Newsletter #389

Not good news I’m afraid, one point from the weekend leaves us in a serious position, but amazingly still above the bottom three! This issue contains a match report from each game. Apologies for the cursory nature of the intro, but it’s late and I’ve just got through writing a match report.

This one reaches 2,009.

Next game, Middlesbrough away, Friday 17th April 1998



Driving up from the south it was interesting to see snow on the countryside around Wolverhampton. It was a raw, wet day with a bitingly cold wind in the stadium. However any fears for the pitch after all the rain proved wrong – it looked and played well throughout – and the sun shone for much of the game.

This was my first visit to the new Molineux and I have to say I was a little disappointed, having heard such good things about the ground. Am I the only one who finds these new, admittedly very functional stadia a bit lacking in charm? The Wolves ground isn’t helped by having four very separate stands with the wind whistling in at the corners and the capacity isn’t huge. Still… I mustn’t carp… when I think we might be playing Gillingham next season… have you seen their ground!

The reason for this not being a full match report was my seat right at pitch level in one of the corners. I obtained very limited idea of the overall patterns and strategies. The team was this:

        Edghill Wiekens Jobson Vaughan Horlock
          Jim Whitley   Pollock   Bishop
                    Bradbury Goater

but I’m not sure of the exact formation.

Early on City enjoyed a fair bit of possession without creating clear-cut chances but Wolves were coming back into it just as City scored after 13 minutes. I had a good view of this as Pollock, seemingly no threat out on the left wing, prodded the ball down the line and then literally pushed his way past two defenders (on another day the ref. might have blown), took the ball to the dead ball line, cut in and then blasted the ball straight at Segers (who was probably anticipating a centre). The ball ricocheted off the ‘keeper’s arm into the net for a pretty good goal although some might blame Segers.

After this it was mainly Wolves with the best of the play and they did miss some good chances. Margetson made three good saves. At least City were attack-minded and kept scrapping but just as it looked like we might make half-time with a lead disaster struck again with another bad error. From a corner Margetson let the ball slip out of his hands into the net – it was bad enough for him to be credited with an own-goal.

Half-time 1-1 and I said to my neighbour that we’d do well to come away with a point. Wolves weren’t great but they were useful and played as a unit. Their defence, with Curle picking up all the pieces, was handling our strikers with ease, so it was no surprise to see a double substitution soon after the restart with Rösler coming on for Bradbury, Brown for Bishop.

The changes didn’t seem to make much impact on the Wolves pressure – they always seemed to have someone wide and Whitley and Edghill on our right were struggling to contain them. However, Uwe got through a couple of times and in about the 70th minute he was brought down by their last defender just outside the box in a central position. Sedgley was sent off and Horlock really powered in the free-kick. For a time we took control but couldn’t fashion a real chance and Wolves’ ten men began to play well. Sometimes it appeared that they had the extra man! Edghill was having a torrid time and it was him giving away a free-kick that led to their equaliser. It was another great strike from Paul Simpson and I can’t blame Margetson but it has to be said that it was from a long way out.

Back to reality just when we looked to have three points. Towards the end Pollock was substituted… not from injury I hope. I can’t award player ratings with the view I had but here are some comments: Bradbury and Goater worked hard but made no impression. It was good to see Horlock back, providing us with another goalscorer. Bishop struggled in midfield – I hope he isn’t past it. Pollock is the type of player we need to take some of the pressure off the younger ones, of whom Edghill was poor as a defender (by the way, I don’t think Jamie was booked in this game. And I’ve just looked up his and Edghill’s ages – they’re almost the same!). Finally (as we all know) we desperately need a goalkeeper of some stature and reliability. I think Margetson gives all he’s got and he can be a good reflex shot stopper but he’s too small. I didn’t really notice them but the central defenders must have performed well.

So, the tension continues… the teams we have to play this coming week both have much to play for…

Peter Kewley (



April in’t’North means that although the sun is shining brightly, it’s bitterly cold and we keep having to put up with the odd snow shower. Unfortunately, that’s not all we have to put up with and today showed us that someone somewhere really has it in for us! Had a nice pre-match warm up in Chinatown and arrived at a sunbathed Maine Road to see a rather poor Brummie turnout. Excepting the B’ham fans however, the stadium was almost full.

City played with an unchanged side, which meant that Horlock continued at left wing back, with Rösler, Brown and that man Ged on the bench. There was real purpose about City as they put Birmingham under pressure from the outset. I was somewhat surprised by the lack of coherence in their defence, which looked shaky everytime we came forward. After about 10 minutes, a nice through ball was placed over the back of the B’ham defence by Pollock (I think); Bradbury timed his run perfectly, drew the defender and slotted the ball under the advancing Bennett, only for it to run just the wrong side of the post. Birmingham seemed to be having problems dealing with balls into the box – low or high – with Bruce berating his entire defence, much to the amusement of the Kippax. On about 20 minutes, B’ham made a poor clearance and Wiekens hit a snapshot from the edge of the box which looked to be easily over, but which cannoned off the bar, down and was cleared away. This was the clearest cut chance of the game, apart from the goal that is!

