Bank Holiday Monday saw the Football Aid season continue, bright and early at the home of the Toon Army, St James’ Park. An overcast morning was brightened up by a tense and exciting Football Aid game, which saw the Newcastle United Away side run out 3-5 victors.
Date: Monday 30th May 2016
Venue: St James’ Park
Newcastle (Home) vs Newcastle (Away)
Kick Off: 09:15 am
Match Officials: Jacob Lloyd, Jamie Stallard, Daniel Taylor & Robin Raymond
The Home side kicked us off at the magnificent St James Park and the 1st chance fell to the Home side who were playing in the famous Black and White striped shirts. No 11 Tom Smith broke through the middle of the defence but Away No 1 Darrel Parker stood firm and pulled off a brilliant one handed save to prevent the goal.
The Away team’s 1st chance followed soon after, a low driven cross by No 10 John Taylor found No 11 Keith Howe free at the back post but the striker couldn’t guide his shot on target.
Howe then nearly got himself on the assist sheet, his lob over the goalkeeper almost found fellow striker Paul Hancox’s head on the line but heroic defending from Football Aid veteran and Home No 5 Mark Feehan saw the header go over the bar. Today was a landmark occasion for Mark Feehan, with the Newcastle United event marking his 60th appearance in a Football Aid game. Mark’s been a fantastic, loyal supporter and enthusiastic player in our games over the years and his special day didn’t go un-noticed by the Football Aid team.
More heroic defending followed, this time by the Home No 4 Kevin Gaddes who tracked the run of Away No 10 John Taylor and threw himself in front of the shot to block it.
A quick counter attack from the Home side found Home No 9 Kev Wright one on one with Away No 1 Darrel Parker who yet again stood firm to keep the score at 0-0.
The Home side were putting some pressure on the Away goal and No 11 Tom Smith darted into the box only to see his shot parried away. The ball fell into the path of Home No 8 Ian Watson whose shot took a big deflection off a defender but Away keeper Darrel Parker was alert to the danger.
Nearly a breakthrough, Away No 1 Darrel Parker pass somehow found Home No 8 Ian Watson in the box and his 1st time effort came straight back to Away No 1 Darrel Parker, who turned it around the post.
The game was due a goal and the Home team duly broke the deadlock in the 35th min. The ever dangerous Home No 11 Tom Smith with a fantastic run and lobbed effort to give his team the lead (1-0).
However their lead didn’t last for long though, Away No 5 and captain Peter Floyd’s deflected pass found Away No 9 Paul Hancox and the striker’s 1st time shot found the bottom right of the goal in the 37th min (1-1).
That goal put a spring in the Away side’s step and they took the lead in the 39th min. Away No 7 Paul Old found himself in space at the back post to nod home and make it (1-2).
Not to be outdone the Home side nearly equalised immediately, a good cross field ball found Home No 11 Tom Smith in the box but yet again Away No 1 Darrel Parker was quickly down at the feet of the striker to deny him.
There was just time before half time for the Away side to extend their lead and it was a great team goal as well. No 7 Paul Old found No 9 Paul Hancox in the box and his low sliding pass perfectly found strike partner Keith Howe in space for a clinical finish into the net (1-3).
And with that, the referee called time on the 1st half, it had been a tight contest throughout but the Away side started to gain control in the back end of the half. Could the Home side find the inspiration for a comeback during their half-time break?
Half Time: Newcastle (Home) 1 - 3 Newcastle (Away)
The Away side restarted the 2nd half defending their 2 goal lead and they continued where they left off, with goal number 4 arriving in the 50th min for the side in White and Light Blue. Away No 9 Paul Hancox hooking a right foot volley past the keeper to make it 1-4 and give them some breathing space from their Home team rivals (1-4).
However the Home side continued to battle hard and they found a way back into the game in the 59th min. Home No 9 Kev Wright outmuscling his defender before cheekily dinking the ball over the keeper to make it (2-4). Was this the start of a Home team comeback?
The play raged from end to end with both teams playing some excellent football and the Home team’s comeback continued in the 80th min when Home No 11 Tom Smith found himself in a tight angle in the box and somehow managed to fire a shot into the roof of the net. The Magpies Home team now had 10 mins to find an equaliser or maybe even an unlikely win (3-4)?
However, the Away team weren’t to be denied and they sealed the win in the 88th min. Away No 6 Sam Cunningham with a brilliant solo run and finish to restore his side’s 2 goal lead end any chances of a Home team comeback (3-5).
With the pace of the game taking it’s toll the players were looking out on their feet and the 2nd half came to an end with the Away side managing to hold on to their 1st half lead and take the honours 3-5. However the Home team’s spirited 2nd half fightback nearly saw them gain something from what was a brilliant encounter at St James’ Park.
A huge thank you to all the Football Aid players and spectators who took part in the 2016 Newcastle United event and made it such a great success. Also a massive thank you to Newcastle United FC for allowing us access to the magnificent St James’ Park.
Full Time: Newcastle (Home) 3 - 5 Newcastle (Away)
Man of the Match Home: Tom Smith
Man of the Match Away: Darrel Parker
Moment of the Match: Peter Floyd
Special Long Service Award (60 Apps): Mark Feehan
Home Team: Matt Smith, Michael Reid, Kevin Gaddes, Mark Feehan, Adam Newton Smith, Tim Evans, Ian Watson, Kev Wright, Owen Reid, Tom Smith, Stuart Parkinson, Colin Thompson (C), Matthew Pepperell
Home Mascot: Katie Thompson
Away Team: Darrel Parker, David Brown, Billy Eckersley, Peter Floyd (C), Sam Cunningham, Paul Old, Nathan Thompson, Paul Hancox, John Taylor, Keith Howe,
Sam Cunningham (A6), Barry Luxton, Dave Wheatley,
Away Mascot: Joshua Parkinson
Match Report written by Matt Annis.