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Newcastle United 2011

The clouds had cleared after a rainy afternoon in Newcastle when the excited Magpies fans arrived for the Football Aid game at the highly impressive St James' Park. The players were thrilled to have the chance to pull on their personalised kits and march out of the tunnel to grace the same hallowed turf that first team stars like Barton, Collocini and Enrique had been playing on so well all season.

Wednesday the 25th of May 2011
Newcastle United Home vs Newcastle United Away
Kick Off: 4:00pm
Legends: John Anderson and Mick Martin
Match Officials: Mr A. Holmes, Mr K. McKitterick, Mr Martin and Mr R. Raymond

It was the Home side in the famous black and white stripes that got the game underway, but the Away team in blue were on the scoresheet within the first min! A lovely bit of skill on the right from centre forward Adam Senior created space down the flank, and when winger Kevin Botley got on the ball his cross was pin-point. The ball found striker James Kevan who calmly side-footed the ball past Goalkeeper Morris. A great team move! (0-1)

John Anderson's Home side reacted brilliantly to being a goal down so early, and were getting into the game. Their increased share of possession yielded a reward in the 5th min. Matthew Botley drove from midfield with the ball, after seeing his own pass cut out. He skipped past several challenges from Away defenders before unleashing a rasping shot at goal that was too hot to handle for goalkeeper McManus, the ball finding the low corner. An excellent 25 yard strike. (1-1)

The Away team had a glorious chance to retake the lead minutes later, but were denied by a phenomenal last ditch challenge from centre back Adam Wheeler. Kevan only had Morris to beat from close range when Wheeler came out of nowhere to touch the ball away from Kevan for a corner. Superb defending.

It was the turn of the Home side to take the lead, and with a bit of luck! Andy Botley put his foot on the ball and delivered a good pass to his midfield partner Kevin Robertson. Robertson took a touch and tried to bend a shot round centre back John McGouran, that took a heavy deflection from the big defender and looped over McManus to make it 2-1. It was a big slice of luck for Anderson's team, but they weren't complaining!

Mick Martin's blues were really fighting to get back into the game with half chances for Kevan and Senior. Crawley, Newberry and Drage were starting to control the game, playing some good possession football and picking their moments to get forward. However it was the Home side that stretched their lead in the 22nd min. Robertson and Paul Dennant combined effectively on the right flank before Robertson floated in a cross to the back post. Adam Pearce had drifted in completely unmarked and tapped in to increase the lead for his side. (3-1)

The boys in black and white were keeping up the pressure to try and wrap the game up before half-time. Matthew Botley saw his curling effort go just past the far post, while Robertson put a long range effort from a corner over the bar. The Away side were presented with a great opportunity on the 32nd min. A controversial decision to penalise the Home side for a pass back led to an indirect free kick 10 yards from goal but Shaun Drage's low effort was blocked well by the onrushing wall.

Martin's side didn't have to wait long to claw one back however, and it was a fantastic effort that brought them back into the game. Striker Adam Senior collected the ball 20 yards from goal and rifled a low shot into the far corner of the net, a precision finish from the No 9. (3-2)

Immediately the Home team were keen to reassert their dominance and were playing some lovely football, Peace squandering a great chance at the near post. Wayne Fox also had a chance for the Away side, Morris brilliantly saving his close range header from a Drage corner. The Home team then regained their two goal advantage on the 40th min thanks to a swashbuckling run from centre back Michael Collins. Bringing the ball over the halfway line Collins exchanged passes with Captain Matt Blair before smashing a low shot past McManus. The replay showed that McGouran was unlucky to have deflected the shot in for the second time in the match. (4-2)

Again the Away side fought to get back in the game, Morris saving well after a fantastic dribble and shot from Newberry. Space was opening up at each end, and Matthew Botley this time had a run and shot for the Home side, this time blazing his effort over the bar. The game was becoming frantic, with chances appearing everywhere.

Half-Time: Newcastle United Home 4 - 2 Newcastle United Away

The Away side kicked off the 2nd half, looking to level the score in what had been a very even game in the first half.

It was the Home team who were to get the first chance of the half and they duly punished the Away team. Matthew Botley had been tormenting the blues all game, and he was to show great skill again in the 55th minute. Cutting in from the left, he skinned three defenders before firing past McManus in the Away goal, an excellent individual effort. (5-2)

The Away side were quick to pull one back just minutes later! An excellent cross from right winger Kevin Botley was met by the boot of Michael Newberry, the midfielder's volleyed finish finding the middle of the net and beating Morris in goal. The game was really opening up again! (5-3)

The Home defenders had temporarily gone to sleep as chaos reigned in their penalty area. However they were still potent in attack; McManus had to be at his best to tip over a vicious volley from Dennant. The defence were again asleep when Senior missed a glorious chance from a James Stannard cross; the striker was unable to get the vital touch while standing on the line to bundle the ball home.

The game settled into a fast pace, with both sides looking to control the game with neat passing, neither team looking to the ‘route-one' approach for inspiration. James Stannard and Charles Chait both had chances to claw their team back into contention, although neither player was able to convert them. The Home side came close with a free kick from distance, but couldn't beat McManus in goal.

The referee brought an end to a relatively quiet half, considering the pulsating action of the first. All in all it had been a thoroughly competitive game with the more clinical Home side taking home the win on this occasion. However both managers must have been delighted with the efforts of their players.

Full-Time: Newcastle United Home 5 - 3 Newcastle United Away

Man of the Match Home: Matthew Botley
Man of the Match Away:
Adam Botley
Moment of the Match:
Michael Newberry

Home Team: Morris, A.Blair, Anderson, Collins, Wheeler, Robertson, Dennant, M.Botley, M.Blair, A.Botley, Pearce, Goodhill, Hurd

Away Team: McManus, Crawley, A.Botley, McGouran, Newberry, K.Botley, Drage, Senior, Chait, Kevan, Stannard, Tait, Fox, Welsh

Manager: Mick Martin

Mascot: Michael Newberry