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This Season 
 Match Report 2000-01 - Birmingham City (a)
 
Birmingham City  2  Newcastle United  1
 

Date: Wednesday 29th November 2000 7.45pm.

Venue: St. Andrew's

Conditions: Mild and calm.

Crowd:  18,520 

Referee: Steve Bennett 

Teams:

BCFC (normal home kit): Bennett, Eaden, Gill, Grainger, Johnson M, Purse, Lazaridis (Burrows 90 mins), O'Connor, Sonner, Adebola (Burchill 69 mins), Horsfield.
Subs Not Used:
Poole, Hughes, Johnson A.
Booked: Purse, Bennett.
Sent off: None.

NUFC (normal home kit): Harper, Barton, Griffin, Goma, Hughes, Lee, Dyer, Speed, Bassedas (Cordone 81 mins), Solano, Shearer.
Subs Not Used:
S.Caldwell, Acuna, Given, Domi.
Booked: Speed
Sent off:
None.

Goals:

13 mins. A free kick was flighted into the City box and only half-cleared. Barton smashed it back in from the edge of the area and the ball ballooned from the boot of a defender to Dyer on the edge of the box. He didn't get the best of contacts on his volley, but it nestled in the bottom left hand corner of the goal. 1-0
31 mins.
In a mirror image of the second City goal against us last season, a corner was played in to the United box and an unimpeded header from the six yard line saw us concede. This time Grainger took the corner and Adebola shrugged off Shearer to plant his header past Harper.  1-1

Half time: BCFC 1 NUFC 1

90 mins. With extra time looming and the dreaded penalty shootout looking a distinct possibility, Newcastle contrived to put their travelling fans out of their misery and save SKY from rescheduling their archery coverage. A corner was punched clear by Harper, wildly booted back in to the area, where it was diverted from it's wayward path across the goal by a City player. Of course, it fell perfectly for the advancing Johnson to shake a leg at it and divert the ball across Harper into the opposite corner of the United net.   1-2

Full time: BCFC 2 NUFC 1

Match facts:

Our 9th appearance in the 4th round of this competition - but only 4 appearances in the 5th...

We've now failed to defeat Birmingham City in this competition in all 4 attempts.

We said:  

Uncle Bobby said: 

"I have no sympathy for them (the players). I hope it hurts them because it hurts me. It has to hurt them because it is a depressing result.

It's very disappointing but in truth we didn't deserve it. I have to commend Birmingham because they wanted it badly and we didn't seem to want it so much. We didn't press and mark and step up and we allowed them too much possession.

At a goal to the good we should be in the driving seat and go on to win but we didn't. Where we were poor tonight was when we didn't have the ball.

We've lost the game on two corners. There was a free header for the first goal from one and for the second goal we didn't clear the ball from the box."

They said: 

A beaming Jasper/Trevor commented: 

"I always felt we had a chance if we attacked Newcastle. We created enough chances to have won it before getting the winner by causing them problems all night.

I have the utmost respect for Newcastle. But we've watched them on numerous occasions, and I felt if we attacked them then there would be opportunities.

I felt we created enough chances before we got the winner. It is difficult to pick out areas of my team tonight, but I thought Horsfield and Dele Adebola were absolutely awesome - and Newcastle couldn't handle them."

Waffle: 

For the second year in a row, Newcastle trailed away from St.Andrew's having meekly surrendered their League Cup place to a Birmingham team that would struggle to stay afloat in the Premiership. Yet, Trevor Francis may well reflect that his side could have scored far more than the two they managed, and really hit the headlines by stuffing a supposedly superior outfit.

When we lost here last season, it was generally accepted that we'd fulfilled our contractual obligation merely by turning up. This year however, we approached the match at the right end of the league and without the added distraction of European competition to dilute our efforts. No matter that uncle Bobby had declared that we were up for it this season though, he may well have been. but his players didn't seem to share his enthusiasm for the fight.

Harper, who made a number of vital saves in between the odd gaffe, cannot really be blamed for either goal, and both Griffin and Hughes made vital blocks and interceptions. However, our boys yet again lost the plot further up the park, and in defence had possibly the home side's best player - the utterly disgraceful Barton. Domi must really be on the way out if Bobby preferred to leave him on the bench, and force us all to endure Barton's feeble attempts at passing to his colleagues without playing them into dangerous situations.  

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but our static midfield once again took up their usual positions and proceeded to indulge in meaningless and ineffective interplay for most of the match. There are two ways of looking at this - either the midfield have no forward targets to hit or are deliberately playing in a compact manner so as not to allow the opposition to be able to charge on through to our back line.

Well, the former is certainly true, as any team only has to shackle uncle Alan with a couple of men to nullify his efforts, and the latter patently doesn't hold water, given the ease with which City rolled up to the edge of our box. The real problem with the midfield is a total lack of movement into dangerous areas - basically the antithesis of pass and move, push and run or whatever you want to call it. You know what I mean, the way Manchester United play.

Until the goalposts are moved on to the halfway line, our tippy-tappy rubbish will please nobody except OPTA statisticians. 

Dyer scored but did little else, Solano showed a little bit more in this match, but then a man experienced in playing the likes of Brazil in the International arena should be capable of making second-rate players look like mugs. The major contribution of Bassedas yet again was to be fouled - so far I just cannot see what he adds to this team in any way, shape or form. His contribution is obviously too subtle for this correspondent....

Robert Lee didn't have the impact on the game that he would have hoped, and perhaps would have been better served by having a night off and making Saturday his second game in seven days, rather than his third.

It's no secret that Bobby is short-handed up front, but precious little tangible reward came from his troops in this game, and as usual, the opposition goalkeeper was one of the most under-used players on the park.

This may only have been a worthless cup match, but the problems that continue to beset us were as obvious to anyone at St.Andrew's or watching the goggle box as they have been in Premiership games.

We now move up the road to our favourite Premiership ground, where only Villa have had more successes than us in the last few years, and things don't look very good at this point. John Gregory may consider himself a football purist, but he could probably ensure his side took the points by simply instructing messrs Ginola and Merson to ping the ball upfield to the distinctive head of Dublin at every conceivable opportunity. 

PS - If you're looking for bad omens, when we lost at Brum last season, we hung around for a few days then played a league game in the West Midlands. The final score in that match ? Coventry 4 United 1..... 

Biffa

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Page last updated 29 November, 2012