- Match reports
- 02 March 2013 15:00
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
A first suggestion of spring was in the air at Platt Lane on Saturday afternoon for an entertaining 1-1 draw between City and Newcastle.
Jonathan Quinn’s 17th minute strike was cancelled out by a 25-yard golazo from Jose Angelino Tasende in the 66th minute, leaving City to rue not taking all three points after Louis Hutton had a penalty saved on the stroke of half-time.
When the teams met back in January, City could consider themselves really unlucky to leave Tyneside with nothing, after an impressive two-goal comeback was halted by a last gasp Magpies winner.
City u18s’ XI showed four changes from the side that overcame Blackburn Rovers 2-1 in their last league encounter, with Angus Gunn, Louis Hutton, Kean Bryan and James Horsfield coming into the line-up.
Only Bryan and Dom McHale made it onto the field in the FA Youth Cup defeat to Derby in the week, so former coach Adam Sadler had a well-rested squad to choose from in this encounter with his former employers.
It was an opportunity for the Blues to claim three successive league wins for the first time this season and they nearly got off to the perfect start after two minutes when a lightning counter-attack was only repelled by a fine save from Woodman in the Newcastle goal from a Hutton sidefoot.
Bryan was next to trouble the Newcastle goal and this time only the woodwork prevented his header from City capitalising on their impressive start with the opening goal.
However, it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play after 17 minutes after a five-minute spell where City just couldn’t seem to get the ball out of their own final third.
A succession of attempted clearances eventually fell into the path of Jonathan Quinn, scorer of the winning goal when the teams met in January, and he made no mistake firing into the bottom corner from the edge of the box, leaving Gunn with no chance.
City had a golden opportunity to level matters on the stroke of half-time after McHale’s incisive, jinking dribble was ended by a mistimed tackle in the box.
Captain Hutton assumed responsibilities for the spot-kick and hit it with pace towards the bottom corner but Woodman’s strong wrists prevented City from equalising.
On the balance of play there was nothing between the sides at the half-time break but Sadler would have reinforced the message to keep hold of possession, to take on the simple pass on more occasions and to build moves from the back in his team talk.
He will have been pleased with how his men began the second half as Bryan yet again threatened to get on the scoreseheet – this time with a powerfully struck effort which Woodman once again did well to push away – McHale was also unfortunate not to turn in the rebound.
Eventually the home side’s pressure told and Woodman was finally beaten after 66 minutes courtesy of a very special moment of individual quality.
Left-back Tasende let fly with a terrific effort from 25-yards out with the outside of the boot which thrashed in off the post to give the scoreline a fairer reflection.
City’s quest for a winner began and Woodman continued to be the nemesis – pulling off an incredible double save from Celina and Nuttall in the 75th minute.
The best chance of the decisive third goal came in the last seconds when Jack Byrne arrived onto a Tasende cross but the Dubliner missed the target by an inch as he stretched at the back post in an attempt to convert.
Sadler may have been left scratching his head wondering how he had taken just one point from two games against his former side but will have been delighted with the creativity on show from his charges.
City u18s are next in action away to Middlesbrough next Saturday afternoon.