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Man City Game 2 2007

Written by Kieran Brooks

Manchester City – Game 2 – 7th May 2007

The second Football Aid fixture of 2007 at the City of Manchester Stadium ended in an emphatic 3-0 victory for City Away.

The game was evenly balanced until 15 minutes before the interval when Sibby Khan latched onto a low cross from his captain Michael Clapham to lash the ball home from 15 yards. This sweet strike was later chosen as the Moment of the Match by City Legend Andy Hinchcliffe who found himself in the unusual position of playing for both sides after Ian Brightwell was unavailable.

Both sides had opportunities to break the deadlock during the first quarter with the Away team having the better of the early chances. After only four minutes Smart curled a right foot shot just round the upright after a neat layoff from Clapham. Within a minute a long range effort from Clapham himself drew a low diving save from Home keeper Matthew Ball. Appeals for a penalty against the Home side were waved away after Smart appeared to be caught inside the 18 yard box.

The Home team quickly responded. After a good combination by Home captain Rick Ogden & Alun Rees, Away keeper Lawrence Risdale tipped an excellent effort by Simon Miehe round the post. Further pressure from the Home team midfield created another chance for Miehe who headed a great effort just wide after a neat flick on by Jonathon Pitt.

Ball kept the Home team in the game producing a good save to foil Howard Lee when through one-on-one with the keeper in the 27th minute. The relief was short lived however when the ball broke to Clapham on the left a few minutes later. Home failed to clear his low pull-back from the dead ball line and it was despatched into the net with gusto by Khan.

The teams left the field at half time with the Away side 1-0 to the good & in control. Home worked hard to gain a foothold in the game after the break but they couldn’t prevent Away from extending their lead. Baines latched onto a loose clearance, threaded the ball through to Clapham whose unselfish pass inside allowed Nick Johnson to stroke the ball home in the 61st minute.

Home refused to let their heads drop and shortly afterwards Pitt forced Away keeper Risdale into a diving save. On 71 minutes Home’s best chance of the game fell to second half substitute Chris Kent but he was unable to convert the header after excellent work on the left & a pinpoint cross from Simon Miehe.

It was a miss they were left to rue a few minutes later when Clapham, capitalising on changes to the Home defence, made it 3-0 in the 77th minute with a neat turn and finish past Ball in the Home goal.

Home continued to press & late in the game forced Risdale into a smart double save after skipper Rick Ogden’s long range effort was followed up by Pitt who did well to get to the rebound but they were unable to breach the Away defence before the final whistle and the game ended 3-0.

The Man of the Match awards went to central defenders – Dean Thorpe for Home and Darryl Beecham for Away.

Home: M Ball; K Brooks; D Thorpe; J Millar; M Bury; A Rees; M Thomson; J Pitt; R Ogden (C); S Miehe; M Fisher; C Kent

Away: L Risdale; CJ Fitzpatrick; D Beecham; L Bryant; P O’Reilly; S Khan; H Lee; M Clapham (C); N Johnson; J Smart; R Thorpe; D Baines; M Fitzpatrick; M Hilton.

Legend Andy Hinchcliffe turned out for both teams.

Away keeper Lawrence Risdale said after the game: “I thought the day was superb, worth every penny and the stadium and hospitality was first class. Andy Hinchcliffe was a true gentleman and it was a pleasure to play with him. Having done 3 Football Aids, this one was by far the best yet Thank you all for a great day and will see you next year.”

Dean Thorpe commented: “The Football Aid games are some of the few football matches you can still have full enjoyment even if the result isn’t in your favour. It was a great experience & very pleasing that Jonny Patterson, the son of Football Aid’s founder, & a sufferer of diabetes, was able to get on the pitch & play”.