiling over his match reports and then on home to Derbyshire. Great afternoon despite the draw and we’ll definitely be doing it again when I’m next home.



Dec 16, 1994   Ipswich         - Wimbledon        2 - 2
Dec 17, 1994   Arsenal         - Leeds            1 - 3
               Coventry        - Newcastle        0 - 0
               Crystal_Palace  - Norwich          0 - 1
               Everton         - Tottenham        0 - 0
               Leicester       - Blackburn        0 - 0
               Manchester_U    - Nottingham       1 - 2
               Sheffield_W     - Queen's_PR       0 - 2
               West_Ham        - Manchester_C     3 - 0
Dec 18, 1994   Chelsea         - Liverpool        0 - 0
Dec 19, 1994   Southampton     - Aston_Villa      2 - 1
Dec 26, 1994   Arsenal         - Aston_Villa      0 - 0
               Chelsea         - Manchester_U     2 - 3
               Coventry        - Nottingham       0 - 0
               Crystal_Palace  - Queen's_PR       0 - 0
               Everton         - Sheffield_W      1 - 4
               Leeds           - Newcastle        0 - 0
               Leicester       - Liverpool        1 - 2
               Manchester_C    - Blackburn        1 - 3
               Norwich         - Tottenham        0 - 2
               Southampton     - Wimbledon        2 - 3
               West_Ham        - Ipswich          1 - 1
Dec 27, 1994   Nottingham      - Norwich          1 - 0
               Tottenham       - Crystal_Palace   0 - 0
Dec 28, 1994   Aston_Villa     - Chelsea          3 - 0
               Ipswich         - Arsenal          0 - 2
               Liverpool       - Manchester_C     2 - 0
               Manchester_U    - Leicester        1 - 1
               Queen's_PR      - Southampton      2 - 2
               Sheffield_W     - Coventry         5 - 1
               Wimbledon       - West_Ham         1 - 0
Dec 31, 1994   Arsenal         - Queen's_PR       1 - 3
               Chelsea         - Wimbledon        1 - 1
               Coventry        - Tottenham        0 - 4
               Crystal_Palace  - Blackburn        0 - 1
               Everton         - Ipswich          4 - 1
               Leeds           - Liverpool        0 - 2
               Leicester       - Sheffield_W      0 - 1
               Manchester_C    - Aston_Villa      2 - 2
               Norwich         - Newcastle        2 - 1
               Southampton     - Manchester_U     2 - 2
               West_Ham        - Nottingham       3 - 1
Jan  2, 1995   Aston_Villa     - Leeds            0 - 0
               Blackburn       - West_Ham         4 - 2
               Ipswich         - Leicester        4 - 1
               Liverpool       - Norwich          4 - 0
               Newcastle       - Manchester_C     0 - 0
               Nottingham      - Crystal_Palace   1 - 0
               Sheffield_W     - Southampton      1 - 1
               Tottenham       - Arsenal          1 - 0
               Wimbledon       - Everton          2 - 1
Jan  3, 1995   Manchester_U    - Coventry         2 - 0

Total Jan 3, 1995

Blackburn       22    16   4   2    49  -  18    52
Manchester_U    23    15   4   4    44  -  19    49
Liverpool       23    13   6   4    44  -  19    45
Nottingham      23    12   6   5    36  -  23    42
Newcastle       22    11   7   4    40  -  24    40
Tottenham       23    10   6   7    39  -  34    36
Leeds           22     9   6   7    29  -  27    33
Norwich         23     9   6   8    21  -  23    33
Wimbledon       23     9   5   9    28  -  37    32
Sheffield_W     23     8   7   8    30  -  31    31
Manchester_C    23     8   6   9    33  -  38    30
Chelsea         22     8   5   9    29  -  30    29
Arsenal         23     7   7   9    26  -  26    28
West_Ham        23     8   4  11    22  -  27    28
Southampton     23     6   9   8    34  -  39    27
Coventry        23     6   7  10    21  -  40    25
Queen's_PR      22     6   6  10    33  -  39    24
Crystal_Palace  23     5   8  10    15  -  22    23
Aston_Villa     23     4  10   9    27  -  33    22
Everton         22     5   7  10    21  -  31    22
Ipswich         23     4   4  15    25  -  47    16
Leicester       23     3   6  14    22  -  41    15

With thanks to Riku Soininen

RESULTS – FA CUP (3rd round)

Aylesbury       (0) 0 - 4 (3)  QPR
Barnsley        (0) 0 - 2 (0)  Aston Villa
Birmingham      (0) 0 - 0 (0)  Liverpool
Bristol City    (0) 0 - 0 (0)  Stoke
Bury            (2) 2 - 2 (0)  Tranmere
Cambridge       (1) 2 - 4 (2)  Burnley
Chelsea         (2) 3 - 0 (0)  Charlton
Coventry        (0) 1 - 1 (0)  West Brom
Crystal Palace  (3) 5 - 1 (0)  Lincoln
Everton         (0) 1 - 0 (0)  Derby
Gillingham      (1) 1 - 2 (2)  Sheff Wednesday
Grimsby         (0) 0 - 1 (0)  Norwich
Leicester       (1) 2 - 0 (0)  Enfield
Luton           (1) 1 - 1 (1)  Bristol Rovers
Mansfield       (2) 2 - 3 (0)  Wolves
Millwall        (0) 0 - 0 (0)  Arsenal
Newcastle       (0) 1 - 1 (1)  Blackburn
Notts Forest    (2) 2 - 0 (0)  Plymouth
Notts County    (2) 2 - 2 (1)  Man City
Portsmouth      (1) 3 - 1 (1)  Bolton
Reading         (1) 1 - 3 (2)  Oldham
Scarborough     (0) 0 - 0 (0)  Watford
Sheff Utd  vs  Man Utd       *** playing monday evening ***
Southampton     (2) 2 - 0 (0)  Southend
Sunderland      (0) 1 - 1 (0)  Carlisle
Swansea         (1) 1 - 1 (0)  Middlesbrough
Swindon         (0) 2 - 0 (0)  Marlow
Spurs           (2) 3 - 0 (0)  Altrincham
Walsall         (1) 1 - 1 (0)  Leeds
Wimbledon       (1) 1 - 0 (0)  Colchester
Wrexham         (0) 2 - 1 (0)  Ipswich
Wycombe         (0) 0 - 2 (0)  West Ham


Thanks to Paul, Jeremy, Martin & The Mole.

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #36