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Man Utd Game 1 2011

It was a bright morning in Manchester for the first Football Aid game of the day at one of the biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United. As the players arrived at Old Trafford you could feel the excitement coming from the Red Devil fans looking onto the pitch which was in sublime condition. The game would have been only heightened with the involvement of United legend Clayton Blackmore and it was a wonderful moment for the spectators looking on at loved ones, who were due to pull on a jersey every player would be proud to sport.

Tuesday 31st May 2011
Man United Home vs Man United Away
Kick Off: 09:00 am
Legend: Clayton Blackmore
Match Officials: Gordon Johnson, Kieran Johnson, Helen Byrne and Liam Ockleshaw

The Away team in White shirts got the game underway, but they lost possession deep in their own half and gave Michael Hyde the first chance to test the goalkeeper. However he pulled it well wide of the post. However Alcock's goal-kick when straight to the Reds striker Christopher Dalby and his long range effort drifted over the keepers head and into the far corner. It was less than a minute in and already the scoring had got under way! (1-0)

However there was still 89 mins to go, so no need for the Away side to panic and they immediately pressed forward but they couldn't trouble the opposing goalkeeper. But 8 mins in they did level things with a similar fashion of goal from Sean Kelly. A long ball over the top by Smith sent the No 11 through and he fashioned a great lob over the goalkeeper who was rushing off his line. There was nothing he could have done there. One all and we were poised for a cracker! (1-1)

A controversial moment happened shortly after when Home Central Defender and regular participant Brian Donne went to clear the ball; Charnock just beat him to the ball and looked like he was headed into the box. However after seeing the Away No 6 going to ground easily the No 4 pulled out of the challenge and the ref waved play on and told the attacker to get up and get on with the game.

Some play which was best described as scrappy somehow put the Away goal scorer Kelly through again. His effort stung the palms of the goalkeeper but it was straight at him. A route-one kick from hands then won a soft free kick outside the opposite penalty area, the Away No 5 Adam Taylor looked to have won the ball from the No 9 driving forwards, but he was adjudged to have been fouled. Christopher Dalby stood over the set piece and expertly curled the ball round the wall and into the bottom right hand corner, putting his Home side ahead again. (2-1)

Straight from the kick-off the Away side won a corner, which was whipped in from the dangerous left footer Dean Smith into the 6 yard box. Sean Kelly was lurking in the box and got up well, heading past the defender on the post. 4 goals in the opening 15 minutes, surely there would be more to come! (2-2)

Smith had another stinger for the goalkeeper to handle not long after the restart. It was a positive start by the White No 10, who caused real difficulty for the Reds defence with a few dangerous deliveries. He was obviously desperate to net a goal for his team.

The Red's stayed as a unit and did their upmost not to concede and their togetherness almost paid off when they narrowly missed taking the lead again. Hyde delivered a left footed in-swinging cross from the right which was met by the head of Neil Pearce, his effort beat the keeper and hit the far post, however the rebound just evaded Home No 7 Seamus Kelly and his momentum took him round the post and crashing over the security barriers. He dusted himself off and got back into action swiftly enough though. Next up a quick counter won the Away side a corner which was whipped in again, Burke's header was scrambled off the line by both keeper and defender. Chances were coming thick and fast for both sides now.

The Away side had the next best chance with 5 mins left in the half, when what should have been a simple clearance for the Red defence wasn't dealt with effectively enough. Conor McGouran's was played in on goal by his team-mates and his curler was headed towards the goalkeeper's near post, however the No 1 made a good punch away from his top corner to keep the game all square.

The white's kept up the pressure though and McGouran's persistence won his side a Penalty in injury time. After skipping past Eaton the big No 17 was brought down from behind and Sean Kelly stepped up to roll the ball into the keeper's right hand side. First half hat-trick hero! (2-3)

Half-Time: Man United Home 2 - 3 Man United Away

With the first half providing every pennies worth for the spectators both teams came back out fired up. Both sides made attacking tactical substitutions hoping to press on and score more goals.

The Away side made a strong start to the second half and it was Away No 4 Martyn Barnett, intercepting a missed placed pass, who created the first opportunity, but Smith's long range lob was tipped over by Pearce for a corner. Burke was lurking in the 6 yard box again but he wasn't able to connect cleanly with the ball and the No 1 saved comfortably. It only took 3 minutes before the Away tea increased their lead; Martyn Barnett received the ball in the left channel with Home Captain Felton closing him down fast. A cross was delivered but it slipped underneath the goalkeeper and into his net. Unfortunate for the goalie who was having a good game up to that point! (2-4)

With 15 mins played in the 2nd half two goals in quick concession from Dean Smith left the Reds with a mountain to climb. Kelly picked the ball up at the edge of the best before gliding past two defenders to the by-line before cutting the ball across the face and enabling Smith to beat his ever enthusiastic team-mate Sanchez-Myles to the ball and get the final touch as the defender slid in. (2-5) Less than two minutes later Smith picked up a slack pass from the Reds defence which put the No 10 through on goal. He produced a rocket shot across goal into the corner and there was no way the goalkeeper could have saved it. The only downside was the Yellow card which was issued for the celebration of taking his shirt off! (2-6)

With the introduction of Clayton Blackmore, the Home defence was suitably strengthened and the experienced pro helped provide a better shape throughout the whole team. The chances were now few and far between with the Whites limited to a few long range efforts. The Home team responded though and some nice patterns of play saw Dalby burst into the penalty area, sparking some real danger, but a last ditch tackle by the Away defender denied the striker his chance and conceded a corner. Roberts' in-swinging corner was met by the head of Hyde but unfortunately it glanced past the post.

The long distance chances were getting closer and closer with Kelly's shot hitting the top of the cross bar although the Keeper had it covered. Moments later the Whites got in behind the back line and a cleverly squared pass from German Sanchez-Myles just couldn't be met by the stretching leg of Kelly. Maybe he should have grabbed his fourth for the day.

Blackmore continued to spray the passes around and one of his passes put Hyde in some space just outside the penalty area, his effort gazed over the bar but it showed promise for his side's chances of restoring some pride. Another dangerous ball was played behind the defence onto the run of Jay Eaton but keeper Alcock was alert, rushing out and clearing the ball well.

Following that bit of action the Away No 4 Barnett met a cross with a thunderous shot but the Home defence stayed solid and didn't look likely to concede anymore. Moments later and the Home side deservedly pulled a goal back. It was Blackmore again who played another dangerous ball over the top which found Michael Hyde, and the impressive No 10's unstoppable left foot strike flew past the keeper, hitting the underside of the bar before finding the back of the net. Even Van der Sar wouldn't have gotten to that! (3-6)

That was to be the last of the scoring, bringing to an end an exciting second half, with both sides creating numerous chances and some great goals being scored. A thoroughly entertaining match for all the fans!

Full-Time: Man United Home 3 - 6 Man United Away

Man of the Match (Home): Michael Hyde
Man of the Match (Away): Dean Smith
Moment of the Match: Sean Kelly

Home Team: Ian Pearce, Donne, Clayton Blackmore, Donne, Leach, Felton, Kelly, Heald, Dalby, Hyde, Neil Pearce, Eaton, Heywood, Feigin, Roberts.

Mascots: Zac Pearce

Away Team: Alcock, Phelan, Barnett, Taylor, Charnock, Billy Sanchez-Myles, Hough, German Sanchez-Myles, Smith, Kelly, Burke, Harrison, Harris, McGouran.

Mascots: Conor Phelan