Newsletter #267

Three games unbeaten and Buzzer on the score sheet – wonders never cease! There are several match reports, more transfer news, Player of the Month, opinion, an Oz Why Blue and an answer to the Virginia MANCITY plates!

I’m having to visit the USA once again next week so won’t have any internet access; it’s become a kind of MCIVTA tradition to have a guest editor step in in my absence. So far, Svenn Hanssen, Paul Howarth, Linda (wife), Stephen Bolton and Leo Fewtrell have all had a go. We need someone to take over for MCIVTA 269 and 270; these are the issues due to go out on Thursday 6th and 10th of February. So, you’ll need to be able to receive mail from Tuesday 4th to Monday 10th February. It only consists of cutting and pasting (a bit of editing too) and then mailing out a single edition to one of the MCIVTA mail machines. So, all that is needed is email and the ability to cut and paste. If you fancy having a bash then please let me know ASAP.

Next game, Sheffield United at home, Wednesday 29th January 1997


BRENTFORD vs. MANCHESTER CITY, F.A. Cup 3rd Round, Saturday 25th January 1997

“Cup fever”

I arrived at the compact Griffin Park fairly early, the weather was lovely, sunny and mild. All set for a great game. I had heard a lot about Brentford. They have a very settled team and play a counter-attacking style which often means their best performances are away from home as they don’t have to force the game so much.

I didn’t understand why the game was delayed for 15 minutes, the ground seemed full, maybe there was a bit of a panic about the turnstile queues, whatever, everyone seemed to be in by 3.

The game kicked off and surprisingly City seemed determined to stamp their authority on things early on. We were lucky to get away with some rash challenges and a few pushes and tugs; Brightwell did push things too far though and managed to get booked by a very easy going referee. The whole of the first half was scrappy, if not poor. Neither side showed much in the way of skill or control. Brentford played formula football, booting the ball down the park hopefully, or knocking it wide into space for their wingers to run on to. Our back four coped very well with the aerial assault. Our best chances fell to Rösler; twice he muscled his way through their defence only to fire his shots alarmingly high. Marcus Bent played a blinder for Brentford, he looks a good prospect as too did their young right back – Ashby? They managed a few shots but nothing that really troubled Margetson. To be honest I think Brentford looked nervous.

What happened at half time? Brentford cut out the aerial bombardment and instead focused their attack on the right wing. This exposed Ingram (who didn’t receive much support from Heaney), their right winger got in a number of very dangerous crosses which fell to both Taylor and Asaba. Margetson pulled off some great saves, one with his legs I think, but Brentford should have scored. City coped with the pressure and scored a great goal, Summerbee linking up brilliantly with Kinkladze which left him clear in the area with only the ‘keeper to beat; he hit the ball first time, lifting it over the somewhat dodgy keeper and into the goal!

The match then went scrappy again, just like the first half. I knew we would win it when David Webb took off their left back (Statham?) and stuck on another big striker. They stopped using the wings and tried punting hopeful balls down the pitch again. No chance.

Of our players no one really impressed. Kinky took a good free kick (just saved) and Rösler seemed to have more pace (or was it their defence was really slow?). I suppose Margretson was the man of the match; he didn’t put a foot wrong. Big Al Kernaghan looked fine at this level, he was great in the air, but a short-sighted, one legged clown could have passed more accurately. I don’t think we’ll win the Cup but we could definitely beat Watford and maybe on our day Middlesbrough.

Tim Starns (


BRENTFORD vs. MANCHESTER CITY, F.A. Cup 3rd Round, Saturday 25th January 1997

The 3rd Round of the F.A. Cup produced another shock as City overcame the Second Division leaders who were previously unbeaten at home. The Pools Panel clearly had more confidence in us than I did! Arriving at about 12:45, we met up with a few MCIVTA-ers in the New Inn before nipping round the corner and into the ground. The number of turnstiles was clearly inadequate for Brentford’s biggest crowd of the season (12,019, more than double the average) and the referee kindly delayed the kick-off by nearly quarter of an hour to allow everyone time to get into the ground.

There were two changes in the City side; Margetson replaced the ineligible Wright (who will be able to play in the 4th Round against Watford next week) and Big Alan Kernaghan made a welcome return, with Lee Crooks being the man to make way for him. Kernaghan partnered Symons in the centre of defence, with Brightwell moving out to right back and McGoldrick pushing up into midfield alongside Lomas. The line-up was thus:

Brightwell Kernaghan Symons Ingram
McGoldrick Lomas
Summerbee Heaney