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Man City Game 1 2012

Sunday 20th May will forever more be a memorable day for any Manchester City fan, as Sergio Aguero's injury time goal against QPR secured the Premier League title for the first time in 44 years! The incredible action the day before set the stage perfectly for the 28 City fans who would be gracing the same hallowed turf alongside Colin Hendry and Richard Edghill. Wearing the club colours proudly the player marched onto the pitch, boots polished and chests out for a memorable 90 mins of football.

Monday the 21st of May 2012
Manchester City Home vs Manchester City Away
Kick Off: 10:30am
Legends: Colin Hendry and Richard Edghill
Match Officials: Pete Simm, Henry Simm, Chris Waring and Darren Cook

The Away side wearing the Red and Black stripes got the game underway, immediately pushing the Home side back and forcing a corner. Emanuele Fratini delivered a dangerous ball but Braveheart Colin Hendry won the defensive header, however Vincenzo Iuliucci shrugged off a tackle and hit a left footed strike that drifted into the top corner. With only a minute on the clock it could be the fastest goal of the Football Aid season! (0-1)

The Away team threatened again when Fratini curled a ball behind the defence into the path of Fabrizio Galasso. The No 11 cleverly nipped the ball inside to Stuart Schofield in space but his effort was pushed away by goalkeeper Mark McManus. The score-line should have been 2 nil to the Away team.

With only 10 mins played, Stuart Schofield doubled his side's lead. Marco Pignotta saw the arched run and played the striker through on goal and the No 9 went round the keeper and blazed the ball into the roof of the net in confident fashion. (0-2)

The Away side had the momentum now and Pignotta, again, started a wonderful run for Fabrizio Galasso. The Italian striker proved his worth, showing magnificent pace to get away from the Home defence, even though Hendry did well to get back and put some pressure on the No 11 a drop of the shoulder created the space to pass the ball into the net. (0-3)

With the Away team in such good form it took the Home team 20 mins to get their first attempt on goal, and what an unforgettable attempt it was! Goalkeeper McManus' long goal kick was missed by Edghill releasing Ahmed Soliman in on goal, the US based fan fired it into the far top corner from the right hand side of the box, leaving goalkeeper Honeyman with no chance. It was great play by the No 9 to pull one back for his side. (1-3)

Skills were on display next with Paul Maclean for the Home team leaving the defender for dead, driving down the left channel he delivered a perfect cross into the 6 yard box and Soliman swung a leg at it but he couldn't find the target. He'll be kicking himself for that miss; he could have had his brace. Both sets of fans showed their appreciation of this creativity by applauding the Home team's efforts.

Chances were coming thick and fast for both sides now, but the best chance fell to Simon Parfitt, the Home striker found himself through on goal as he reacted to an unexpected long ball. The No 11 drill the ball low and hard but Honeyman got his finger tips to the ball with Fratini clearing the danger.

Minutes before the half-time whistle Emanuele Fratini brought out the best in keeper McManus. After twisting and turning and creating a little bit of space at the edge, he curled a wonderful left foot shot which was destined for the top corner until McManus denied him. The Away right back was the danger man involved in all the action from front to back and was proving to be a real handful. The Home side would need to assess their tactics in the 2nd half to control the lively Italian.

Half-Time: Manchester City Home 1 - 3 Manchester City Away

After much needed half-time refreshments the Home team got the 2nd half underway and it was a bright start to the half with both sides looking very comfortable on the ball. First to show were the Home side who seized possession and worked a nice move which allowed Soliman to run through on goal. However the striker's first touch was a little too heavy as he went round the goalkeeper and he couldn't cut the ball into the net.

As the half went on it was apparent that the Away team were gaining in confidence and it wouldn't be long until they found their fourth. Moving the ball at pace from right to left, Marco Pignotta's reverse pass released Vincenzo Iuliucci. The Home side claimed offside but after a poor first touch the No 10 somehow managed to sneak the ball into the bottom corner. As celebrations commenced around him the midfielder fell to the ground with cramp, bringing a few smiles to the faces around him. (1-4)

Up at the other end, the Home side gritted their teeth and showed real drive and determination to avoid the game slipping away and their efforts were rewarded in the 65th min. Colin Hendry dispossessed his attacker, allowing Smollet to send Simon Parfitt one-on-one with Honeyman, but the keeper couldn't get his fingers to No 11's strike and it hit the back of the net. That got the crowd buzzing as the come back was on. (2-4)

Minutes later, a mis-timed run was clearly offside and it proved to be costly for the Away team as Lee Bryant quickly launched the ball down field to Simon Parfitt, who shrugged off the challenge and took the ball round the goalkeeper before passing it home. His team-mates were elated at the score-line, could the come back be on?? (3-4)

The Away team were determined that it wouldn't be and Schofield showed their intentions. He picked up a defensive clearance outside his own box, beat one man and using his speed to get past the last man he found himself clear through on goal. However his shot was straight at the ever reliable McManus, who comfortably gathered the ball. However, shortly afterwards Stuart Schofield made up for his miss emphatically. Galasso started a counter attack and played the striker in again and he made no mistake this time, toe poking the ball into the net to put his side 2 goals clear again. (3-5)

With time running out the Home side did create chances though; Parfitt had a couple of efforts, then there was a debatable offside goal from Soliman, and Bryant's header just missed the target. If any of them had gone in they could have changed the game; however it was not to be for the side in Sky Blue as the Away side held on for a well deserved victory.

Overall, it had been one of the best Football Aid games of the season and a delight for all the spectators and players alike.

Full-Time: Manchester City Home 3 - 5 Manchester City Away

Man of the Match Home: Mark McManus
Man of the Match Away: Vincenzo Iuliucci
Moment of the Match: Ahmed Soliman

Home Team: Mark McManus, Adam Canning, Colin Hendry, Lee Bryant, Andrew Jowett, Stuart Green (C), Ryan Parfitt, Richard Smedley, Ahmed Soliman, Paul Maclean, Simon Parfitt, Ronnie Smollet, Steve Connell, Luke Connell
Legend: Colin Hendry
Mascot: Lewis Basnett

Away Team: Tom Honeyman, Emanuele Fratini, Richard Edgehill, Joseph Ingham (C), Ronnie Smollet, Gian Marco Mezzasoma, Fabio Pinzani, Marco Pignotta, Stuart Schofield, Vincenzo Iuliucci, Fabrizio Galasso, Fabio Furi, Mark Griffiths
Legend: Richard Edgehill
Mascot: Giuseppe Pinto