Newsletter #26

I did a swap with the Newcastle list but I’m afraid their reporter was somewhat myopic; apparently Newcastle were the only team on the pitch. Amazing then that they even conceded a goal! I did however, manage to get a longer and less biased one from their WWW page with kind permission from their operator Chris Burns. Judging by the list-swapping I have done to date, I can say with some certainty that our Match Reports are up there with the best, being thorough and objective. Paul Howarth was bemoaning the lack of discussion in MCIVTA and I agree with him. This time around we have three opinions on the Horton bashing saga and if anyone else has something to say on whatever subject then send it in.

If anyone’s going to the Ipswich game and thinks they might be able to do a report, please mail me.

This one goes out to 80 subscribers.

Next game Ipswich Town away, Saturday 3rd December ’94.



The one good thing to come out of last night’s draw against Newcastle was a good fighting display in the second half. Overall I was pleased with the draw, if only for the fact that the undefeated home run is still intact and poor finishing had kept City in the tie. It should be a very different story at St. James’ for the replay; City can wave bye-bye to this Cup (IMHO).

The game itself was very entertaining, if frustrating for us City fans watching. We could see the obvious down-side to the game but could do little to help the team. Newcastle were by far the better team, even if they were missing the legions of first-team players. Those who stepped into the team to fill the gaps just went to prove that Keegan has got all Newcastle players working hard and they can provide effective cover for each other. The game itself was a pretty open, attacking game which was surely to have been expected.

Newcastle had the first real chance within minutes of the start when Cole’s shot was saved by Dibble. Quinn had the chance to give City the almost perfect reply immediately. Beagrie, faced by two defenders (as he was all night), got over a cross to the far post, where Quinn, unchallenged, could only head the ball back across goal and just wide of the upright. Newcastle came straight back into the game and from watching the first few minutes it became apparent that they had more thought, more desire and more commitment to win the game. Beardsley in particular opened up the City defence to create chances for Cole, Clark and himself. Fortunately they were either missed or saved.

City forced a few corners and came closest to scoring when Flitcroft met a Quinn flick-on but his volley sailed over the bar. Newcastle were still running City ragged and succeeded in forcing several corners of their own. They finally (!) scored after 11 minutes when City had only partially cleared a corner. Beardsley played a diagonal ball across to Clarke, whose cross to the far post was headed back across goal by Nielson and the unmarked Jeffrey hooked the ball home. The City defence had been caught flat-footed (not a rare occasion this season). Some people blamed Dibble because he had started to go for the ball, but I believe his decision to stop was right. The defence should have helped him out. With that goal and the Newcastle style of play I thought the match would develop into a rout. Even after conceding the goal City still allowed Beardsley to play, which could have been disastrous. The enforced substitution of Hill after 35 minutes and his replacement with Uwe seemed to be a strange decision. It meant moving Lomas to right-back and dropping Walsh into a deeper rôle. Curle and Cole had an explosive clash on the edge of the box. Curle and Cole grappled with each other with hands and elbows flying in either direction and then Cole appeared to throw a punch at Curle. Worrell booked the pair but they could both have been sent off. Cole almost got a second goal when his chip from the edge of the box rebounded to safety after hitting the bar. Clarke also came close to extending Newcastle’s lead but his effort was just wide and Dibble was forced into saving from Beardsley. City’s reply came from a Flipper shot which Srnicek tipped over. City went in at half time only 1 goal down, they were still in the game.

City finally started to show a bit more fight in the second half but it was still Newcastle who were controlling things. Beardsley was being given far too much time and room; he was being allowed to control the midfield and thus always posed a threat. This half was another procession of missed chances, most falling to Newcastle. City managed to force several corners and began to put Newcastle under some pressure. It was from one of the corners that City scored. Quinn flicked a Beagrie near post corner on and Rösler met it with a diving header. At last City had equalised; they now had to make sure that they didn’t concede a goal. Thankfully, poor Newcastle finishing from Cole, Mathie, Beardsley and the rest kept City in the game. Venison was booked by Worrell after what can only be called an assault on Beagrie.

Cole had a couple of chances to win the game in the final few minutes but thankfully he fluffed them both. Quinn had a chance seconds from time to steal the game, but he couldn’t get onto the end of Walsh’s pass.

City can count themselves lucky to even have a chance of going through to the next round. The patched up Newcastle side should easily have won but the missed chances kept City in the game. City should look at the way Newcastle play, they’re always running, chasing and closing opponents down. If City stand any chance at St. James’ they are going to have to mark Beardsley out of the game. Keep him quiet and we just might stand a chance of going to Selhurst Park.

Final score 1-1

Martin Ford




A goal from their substitute, Uwe Rösler, saved City’s unbeaten home record and kept them alive in the CC Cup last night.

After a first-half dominated by a depleted Newcastle, City put the visitors under relentless pressure in the second until Rösler’s flying 69th-minute header squared up a stirring tie.

