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Man City Game 1 2009

It was a cold, wet and overcast afternoon as the Players and fans arrived for the 2009 Football Aid Match at the City of Manchester Stadium. Thankfully for everyone the football on display would turn out to be vastly superior to the weather conditions.

Monday 4th May 2009
Manchester City Home vs Manchester City Away
Game 1
Kick Off: 4pm
Match Officials: Julian Hitchcock, Steven Foster, Douglas Foster and Jon Payne
Legends: Mike Doyle and Andy May

The early action saw both teams moving the ball around nicely, the players quickly learning that passing into feet would be the best course of action with such a wet and slippery surface. It was the Home team that scored the opening goal when after a couple of crosses into the Away box, the ball was picked up by Adam Pearce on the edge of the area who turned and shot past the keeper inside the right-hand post. 

Within two minutes the Home side had doubled their advantage. Breaking in numbers the ball was fed out to midfielder Peter Maxey, on the right wing. He cut inside as he drove towards the penalty area bringing the ball onto his left foot and shooting low across the keeper into the right of goal for the second goal of the game. Although the Home side were two goals up, it was the away team that created the next clear-cut opportunity - the ball was crossed in to the near post from a corner kick, with Daniel Potts heading the ball towards his own net, forcing a great tip over the bar by keeper Jonathon Morris.

Minutes later and the Home side had a three goal lead. A run up the left touchline ended with Adam Pearce being played in on the keeper, who he rounded before slotting the ball into the empty net for his second of the match. It would have been understandable had the Away team’s heads dropped, but going further behind got the desired reaction and seemed if anything to spur them on. In the 26th minute a great ball over the top by their captain, Simon Crossley, found Christian Sait with only the keeper to beat, the defender calmly moving in from the left channel before shooting low into the bottom right corner to bring the score to 3-1.

The three goal cushion was established once again when Peter Maxey managed to score his second. The ball was crossed in from the left of the box, to find Sibby Khan whose first touch looked as though it was going wide until Maxey casually flicked it into the net. 

The Away side were certainly showing fighting quality to keep themselves in the match, and they again pulled a goal back on the 40th minute when Mark Benham received the ball on the left of the area, skilfully lost his marker and then squared the ball across the box for Yaniv Judah to knock it in. On the stroke of half time however, the Away side broke in numbers towards the opposition penalty area, the move ending with Captain Simon Crossley hitting his second of the match from just inside the box to change the halftime team-talks.

Half Time: Manchester City Home 4 - 3 Manchester City Away

After what had been an eventful and exciting first 45 minutes, the beginning of the second half didn’t disappoint. It took only two minutes for Away striker Robert Jones to level proceedings when a long throw in found Mark Benham, who then squared the ball across the goal to Jones, who was able to convert and grab his side’s equaliser. 

The pattern of the game had completely changed by this point, and it was now the Away team with the greater possession, creating the majority of chances. In the 67th minute, they took the lead for the first time in the match. Pouring forward in numbers, the ball was played through for Nathan Judah who hit a scuffed shot that crept underneath the goalkeeper Morris and into the net. A minute later and a contender for goal of the game as Ray Waterhouse broke down the left channel before hitting a terrific right foot shot from the left edge of the box up and over the keeper to make it 4-6. 

Just when it looked as though the Away side had secured the comeback the game took another dramatic twist. With only seven minutes remaining, the Home team grabbed two goals in quick succession – Adam Pearce getting his hat-trick with a cool finish low into the bottom left corner after being played in by Peter Maxey, and then Maxey bagged his hat-trick by attacking the goal from the right of the penalty area and lifting a delicate chip over the onrushing keeper to equalise at six-a-piece.

By this point the fans didn’t know what to expect; the game had three minutes to go and it was the Away team that finally took the decisive lead. Robert Jones scored his second of the match from inside the area after a hefty challenge, and then as the Home side tried in vain to get the equaliser, defender Christian Sait received an easy through ball and calmly shot low into the net to secure the win.

Full Time: Manchester City Home 6 - 8 Manchester City Away

Home Team: Morris, MacNab, May, Alcock, Khan, Maxey, Potts, Moore, Pitt, Pearce, Holland, Watson 

Away Team: Betts, Poonia, Rihani, Kelly, Waterhouse, Crossley, Siddons, Jones, Judah, Benham, Judah, Sait

Mascots: Freddie Alcock, Ben MacNab, Jessica and Abbie Jones

Man of the Match (Home): Peter Maxey
Man of the Match (Away): Simon Crossley
Moment of the Match: Alan Kelly