Due to the renovation work at The Etihad Stadium our 2015 games with Manchester City were held across the road at the club’s brand new, world renowned City Football Academy. The change of venue didn’t affect the atmosphere at all though, and the players were hugely excited to be some of the 1st players to grace the Academy Stadium’s perfect playing surface and state of the art playing facilities. The game lived up to the setting, with the Away side running out winners by 10 goals to 2, however the Home side played their part in a fantastic end to end game and both sets of fans could be hugely proud of their efforts.
Date: Fri 15th May 2015
Venue: The City Football Academy
Man City (Home) vs Man City (Away)
Kick Off: 10:30 am
Match Officials: Adie Feber, Albert Handley, Jordan Davies & Paul Baulcombe
The sun was shining and it was a glorious morning for a game of football at the recently opened City Football Academy. The brand new 7,000 seater Academy Stadium was in pristine condition and the Man City players marched out of the tunnel and onto the carpet like pitch eager to impress in front of their watching fans.
The Away side kicked off out 1st ever game at the CFA wearing the Dark Blue change strip, however it was the Home side who went on the offensive early on, forcing a corner after just 2mins. The ball was swung into the danger area by No 8 Steve Davies and their Home No 10 James Stansfield was in the perfect place to glance in a header from close range (1-0).
Both teams were taking the advantage of the excellent playing surface to play the ball about well and the game was easy on the eye for the watching spectators. Both defences looked comfortable as well and the Away team duo of Stuart Green and Billy Eckersley were doing a good job of catching the opposition attackers offside.
The Away team were edging the possession and it was no surprise when they got back on level terms with 15mins on the clock. No 7 Christopher Sarsfield went on a mazy dribble on the right and when he played the ball inside No 6 Sean McCrae let fly with his left foot from 25 yards and his shot flew into the bottom left corner of the net past Allan Todd’s despairing dive (1-1).
Back came the Home team and Steve Davies looked like he was in on goal until a great tackle from Eckersley denied him. Up the other end Kevin Streatfield fired in a powerful low effort, however Home GK Allan Todd made a fantastic diving save low to his left.
The Away team were on top now and they took the lead on 25mins. After a sustained period of pressure the ball was cleared to Dave Wilde and he swung a dangerous ball into the area, Away No 10 Michael Retsinas was in the perfect position to capitalise and he bulleted a header into the net from 8 yards out (1-2).
The Away team continued to push for more goals and they almost increased their lead soon after when Steven Westhead’s audacious chip looked like it was heading goalwards, however it crashed off the underside of the bar and away to safety. They didn’t have long to wait though and with 33mins gone they increased their advantage. Bal Singh reacted well to collect a goal-kick and he quickly fed Sean McCrae in space 20 yards out, the elegant midfielder looked up, and seeing Todd off his line, chipped a beautiful left foot effort over his head and into the net for his 2nd goal of the game (1-3).
The Home team came roaring back though, and when Steve Davies was denied by great goalkeeping from Kris Archer, Peter Doolan looked odds on to score from the rebound, however the resolute Stuart Green blocked his shot. The Away team responded by going back up the pitch and scoring! Michael Retsinas fired in a shot come cross from the edge of the area and Steven Westhead was in the perfect spot to divert it into the net from 8 yards (1-4).
The Away No 9 Michael Georgiou-Holden then had a fantastic opportunity to put his side even further ahead when he latched onto a ball over the top from his defence, however with only the keeper to beat, the striker’s well placed shot rebounded off the post and back into the grateful arms of keeper Allan Todd. The Home side took full advantage of their reprieve on 37mins when Steve Foot played a wonderful long ball over the top of the Away defence to Steve Davies, the No 8 raced onto the pass and showed great skill to lob the advancing keeper to get his side back into the game (2-4).
The chances kept coming and Sean McCrae looked odds on to score his hat-trick when he was played clear on the left side, however he surprisingly dragged his shot wide. At the other end Chris Smale was out of luck as well, latching onto a rebound in the box he fired an effort goal-bound however his shot smacked off the post and he couldn’t steer his 2nd effort on target.
There was just time for Michael Retsinas to flash a shot past from wide on the right, but there were to be no more goals in the 1st period and the ref’s whistle brought a fantastic half of football to an end shortly afterwards.