City created the first chance, a long centre from Peter Beagrie steered just wide of the post by Niall Quinn’s header, but any suspicion that a Toon side well below optimum strength on paper would be less than formidable opposition was shattered. The City defence, and their captain Keith Curle in particular, had already needed to react sharply to a couple of Andy Cole’s darting runs when Ian Brightwell was forced to concede a corner.

Lee Clark’s original kick was cleared but the accuracy and speed with which Beardsley returned it to him caught City cold. This time his cross was met by Alan Neilson, rising beyond the far post to head into the danger zone and Mike Jeffrey was there to side-foot a volley home for a 10th minute lead.

Jeffrey had made only one first team start before last night, at Maine Road last season. His place in the Toon’s pecking order is hinted at by the No. 31 he wears, but none of their luminaries, present or absent, could have done a neater job.

City, who had regrouped so admirably since a certain result 3 weeks ago, pressed forward in angry blue swarms but could carve out nothing so clear cut.

Cole, showing no after-effects from the lay-off that ended at the weekend, almost gave them a second lesson in incisiveness when a quick shuffle gave him space for a fierce shot which Dibble did well to drop on, low to his right.

After Cole had hit the bar with a glorious chip from 25 yards out, Garry Flitcroft had an equally good effort tipped over and Beardsley saw a shot pushed around the post. A richly entertaining match suddenly turned nasty in the five minutes before half-time.

Curle and Cole took part in a furious wrestling match that threatened to continue even after both had been booked and Rösler, a first-half substitute for the limping Hill, later seemed to aim a kick at Venison.

The opportunities were still overwhelmingly in United’s favour though. Cole, recovered from his fracas, laid on a chance for Steve Watson which should have been treated with more appreciation than a tame shot wide of the upright.

With Walsh dropping back into the position just behind the front two that seems to suit him just as well as out-and-out front-running, City began purposefully after the break. There was even the collector’s item of two Beardsley passes going astray in quick succession, as Newcastle’s grip on their lead began to look less than secure.

It was Walsh’s subtle headed flick that gave Quinn the chance for a firm volley four minutes into the half and Srnicek had to be alert. Beagrie worried Newcastle with one dangerous run, wasted with an overhit thrust, and then was stopped on another incursion by a tackle that earned Venison the third booking of the match. A diving fingertip save from Srnicek then denied another long-range piledriver from Flipper its reward.

The pressure finally told when Quinn nodded back a Beagrie corner on the near post and Rösler came hurtling in to head the equaliser.

City still had an uncomfortable moment to come when Dibble fumbled Beardsley’s shot with Cole lurking ominously and he also blasted wide from a narrow angle. But a second chance was the least both sides deserve after a tie which either had done enough to win.

The Independent.

Phil Knight


Arrived in Manchester in plenty of time to find refreshment, before a five minute walk to the ground… Toon fans occupied all of the Kippax side which is currently under construction (everybody had to pass through a single “walkway” approx 12 feet wide – just like the good old days).

I have to say that for a makeshift side forced by injuries, Newcastle didn’t look bad at all (to begin with at least); clearly some of the players saw the opportunity to push for a regular first team spot, and right from the start there seemed to be a decent effort from everybody. The passing and movement improved with growing confidence, and Beardsley in particular seemed able to pick out anyone at will. The ball he played to set up Jeffrey for the early goal was, well, tremendous…

The goal encouraged Newcastle, and for much of the first half City were simply frustrated by not being able to get possession, such was the domination of the game; frustration which was to boil over in an incident late in the half… I think the referee must have been the only person in the ground who failed to see Andy Cole smack a City defender (Curle I think, it got a bit hectic as the other players started crowding round!!) in retaliation for some serious off-the-ball tugging on the edge of the City penalty area, and he was lucky to stay on…

Coley did look knackered after twenty minutes, and didn’t seem able to latch onto things as we all know he can – but he still managed to hit the bar with a dipping speculative shot from the edge of the box, and I suppose the fact that he always attracted the attention of two or three City defenders gave other players the opportunity to get into the action…

Newcastle continued with good spells of pressure which could (and should) have wrapped the game up before half-time – yet again this was to prove costly… All in all a good first half, the feeling was that we just needed another goal to kill the game… and that it wouldn’t be long coming. However, City started the second half more determined, our passing lost its edge and we let them into the game. City had already brought on Rösler as substitute and he certainly gave them more options up front. City picked up an increasing share of the play and always looked like they could score, which they promptly did (right on cue, from a corner) on 69 minutes; from then on City actually looked the most likely side to sneak a winner.

Barry may well have been sent off for a clumsy tackle had the referee been a regular Premier league official… once again the interpretation of the rules seemed different in this cup game to that in the Premiership matches – I guess there could have been a few more yellow cards on both sides… the fact that things were going unpunished certainly added to the atmosphere of what was certainly a good end-to-end cup tie.