Bruce was up to his old tricks of course, and was yellow-carded when Bradbury broke from the halfway line only to be blatantly bodychecked by the arthritic old cheat. City played some neat football for the last 25 mins of the half, with Goater in particular causing problems whenever the ball found its way to him near the area. All in all, City were very unlucky to be going in all square after having much the better of the play, Birmingham being chanceless up front.

Birmingham obviously got a rocket at half time as they came out much more fired up and took the game to us. However, although they competed much more vigorously in midfield, they really made little impact on the Blues’ defence. However, this was to change when Adebola committed a very bad foul on Jobson which saw him stretchered off – as usual, the referee saw no reason to take any action for a challenge which was to have serious consequences for this game, and possibly for our survival in this division. City had just substituted the largely ineffective Bishop for Brown and quickly had to reshuffle as Ged came on for Jobson. Rösler also came on for Bradbury who’d had quite a good game.

It seemed unlikely that any team would summon up enough to score in the last 10 minutes, so a draw looked likely; out of nowhere however, a ball was chipped over Wiekens to Adebola – the man who shouldn’t have been on the field – who broke away on goal, he drew Margetson and cooly slotted the ball under him into an empty net. City tried in vain to pull back a goal in the remaining 3 minutes and almost suceeded when Goater rose and powered a header past the goalie only for him to pull of a tremendous save at the foot of his post with the ball almost across the line.

Final score: 0-1

To sum up, City played very well for the first 45 minutes, and although considerably below this level for the second half, they easily equalled a disappointing Birmingham side. To say the result was rough justice is an understatement, we were quite simply robbed. There were various individuals holding forth on GMR after the game about the dire City performance; just which game were they at? IMHO we were streets better than just 4 weeks ago when we’d have been outplayed and well beaten by a team as organised as BCFC.

The saving grace for today was left till after the game; Reading, Stoke and Portsmouth were all beaten! Maybe somebody up there does like us after all!



A local paper in the North East ran a question on its sports pages recently. The question was, which was the first senior English club to use, in 1995-6, the maximum four overseas players in the same match?

The answer, I knew, was our beloved Blues but I feel unsure about the names of the players they listed as being the ones involved. They were given as Kinkladze, Rösler, Immel and Kavelashvili.

The person who set the question for the paper, asked me the question a few weeks before, and I didn’t know the answer. I have a dout about Kav. Was it those four? Can anyone help?

I shall go and hang my anorak up now.

Martin Howarth (


Top 10 of the week:

21 Nizam Idris (Man City)       Stoke, Port Vale, Reading
21 Ed Wright (Reading)          Bury, Stoke, Port Vale
18 Jonathan Oakes (Port Vale)   Tranmere, Stoke, Reading
18 Steve Gaughan (Man City)     Stoke, Port Vale, Reading
15 Jonathan Thomson (Stockport) Port Vale, Man City, Reading
15 Colin Cross (Man City)       Port Vale, Reading, Stoke
15 Darren Storey (Man City)     Tranmere, Portsmoth, Reading
15 Chris Loveridge (Man City)   Port Vale, Reading, Stoke
15 Adam Jones (Man City)        Bury, Port Vale, Reading
15 Clive Schofield (Man City)   Stoke, Port Vale, Reading

Current Leaders:

1   101 21 Nizam Idris (Man City)       Stoke, Port Vale, Reading
2    98 15 Chris Loveridge (Man City)   Port Vale, Reading, Stoke
3    95 12 Andy Howarth (Crewe)         Man City, Stoke, Reading
4    95  9 Ian Howarth (Man City)       QPR, Stoke, Reading
5    92 18 Jonathan Oakes (Port Vale)   Tranmere, Stoke, Reading
6    92 15 Adam Jones (Man City)        Bury, Port Vale, Reading
7    92 15 Clive Schofield (Man City)   Stoke, Port Vale, Reading
8    92 15 Peter Corkey (Man City)      Port Vale, Stoke, Reading
9    92 12 Steve Welch (Man City)       Port Vale, Stoke, Reading
10   89 15 Jonathan Thomson (Stockport) Port Vale, Man City, Reading
11   89 15 Colin Cross (Man City)       Port Vale, Reading, Stoke
12   89 15 Paul de Sousa (Man City)     Bury, Port Vale, Reading
13   89  9 Geoff Donkin (Man City)      Reading, Port Vale, Stoke
14   89  9 Niall Fitzpatrick (Man City) Stoke, Port Vale, Reading

Steve Kay (


Here’s a different story for a City fan. I have never been to Manchester (I am Australian and was born here) but I have supported Manchester City for 25 years – copping heaps from the numerous ex-pat United supporters that live here in the process. I became a City fan in 1970 when my dad took me as a 14-year-old to watch City play an exhibition game in Sydney. They were on a summer tour without Colin Bell or Francis Lee who were at the World Cup and they played our State team (New South Wales). Well they flogged them 4-1 at a canter and I think it was the last goal was scored by Neil Young with a bicycle kick straight from a corner. I had never seen anything like it in my life.