Half Time: Man City (Home) 2- 4 Man City (Away)
The Away team kicked off the 2nd half full of confidence after their 1st half efforts, and they continued where they left off, pressurising the Home defence from the off. However the Home team responded well and a couple of chances fell to their lively left midfielder Steve Davies, however he couldn’t quite apply the finishing touch required.
The No 8 looked destined to score on 55mins when he latched onto a great cross from Dave Taylor, however he was denied by a fantastic double save from point blank range by Away GK Kris Archer.
The Away team responded brilliantly though and when Michael Georgiou-Holden’s long range cross found Kevin Streatfield free at the back post, he made no mistake, crashing the ball in off the bar from a tight angle (2-5).
The Home team responded well and when Dave Taylor set up Steve Davies on the edge of the box he looked like reducing the deficit, however his left foot shot flashed just past the post. The Away team were in great scoring form now and on 64mins they increased their lead to 4 goals. Tom Kelly’s fizzer of a shot from the right side of the area was brilliantly tipped onto the bar by GK Allan Todd, however his No 4 Matthew Stansfield had a moment of madness and palmed the ball over the bar…Sean McCrae stepped up and coolly sent Todd the wrong way to score his hat-trick from the spot (2-6).
The impressive midfielder wasn’t finished there though and on 66mins he added his 4th goal of the game! Michael Georgiou-Holden did brilliantly to race onto a through ball in the left corner, when he got to it ahead of GK Todd he turned inside and looked up before delivering a fantastic cross to Sean McCrae who was alone in the area, the Scot applied the finishing touch from less than a yard with no trouble (2-7).
The Home team weren’t downhearted though and almost got a goal back when James Stansfield let fly with a left foot shot from distance, however Kris Archer was equal to the effort and parried the ball away for a corner.
The Away team were not in the mood for letting up though and on 76mins they increased their lead again. No 10 Michael Retsinas played a neat one two with Kevin Streatfield and when he found himself in space on the edge of the area he smashed an unstoppable right foot shot into the top left corner of the goal (2-8).
The Home team responded immediately and Michael Knight looked like scoring when he got a head on the end of a Taylor cross from close range, however he couldn’t keep it down and the ball flew over the bar. Back came the Away team and when Christopher Sarsfield raced into the clear he looked like getting his name on the scoresheet, however his effort crashed off the bar to safety!
Despite there being tired legs all over the pitch both teams were desperate to score more goals and it was end to end stuff at this stage! Michael Georgiou-Holden looked destined to score next when he raced onto a through ball and rounded the keeper, however James Stansfield made a fantastic last ditch tackle to deny him. The No 9 looked destined to score mins later when the ball fell to him in the box, however he was to be denied again, this time from a great blocking tackle from Peter Doolan.
The Home team came roaring back again and when Doolan set up Chris Smale for a shot on the edge of the area the No 6’s fantastic low strike looked goal-bound until Kris Archer flung himself to his left and somehow tipped the ball away for a corner. What a save!
The Away team took full advantage of their reprieve and when Georgiou-Holden cleverly played in Christopher Sarsfield on 88mins, the No 7 made no mistake, wrong footing GK Todd before sliding the ball home from close range (2-9).
There was just time for the Away team to apply the icing on the cake of their impressive win, with the clock ticking over to 90mins Sean McCrae floated over a perfectly weighted cross and Tom Kelly was on hand to side foot the ball home from close range (2-10).
It was the final kick of the match and the Away team got the chance to celebrate their impressive win when the whistle went for full time seconds later. The Home team were disappointed to have lost by such a large margin, however the score wasn’t necessarily a true reflection of how the game had gone, and was more down to how clinical the Away team had been on the break in the 2nd half. All in all it had been a fantastic occasion, with the watching fans being treated to 12 excellent goals and a huge amount of entertainment throughout the 90mins.
Full time: Man City (Home) 2 - 10 Man City (Away)
Man of the Match (Home): Steve Davies
Man of the Match (Away): Sean McCrae
Moment of the Match: Allan Todd
Home Team: Allan Todd, Kieran Brooks (C), Matthew Stansfield, Steve Foot, Chris Smale, Peter Doolan, Steve Davies, Michael Knight, James Stansfield, Dave Taylor, Mike Burke
Away Team: Kris Archer, Dave Wilde, Stuart Green, Billy Eckersley, Sean McCrae, Christopher John Sarsfield, Baljinder Singh (C), Michael Georgiou-Holden, Michail Retsinas, Kevin Streatfield, Tom Kelly, Steven Westhead