Newcastle United v Manchester City 1970/71


League Division 1

12th April 1971

attendance 29,040

Ref G Hartley

City Corrigan, Book, Connor, Doyle, Book, Donachie, Towers, Bell, Lee, Young, Hill – sub Brennan(39)

Newcastle McFaul, Craggs, Clark, Gibb, McNamee, Moncur, Foggon, Tudor, Dyson, Smith, Young – sub Nattrass(64)

The St James’ Park pitch was a mess, dangerous and virtually unplayable. The muddy quagmire had dried rock hard and was now more like rugged concrete.
With City’s European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final just a few days away, and the squad already diminished through injury, Jeff Johnson and Steve Carter were called up for their first senior appearances. I’m sure that Joe Mercer would have preferred to just gift the points to Newcastle than risk his players’ health out on the field of play.
Unfortunately for City things couldn’t have gone worse. Just after the tenth minute Joe Corrigan received a cut to his head after diving to cut out a Foggan cross, he had to leave the field, and Mike Doyle deputised in goal. Luckily Corrigan returned to the pitch after five minutes so Doyle could take his more usual defensive position. Unfortunately he didn’t make it to half-time, six minutes before the break a heavy challenge with David Young left him with a bad leg injury and he had to leave the field on a stretcher, to be replaced by Brennan.
Worse was still to come when, with less than 20 minutes left, An off the ball incident led to Colin Bell lying on the ground in agony. After treatment to his leg, City went down to ten men when he also had to be stretchered off the pitch.
The result of the match seemed insignificant, all City fans knew was that for their most important match of the season so far they would be without the services of at least Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee, Mike Doyle, Alan Oakes, Derek Jeffries and Frank Carrodus.

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