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Man Utd 2013

The 2013 Football Aid fixture at Old Trafford took place on the evening of the 18th May, and the game itself was an excellent example of end-to-end football, with both sets of Red Devil fans creating plenty of chances and finishing a fair few as well! With an hour played the Home side were sitting comfortably at 5-3 but a late comeback by the Away side sparked an exciting last ten mins with both sides looking for a winning goal. In the end the contest was edged 6-5 by the Home side, but both teams could take enormous credit and pride from their efforts in providing the watching fans with some excellent Saturday Evening entertainment.

Date: Saturday 18th May
Venue: Old Trafford
Man Utd Home vs Man Utd Away
Kick off: 5:15pm
Match officials: John Macrae, Joe Starkie, Callum Power and Michael Brannigan
Legends & Managers: Denis Law and Clayton Blackmore

Prior to kick-off there was an extra special treat for both sides, with Football Aid Patron and former European Footballer of the Year Denis Law paying a visit to both dressing rooms to give the sides some expert pre-match advice and it seemed to pay off with both side's playing some fantastic attacking football from the off!

After showers throughout the day the weather was clearing nicely and the Old Trafford pitch was looking immaculate as the players enjoyed the unique experience of walking out the famous Old Trafford tunnel to the sound of the Champions League theme tune. 

The Away side got the game underway wearing the White change strips with Black shorts, against the Home side who were wearing the famous Red strips with White shorts and it didn’t take long for the team in White to get going when No 8 Carl England made a run down the left wing before being fouled just outside the box. No 6 Andrew Roylance stood confidently over the kick, before sending in a dangerous ball around the wall and into the box. The Home side’s Centre Half Adrian Alcock called his name and swung his right boot at the ball in an attempt to clear the danger, however much to his dismay he could only deflect it into the top corner of his own net, giving the Away side the lead after just 2 mins played (0-1).

The Home side don’t waste any time in trying to get back into the game, No 10 Paul Bossons picked up the ball inside the Away team’s half and played it into Home No 9 Noel Corry just outside the box, Corry then slid a ball into his fellow Forward Raymond Prior who had made a dangerous looking run across the Away defence. Prior was taken down by the Centre Half and turned to see the ref point to the spot much to the delight of the Home side. Up stepped Captain Wayne Richardson, but the No 7 hit his effort narrowly too high and the ball hit the bar and deflected over the goal, leaving the scoreline at 0-1.

Certainly the first 10 mins had been very exciting and once again the Away side were on the attack. A beautiful through ball played by No 8 Carl England, left the two Centre Halves with their arms aloft pleading for the offside flag to be raised, only to turn around and see their Right Back playing the Away side’s Captain Rob Johnson onside. The impressive No 9 ran towards goal before slotting the ball confidently past Goalkeeper Adrian Delaporte and into the back of the net. The clinical finish was one Robin Van Persie would have been proud of! With less than 10mins played the Away side had raced into a 2 goal lead already (0-2).

Persistent attacking by the Home side for the next few mins was to lead to a mistake being made by the Away side, allowing Home No 8 Sam Trickett to sweep the ball into the net at the back post. The goal came about after Away No 7 James Gerken (under major pressure from the Home team) was forced into a short back pass which Away No 1 Ben Jones could only get a toe-poke on, the ball fell to No 10 Paul Bossons who squared it to Trickett who made no mistake at the back post, putting his side right back into the match (1-2).

The Home side continued to attack the Away back line but were being stopped by Goalkeeper Ben Jones. One incident came when No 7 James Gerken showed his pace down the wing and played the ball across to Centre Forward Prior, the No 11 played a good ball out to Corry, whose resulting shot from the left side was tipped round the post and out for a corner by Jones. But the danger didn’t end there for the Away side. The resulting ball in by Jay Eaton was punched up in the air by Jones, only to be met with a looping header from Raymond Prior as the ball dropped out of the air. The header from Prior went just goes over the Away Defender on the line and into the back of the net, levelling the scores (2-2).

The game remained relatively uneventful for the next 10 mins until the Home side managed to mount another good attack that ended in another goal for Sam Trickett. A good ball into the box again by No 6 Jay Eaton, left Jones scrambling to claim the ball in the air and when the No 1 failed to do so it fell to No 11 Prior whose downwards header was met by Trickett, in the perfect place to head it powerfully into the net and put his side into the lead (3-2). Half-hearted handball appeals came from some of the Away players, but the referee took no notice and pointed to the Centre Circle to indicate the goal stood.

A hard fought first half ended soon after with the Home side going into the changing rooms the happier of the two teams after their excellent comeback from 2-0 down after 10mins had seen them edging the tie after 45 mins. It had been a game of exciting end-to-end football, with both teams creating plenty of chances and scoring some first-rate goals as well.

Half time: Man Utd Home 3 - 2 Man Utd Away

The Home side restarted the game and with Legend Clayton Blackmore now in their ranks after swapping sides at half time, it didn’t take them long to create the first chance of the half. Just 2 mins in and the No 9 Noel Corry ran down the left wing before cutting the ball back to substitute Daniel Gray who slid the ball across the box to Sam Trickett, however the 2 goal hero could only put the ball over the bar this time.