I enjoyed the match, okay we had a makeshift side, but that’s life – it was however disappointing to have so much domination early on and then let the other side get back into the game again; we can do without risking even more injuries by having to replay cup games like this (if we are to sustain a title challenge – a prospect which I’m becoming increasingly less confident of them doing). What has happened to the hunger that seemed so evident early in the season?

Man of the match ? – a toss up between Clarky and Beardsley.

Colin Watt (NUFC Home Page)


The draw for the Quarter Finals (11.1.95) is:

Bolton Wanderers v Norwich City
Swindon Town     v Millwall
Liverpool        v Arsenal
Crystal Palace   v CITY/Newcastle

So, if we win in Geordieland (21.12) we have a reasonable chance of making the semis.

Steve Tobias


In the unlikely event of us winning the replay at St. James’ Park on 21st December, we’ve got a trip to Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace.

Tickets for the replay are on sale from 9:30am this morning (Thursday) to regular season ticket holders. The application form is X, not N as stated in the programme.

Paul Howarth


Martin O’Neill has elected not to take the Leicester job.

City’s side for the game at Portman Road is expected to be the same side that finished against Newcastle, i.e.

Lomas  I.Brightwell  Curle  D.Brightwell
  Summerbee  Walsh  Flitcroft  Beagrie
              Quinn  Rösler

The Mole


It was a good night on Wednesday; obviously disappointed that we didn’t win it at our place, Quinn missing a chance by inches right at the death, but after the first 15 minutes I thought we were going to get taken to the cleaners, their passing and movement were so superior. Mostly the danger came from Beardsley; he was in a different class to everyone else on the pitch. Why Everton and Liverpool let him go I don’t know, can’t be just because he’s so ugly surely?.

Anyway, good game, cracking atmosphere for once. If we’d have won the Main Standers might have even managed a song!! Nothing to lose for the replay, as everyone sees it as a formality that the mags will win at their place, but remember 78 or was it 77?….. well remember the mid 70’s! We went there in the 3rd round of the FA Cup with them unbeaten at home and trounced them 3-1. Mind you, we did have Barnes, Tueart, Corrigan, Hartford etc. etc. Beagrie picked up a booking so may be suspended; I don’t know, as will Uwe if he gets booked on Saturday – looks like Horton will put him on from the start now.

Neil Foskett


Seems like we’ve blown our chance. An under-strength Newcastle have got themselves a replay in 3 weeks time when they will hope to have some of their injured players back and, more worryingly, Andy Cole should be back to full fitness. I don’t fancy our chances much at St. James’ Park but let’s not forget extra time and penalties. 🙂

If, and it’s a very very big if, we can make it to the semis, we will have a good chance of drawing a first division side. Over two legs, City would have to be favourites for their first Cup final appearance since 1981, discounting that Simod Cup defeat against Chelsea. I should think most teams are grateful that Arsenal and Liverpool have been drawn together. Fanciful thinking, don’t you love it?

The “Big Fat Ron” debate: no way! “He’s fat, he’s round, his arse is on the ground: Atkinson, Atkinson!”. Keep Horton, unless Beckenbauer becomes available. 🙂 BH has done a good job even if he does seem to screw up the derby games. So what if he was a Swales appointee? You might as well sack the tea lady because she was hired under the old regime. I don’t understand that logic and what we need more than anything now at the club is stability. A few more chants for BH instead of Franny would be nice as well; I didn’t hear a single one at the Leicester game.

Steve McMahon had a winning start in his new job as player-manager of Swindon. They dumped Oxford out of the CCCup 2-1. Macca himself was cup-tied after playing in the first leg of the Barnet game, which supposedly started the rift between him and Horton. Brian Clough has taken over from Jimmy Greaves as post-match summariser for Central TV here in the Midlands (quality channel, not). After the Swindon highlights, he wished Macca well “even though he’s from Liverpool”. Surely a reference to his ridiculous and outrageous comments on the Hillsborough disaster. Sad man – bring back Greavsie!

An important game on Saturday, we really should win at teams like Ipswich – currently bottom of the league – if we want to emulate our top 5 finishes of recent years. And with teams like Blackburn and Liverpool waiting in the wings, we need some points under our belt.

The Arsenal match scheduled for December 10th, has that been moved to Monday 12th for Sky? I’ve swapped my evening advice session just in case!

James Nash


I am getting totally pissed off about the criticisms which are being made about Horton and Lee, although I have to say that these ‘rumours’ have usually emanated from the media morons or part-time Blues who couldn’t find their way to the academy in a taxi.

No we’re not going to win the championship but we are a hell of a lot closer than we were this time last year, or would fans rather we were still playing the long ball tactics of Reid and Ellis? Since Horton has joined the club we have started to play attractive, attacking football which has been a joy to watch. On the transfer market his purchases have been inspired with the additions of Rösler, Beagrie, Walsh, Summerbee and even Kernaghan (I’m sure I’ll get crucified for that comment but give the guy a chance!!). Just think, we could have had Paul Stewart back for