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Newcastle United G2 2014

The 2014 Football Aid fixture at St. James’ Park was a closely contested affair that saw a narrow win for the Home team. It was a game that featured solid defending from both sides, but this shouldn’t overshadow the attackers as the game also saw some cracking goals in both halves. In the end though, the Home team deserved their win with a solid team performance with everyone working together for the win. 

Date: Friday 16th of May 2014
Venue: St James' Park
Newcastle United (Home) vs Newcastle United (Away)
Game 2
Kick off: 18:30pm
Match Officials: Chris Haines, Elliot Swallow, Dave Wolfenden and Nial Eaves

The game was kicked-off by the Home side, kicking from right to left and wearing the famous Black and White striped jerseys of the Magpies. It didn’t take long either for the tackles to start flying in and a good opportunity for the Home team was denied by the ref’s whistle. A long ball was played high into the box which was rightly attacked by centre forward Alex Pycock as well as the Away goalie Stevie Exley. However, as the ball bounced down, referee Chris Haines whistled for a foul against Exley.

Down the other end, the Away team almost scored from a foul on centre mid Martin Dunnery at the edge of the box. Centre forward Dean Hughes stepped up to the ball and his brilliant effort cleared the wall but was matched by a great save from Home goalie Nathan Moore who tipped it over the bar and out for a corner.

There weren’t many chances throughout the 1st half because of the quality in the defensive work and this was perfectly demonstrated when a long ball found centre forward Josh Wattam. He chested it down before bursting towards the box but just as he was about to release a shot, out of nowhere came centre half Peter Floyd whose thunderous sliding tackle was perfectly timed to dispossess the forward.

As half time neared ever closer the Away team had their turn to score but were denied at the last by keeper Nathan Moore. Away goalie Steve Exley punted a long ball that was flicked on from centre forward Sean Graham to the winger Liam Armstrong. The No 8 turned his marker well, before breaking into the box but his shot was saved incredibly at the near post by Moore.

Finally on the stroke of half time the deadlock was broken and the Home team had the lead. Centre forward Alex Pycock latched on to a loose ball in the centre of the park before making his way toward the goal. The No 9 drove past everyone and released a low shot just in time that nestled in the far right corner, which was a perfect way to open the scoring (1-0).

After taking so long to open the scoring, the Home team only took two mins to net another and it was scored by that man Alex Pycock again! The centre forward was put through on goal thanks to a wonderful chipped ball from winger Nick Paddock. Pycock’s 1st time shot hit the far post, but the rebound fell perfectly to him to smash into the open net to double his and his team’s account (2-0).

This was how the half ended with the Home team’s late surge giving them a two goal advantage at the break. Throughout the half, both teams were very evenly matched and thanks to centre half pairings of Stewart Hunter and Steven Hughes for the Home, and Peter Floyd and John McGouran for the Away, the scores were level for a very long time. This was until Pycock broke the deadlock with a quickfire double and that was all that separated the teams going into the dressing rooms. 

Half Time: Newcastle United (Home) 2 - 0 Newcastle United (Away)

At the break the Away team weren’t disheartened at all, they just knew that they had to get forward more and this would naturally give them more chances. They kicked off the second period of play and within 30 seconds of play had got a goal back from their 1st attack. The ball was cut back to the edge of the box for centre mid Stephen Lorey who was immediately faced with three Home defenders. However, the No 10 managed to work himself a small amount of space and this was all he needed to let rip a low shot into the bottom left corner of the goal (2-1).

And the Away side almost had an equaliser two mins later after a nicely worked opportunity. A high ball was deflected into the path of centre forward Sean Graham and the No 9 played a brilliant chip over the Home defender to his attacking partner Dean Hughes. The No 11 controlled it on his thigh before attempting a side-volley but his shot went just wide of the right post.

Despite having the early chances, the Away defence needed to be switched on and the Home team might have scored had it not been for the back-tracking of centre mid Alan Dawe. The ball was played forward from winger Neil Paddock into centre forward Alex Pycock. The No 9 then played a sublime through ball into the path of his attack partner Josh Wattam at the edge of the box, Wattam tried to square it back to Pycock but just before he could collect it the No 9 Dawe came out of nowhere to clear up the danger.

Five mins later, the Home team had their goal after a collision on the edge of the box saw full back Matthew Barcas win a free-kick. Up stepped centre half Stewart Hunter, who had enjoyed a great game at the back, and his finish was something resembling a striker's. The No 4 whipped a low ball round the wall and into the bottom right corner of the goal, leaving goalkeeper Steve Exley with no chance (3-1)!

Just a couple of mins later and the Home team had scored again and it was another incredible finish, this time from centre forward Josh Wattam. With 70 mins on the clock winger James Barnsdall picked up the ball on the half-way line and got his head up to pick out a chipped pass into the run of Wattam. As the ball fell over his shoulder, Wattam still had everything to do, but the No 11 showed great skill to execute a first time chip over the keeper into the goal (4-1).

Just 5 mins later the Home team had scored again and it was another excellent strike as well. A long ball was aimed for Alex Pycock but the No 9 must have thought it wouldn’t fall for him as two Away defenders went up for the ball. However, the centre forward waited patiently and was rewarded as the ball wasn’t cleared but flicked back into Pycock’s feet. His volley was low and hard and managed to slip under goalie Steve Exley (5-1).

At both ends of the pitch, the Home team were doing everything to win the game and they were thankful to their goalie Nathan Moore for pulling off another wonder save. Winger Anthony Davies played in a low ball into the box, which ran all the way through to the penalty spot for centre mid Martin Dunnery. The No 6 faked his first shot before cutting back and smashing a high effort at the left post. However, Dunnery was foiled by Home No 1 Moore who made a fantastic diving save.

The corner that followed outdid all of Moore’s efforts though, as substitute winger Andrew Leivers found the back of the net with a looping header. A cross in from the left side was not dealt with in the air and rose back up into the mixer. Everyone seemed to watch as Leivers rose like a salmon, craning his neck back to flick a high header over keeper Moore and into the goal on 80 mins (5-2).

This was how the game ended too, with the Home team running out narrow victors as they managed to survive the Away's onslaught at the start of the 2nd half and did well to take their own chances. In the first 45 the game’s focus was taken by the centre halves. This continued in a way as the Home pairing of Stewart Hunter and Ben Hughes in the second half held firm to deny their opposition, however they were also helped by some outstanding saves from goalie Nathan Moore. In the end, an all-round team performance gave the Home team the win and they were the ones to receive the majority of the applause as they left the field.

Full time: Newcastle United (Home) 5 - 2 Newcastle United (Away)

Man of the Match Home: Peter Floyd
Man of the Match Away: Alex Pycock
Moment of the Match: Stewart Hunter

Home Team: Nathan Moore, Richard Barker, Stewart Hunter, Steven Hughes, Hubert Cheung, James Barnsdall, Nick Paddock, Alex Pycock (C), Raymond Prior, Josh Wattam, Benjamin Davis, Ben Hughes, Matthew Barcas, David Knight
Home Mascot: Poppy Barcas

Away Team: Steve Exley, Iain Gowans, Peter Floyd, John McGouran, Martin Dunnery, Anthony Davies, Liam Armstrong, Sean Graham, Stephen Lorey, Dean Hughes, Alan Dawe, Michael Fulthorpe, Davie Wilson, Andrew Leivers (C)