Gillead 77mins, Amalfitano 87mins
- Match reports
- 12 April 2013 16:04
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
A delightful first-half strike from Jose Angel Pozo was cancelled out by two late goals from the visitors in a bruising defeat for City EDS.
It was a day made worse for the Blues after a serious-looking injury to City’s goalscorer.
City EDS are without a win since their last game at Hyde FC’s Ewen Fields, a 4-1 triumph over Stoke City on 22 February, so it was hoped that a return to that site may inspire a first victory in six Barclays u21 Premier League games.
Attilio Lombardo’s XI showed two changes from the team that drew 1-1 with Bolton last week, with Shay Facey and Ellis Plummer coming in for Micah Richards and Maicon, who are presumably thought to be ready to re-join the first-team reckoning oncemore.
Meanwhile, former City hero Willie Donachie was able to include players with first-team experience in his Newcastle u21s line-up, including Gabriel Obertan and Romain Amalfitano.
A late Marcos Lopes penalty saved a point for the City Elite Development Squad when the teams last met in the start of March and there wasn’t much to pick between the teams on this occasion either.
The Hyde pitch, which had weathered a particularly harsh winter as well as the rigours of a Blue Square Premier League campaign, may not have been conducive to the most attractive, passing game but both teams were keen to push on and get forward in the early stages.
The home side had the first chance to open the scoring five minutes in, when Denis Suarez’s tenacity and delicate footwork on the edge of the box presented John Guidetti with an opening but his shot was deflected wide.
At the other end, the very best was brought out of Ian Lawlor in the City goal after Guidetti was pickpocketed in the opposition half.
Obertan broke at speed down the left and the former Manchester United man managed to pick out Alex Gillead in acres of space but somehow Lawlor managed to divert his sidefooted finish wide of the target.
It was a wonderful reflex save from the Irishman and City soon took advantage of the heroics after some good work from in-form midfielder Emyr Huws.
Huws found Pozo on the edge of the area and the little Spaniard conjured up another goal of the highest quality, opening his body up and curling around the despairing dive of Alnwick.
Pitch conditions dictated that this was a game characterised by forced errors as the ball bobbled along the surface, making ball control increasingly difficult but with that decisive swipe of his right foot, Pozo proved that the most gifted players don’t use these obstacles as an excuse.
The Premier League quality of Obertan continued to threaten in flashes but it was City who went closest to scoring the game’s second goal when Suarez wriggled free on the edge of the area and shot across goal but it was a yard past the post.
That well-taken goal by Pozo was the difference at the break of a game of few clearcut chances.
The heavens opened soon after the teams re-emerged from the dressing room for the second half which did nothing to help a pitch visibly turning from green to brown more with each passing minute.
Substitute Jonathan Quinn was first to seriously test the City stopper after the break but Lawlor was equal to the test, getting down well and holding onto the ball, all with a flight of Magpie strikers swooping at his feet, looking to feed off any scraps.
French midfield unit Olivier Ntcham was brought on for Lopes to sure things up with 15 minutes remaining to but the visitors finally found a way through shortly after.
Lawlor pulled off another magnificent save from Obertan but the rebound fell to Gillead who gleefully tucked home to level from close range.
It got worse for City five minutes later when goalscorer Pozo had to leave the field on a stretcher after an innocuous-looking challenge from Kevin Mbabu in the penalty area left him in agony.
A nightmare afternoon was soon complete three minutes from time, when Amalfitano slalomed through four challenges in the City box and lashed a clinical strike into the bottom corner.
It was a cruel stroke of luck in a match which for so long seemed to be going the home side's way.
They will regroup and return to action in the Manchester Senior Cup away at Bolton next Thursday night.