No 17 Daniel Gray was involved again mins later when he received a cleverly played short corner, he fired the ball back across the box and it was met by the sliding figure of Centre Half Adrian Alcock who showed great desire to direct the ball past the keeper and into the bottom right corner of the net for his 2nd goal of the game at the Stretford End (4-2)!

The goal came after only 5 mins of the 2nd half, with the Home side out of the blocks quickly and making an impressive start just like the Away side did in the 1st half.

The 1st chance of the half for the Away team came in the form of a lobbed attempt by their substitute Centre Midfielder Kaan Hughes. After picking up the ball in his own half No 9 Rob Johnson carried it forward towards the opponent’s box, before playing it out to Hughes on the left, who hit it first time, attempting to catch out Adrian Delaporte in the Home goal, only for the ball to come crashing back off the crossbar. The Away side continued to press, looking to claw their way back into a game which they had previously been leading. Two more shots came in which Delaporte had to save, the more challenging of which again came from Kaan Hughes.

However with 60 mins played the Away side had something to show for their efforts of the last ten mins. This time it was a goal created and scored by one man, No 9 Rob Johnson. After picking the ball up just inside his own half Johnson held off his man before putting the ball past Centre Half Adrian Alcock and continuing his run into the box, he then squeezed between Legend Clayton Blackmore and Jay Eaton before sliding the ball past the Delaporte to complete a magnificent solo goal (4-3).

Just a minute later the crowd were treated to another sumptuous solo run, this time by the Home side’s No 7 Wayne Richardson. After picking the ball up on the edge of the box he turned his man, then managed to fit through the gap between No 4 Martin Johnstone and No 8 Carl England, before sidestepping the other Centre Half Stuart Green and finishing his run by tucking the ball nicely into the bottom corner to restore his side's 2 goal lead (5-3).

What a great game this was proving to be, and the Away side were to get straight back into the game direct from the kick-off. After a cross was cleared up into the air by the legend Blackmore, No 9 Rob Johnson controlled the ball before sidestepping No 10 Paul Bossons and releasing a bullet shot that flew into the goal. It was great technique from Johnson, whose hat-trick goal drew his side back to within a goal of the Home team again (5-4).

And once again, only a minute later, the Away side were on the attack. Deadly Striker Rob Johnson was involved again, making a great pass from near the halfway line into fellow Striker Matthew Richards, who was waiting on the edge of the box for the ball. Richards proceed to take the ball into the box before composing himself and curling the ball round Delaporte and into the bottom corner of the Home goal (5-5). The Away side, showing great courage and determination to level the scores again with just over 25 mins left. 

With the tie on a knife edge the next 10 mins were fairly uneventful, with both sides wary of giving any chances away to the opposition. But it was the Home side that finally broke down the Away defence. Home Captain Wayne Richardson intercepted a pass from the Away side, before making a surging run into the box. His run was brought to a halt by a sliding tackle, and his side initially appealed for a penalty, however the ball kept running to No 14 Matthew Hudson, who had made an overlapping run down the right side. Hudson made no mistake from a tight angle, sliding the ball under the goalie to put his Home side ahead again with just over 5 mins left to play (6-5). 

Much to the Away side’s frustration the Home side continued to attack and with considerable threat as well. Their No 10 Paul Bossons taking on Centre Half Martin Johnstone and beating him well, before releasing a rising shot that needed a good save from Jones to keep his team in with a chance of grabbing a late equaliser. However after the ball was cleared from the resulting corner the Referee blew his whistle to end a pulsating contest.

A great end-to-end game was eventually narrowly won by the Home side, thanks to their greater resilience and clinical finishing. The Away side showed great courage to drag themselves back into the game after going 2 goals behind in the 2nd half, but at the end of the day it wasn’t quite enough to get them a draw or the win they craved. The spectators who were lucky enough to witness proceedings in the hallowed confines of The Theatre of Dreams would certainly testify that it was a thoroughly enjoyable game of football that provided some amazing goals from both sides and great entertainment for all those watching.

Full time: Man Utd Home 6 - 5 Man Utd Away

Man of the Match Home: Wayne Richardson
Man of the Match Away: Rob Johnson
Moment of the Match: Adrian Alcock

Home Team: Adrian Delaporte, David Phelan, Clayton Blackmore (2nd Half), Adrian Alcock, Jason Shaw, Jay Eaton, Wayne Richardson (C), Sam Trickett, Noel Corry, Paul Bossons, Raymond Prior, Matthew Hudson, Jason Shaw, Paul Green, Daniel Gray
Home Manager: Denis Law
Home Mascot: Charlie Green

Away Team: Ben Jones, Tim Phelan, Clayton Blackmore (1st Half), Martin Johnstone, Stuart Green, Andrew Roylance, James Gerken, Carl England, Rob Johnson (C), David Johnson, Matthew Richards, Kaan Hughes, Paul Horisk, David Owen, Terry Rickeard
Away Manager: Denis Law
Away Mascot: Ferguson Roylance