Since then I have followed them from afar – organising relatives visiting the UK to buy me shirts and so on. It was alright when they were in the Premier League as I could watch them on the TV but now since relegation it had come down to finding the results in the Monday papers here. Of course with the web presence now it is heaps better and I have been able to keep up with the news on the comings and goings (and there have been heaps) at the club. My first trip to the UK is coming up soon and I have plans to tour around the country following the team each week. Unfortunately these plans may be interrupted by the rest of my family, but certainly standing in on some games at Maine Road are high on the agenda. It will be a highlight.

Geoff Hastings, Bathurst (


Full-time scores for Monday, April 13 1998

Bury		2 - 0	Bradford City
Crewe Alexandra	2 - 0	Stoke City
Manchester City	0 - 1	Birmingham City
Norwich City	5 - 0	Huddersfield Town
Nottingham For	3 - 0	Wolverhampton Wanderers
Port Vale	0 - 1	Charlton Athletic
Portsmouth	0 - 1	Ipswich Town
Reading		0 - 1	Middlesbrough
Swindon Town	1 - 1	Sheffield United
Tranmere Rovers	3 - 0	Stockport County
WBA		3 - 3	Sunderland

Full-time scores for Saturday, April 11 1998

Birmingham City	1 - 1	Port Vale
Bradford City	0 - 3	Nottingham Forest
Charlton Athl	P - P	Reading
Huddersfield 	2 - 0	Crewe Alexandra
Ipswich Town	0 - 0	Tranmere Rovers
Middlesbrough	4 - 0	Bury
Oxford United	2 - 1	Swindon Town
Sheffield Utd	2 - 2	Norwich City
Stockport Cty	2 - 1	West Bromwich Albion
Stoke City	2 - 1	Portsmouth
Wolves		2 - 2	Manchester City

Full-time scores for Friday, April 10 1998

Charlton Ath	3 - 0	Reading
Sunderland	2 - 2	Queens Park Rangers

                               HOME            AWAY
                        P  W  D  L  F  A   W  D  L  F  A   Pts   GS
  Nottm Forest         43 17  2  3 51 20  10  6  5 27 19    89   78
  Sunderland           42 12  7  2 44 21  11  5  5 35 25    81   79
  Charlton             43 15  5  1 45 17   9  4  9 32 32    81   77
  Middlesbrough        42 15  3  2 45 10   9  6  7 25 29    81   70
  Ipswich              42 11  5  4 37 17   8  9  5 29 23    71   66
  Sheff Utd            41 15  5  1 39 16   3 11  6 21 28    70   60
  Birmingham           43  9  7  5 24 15   8  9  5 31 20    67   55
  Wolverhampton        42 12  6  3 36 20   5  4 12 13 25    61   49
  Stockport            43 13  5  3 43 19   4  2 16 21 45    58   64
  West Brom            43  9  7  6 26 25   6  5 10 19 27    57   45
  Oxford Utd           42 12  5  4 35 17   4  3 14 22 39    56   57
  Bradford             43 10  8  3 24 19   4  6 12 20 31    56   44
  Crewe                42  8  2 11 23 33   8  3 10 25 26    53   48
  Swindon              43  9  6  7 27 23   5  4 12 14 40    52   41
  Tranmere             42  8  7  6 29 22   5  5 11 19 28    51   48
  Huddersfield         43  8  5  8 27 24   5  6 11 22 41    50   49
  Norwich              43  8  8  6 27 27   4  5 12 19 40    49   46
  Bury                 43  7 10  5 22 21   3  9  9 19 33    49   41
  Port Vale            43  7  6  9 25 23   5  4 12 26 37    46   51
  QPR                  42  8  8  5 27 19   2  8 11 20 39    46   47
  Man City             43  6  5 11 26 24   5  6 10 23 28    44   49
  Portsmouth           43  7  6  9 25 30   4  4 13 20 31    43   45
  Stoke                43  7  5  9 26 35   3  8 11 14 31    43   40
  Reading              43  8  4 10 27 30   3  5 13 11 43    42   38

With thanks to Soccernet


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Subscriptions & Club Questions: Steve –
Technical Problems: Paul –

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.

[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #389