Manchester City 5 LONDON HIBS 3

APFSCIL Cup First Round

8 October 2000

Report by Adam Pomaro


Manchester City 5(3) vs London Hibs 3(3)aet

Cup 1st round

Date: 08/10/00 Venue: Wormwood Scrubs

A terrible performance from half-time onwards saw our cup hopes fall at the first hurdle.  Against a team from the division below we should have gone through comfortably even allowing for a large number of absentees again.

With John, Bryn and Scot all unavailable in goal Terry kindly volunteered
his services and in the first half touched the ball only twice.  We dominated possession and played some flowing football at times.  Leigh was everywhere in midfield, Paul showed some promising touches on his debut and the defence never looked in any trouble.  We took an early lead when Russell headed home Adam's inswinging corner with power and precision.  Other chances came and went until Graeme's tidy finish to a sweeping move put us well in control.  The game should have been dead but their 'keeper pulled off some good saves to keep them in it.

However the second half saw a complete reversal.  They upped their effort while we took our foot off the pedal.  A good strike put them back in it and then poor defending allowed Manchester City to score twice in as many minutes.  From complete control to disarray in 20 minutes.  

With no substitutes we couldn't change things as some players obviously weren't able to play 90 minutes never mind 120.  In desperation Jim pushed forward and grabbed an equaliser neatly lobbing Russell's pass over the goalie.

Extra time proved a step too far.  Simon picked up a nasty looking injury to his leg straight away and thus we played with 10 men for most of the added period.  Manchester city looked the more likely and were rewarded for their extra commitment with a goal in each half of extra time.  Our cup dream was over for another season.

This defeat was primarily down to a lack of subs and too many players showing far more effort when we were ahead than behind.  On the first point we got away with it against Doncaster 2 weeks before but weren't so fortunate this time.  The lesson has been harshly learnt.  Players who can only make less than 50% of games aren't much use.  Commitment starts before we take the field.  On the second count I can honestly say that is the first time in my time with the club that we haven't showed the spirit required. Let's make sure it was a one off.

We win as a team and therefore we lose as one.  No player who played was more or less guilty than any other of lacking commitment as any player who didn't show was more or less guilty than another.  Let's put this behind us and we have a huge match this weekend to get back on track.  Middlesborough (3 wins out of 3) at home (Barn Elm's) 2.30pm kick-off. Please could everyone show the courtesy of a reply either to Kevin, Adam or David.  This is the least expected.  We now have 13 games left of importance between now and April. Please try and arrange schedules accordingly.  We are 6 points better off in the league than this time last season.  However last season saw us drop only 4 points in those last 13 games.  Same again or better is the aim.

Team: Terry, Simon Hibbitt, Jim McPherson, John Stevenson, Mark Grice, Paul Thomson, Adam Pomaro, Leigh Everett, Russell Stinson, Graeme Thompson, Gerry Vavasour

MOM:Leigh Everett


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