CITY 2 NEWCASTLE UNITED 0
League Division 1
18th April 1973
scorers Booth(44), Marsh(70)
Ref V James
City Healey, Book, Donachie, Doyle, Booth, Oakes, Summerbee, Bell, Marsh, Lee, Towers – sub Carrodus
Newcastle McFaul, Craig, Clark, Gibb, Howard, Moncur, Barrowclough, McDermott, MacDonald, Tudor, Hibbitt – sub Nattrass
ANOTHER FANTASTIC GOAL FROM RODNEY MARSH
FROM ‘MEMORY MATCH’ BY JOHN MADDOCKS PUBLISHED IN THE CITY PROGRAMME 21ST MARCH 1987
“Marsh Magic” was what the papers called it. Those of us who watched City in the early seventies remember this headline well.
In the game against Newcastle in April 1973 he scored a goal which was applauded by everyone privileged to see it. The lucky ones were the City regulars. They had seen an equally brilliant goal from Rodney just 4 days earlier in the 3-1 defeat of Sheffield United.
When it comes to the ”Do you remember the goal of. . .’ reminiscences in Manchester pubs or clubs, Blues’ supporters may be accused of exaggeration when they describe these two goals of Marsh’s in successive games. But they really were special unfortunately unrecorded by TV at the time, so that following generations of City fans could marvel at them again and again.
Maybe Rod was putting himself in the shop window? He was on the transfer list at his own request, following the departure of his mentor Malcolm Allison to Crystal Palace. But that is too glib an explanation. Rodney always did have that ability to “tum it on”; and it was the home fans who generally saw it, as question marks hung over his sense of commitment away from home.
The Newcastle game was towards the end of the season. The Blues were in a respectable 11th place, thanks mainly to a good home record. The Magpies were in 7th spot, just below Wolves, and the sole concern of both teams was merely to finish as high as possible. The only change in Citys team that had beaten Sheffield United the previous Saturday was at substitute, Frank Carrodus replacing Derek Jetfries and coming on for Mike Summerbee during the game.
For most of the first half the Geordies came nearer to scoring than City did. Neither Ronnie Healey or Colin Bell knew a great deal about the efforts from Frank Clark and Pat Howard which rebounded to safety from their respective torsoes. Terry Hibbitt worked as always like a beaver to create openings for Malcolm Macdonald and John Tudor, but they were denied any reward.
Just before the interval the Blues went in front. The Magpies gave away a free-kick which was placed beautifully onto Tommy Booth’s head to give him his 5th league goal of the season. Up to this point, it had been long-range shots which had really tested lam McFaul in the Newcastle nets, but the latter had dealt with these more than competently. Also, just after half-time, he had flung himself to stop a Francis Lee effort from crossing the line after a great build-up by Colin Bell and Summerbee.
The goal that Marsh scored to end Newcastle’s hopes came after 70 minutes of the game. In scoring terms there seemed to be “nothing on” but in a few seconds that whole scenario had changed. Rodney found the ball at his feet. He seemed to be covered by two defenders. He feigned a move to his left and the defenders went with him. Suddenly, there was the space he needed, although it still didn’t seem enough. but it was; he rolled the ball sideways and sent a curving ground shot wide of McFaul’s desperate dive, to roll into the net to seal the match for the Blues.
The congratulations from his team-mates and the applause from the spectators seemed to go on forever. The Newcastle’s players showed clear respect for this piece of audacity which had taken the game out of their reach. It was Marsh’s 23rd goal in 54 League and Cup games for City (2 as sub).