Swindon Town v Manchester City 1987/88

swindon away 1987 to 88 prog


League Division 2

31st October 1987

attendance 11,536

Varadi(34), White(36 & 68), Simpson(50)
Swindon Barnes(44), Bamber(?), Foley(74)

Ref M Reed

City Nixon, Gidman, Hinchcliffe, Clements, Brightwell, Redmond, White, Stewart, Varadi, McNab, Simpson – used sub Lake – subs Lake(81), Scott(unused)

Swindon Hammond, Hockaday, King, Barnard, Parkin, Calderwood, Bamber, White, Quinn, Foley, Barnes – subs O’Regan(71), Henry(71)


Two goals in a minute set Manchester City on course for their second successive away win.
Imre Varadi put the skids under Swindon at the rain soaked County Ground in the 35th minute and David White got a second 60 seconds later.
But almost on the stroke of half-time, the home side pulled one back, Bobby Barnes racing in at the far post to expose glaring defensive deficiencies by a City side who ended their away hoodoo at Bradford 10 days ago.
Torrential rain, still falling at the outset, left the pitch waterlogged and both sides were quickly made to realise that the match would become a lottery.
City were forced to soak up as much early pressure as the ground had water, with Swindon pouring forward in great attacking waves.
As early as the second minute, Nixon was forced to sprint to the edge of his penalty area to deny Quinn. The City goalkeeper lost possession, Quinn though had spotted an opening but then carelessly crossed beyond the far post and out of play, before the harassed City goalkeeper could regain his line.
… For 20 minutes City looked pale shadows of the side that had thoroughly thrashed Nottingham Forest in midweek.
conditions, worsening by the minute, were obviously a contributing factor yet they were the same for both sides.
When the Blues did swing into attacking motion Simpson crossed accurately from the left and Brightwell should have done better with his header that skidded well wide of Hammond’s left hand post.
Simpson, Stewart and Varadi built up smoothly down the left but the only reward was the corner won by Stewart.
McNab had two bites at getting in his cross, the second of which was solidly headed clear by Calderwood.
City were now looking a more potent force and the whole game changed dramatically with the Blues scoring twice within a minute to put themselves in the driving seat.
The first came in the 35th minute after Stewart had won a corner on the left following Bamber’s rash back pass that had failed to carry on the soggy surface.
McNab’s flag kick was headed on by Simpson and Varadi turned sweetly to hook the ball clinically past Hammond.
Sixty seconds later, rampant City raced further ahead. Varadi this time was the provider, setting up the opening from which Brightwell squared the ball to the unmarked White
The opportunity looked to have gone for white but his shot took a deflection off Hammond and Calderwood, on the line, made a desperate attempt to clear but had little chance to prevent his side going further behind.
… But seconds before half-time Swindon hauled themselves back into the match, Barnes scoring at the far post after Simpson and Redmond had failed to cut out a right flanking cross from Hockaday.
Half-time: Swindon 1, Manchester City 2
The goals continued to flow in this fascinating game with both sides hitting the mark shortly into the second half.
Bamber could quite easily have equalised for the home side but wanted too much time and space after Barnes and Foley had made the running on the left.
City’s counter punch in the 50th minute saw them re-establish their two goal advantage following a series of incredible incidents in front of the Swindon goal.
Varadi crossed from the right and Brightwell’s close-in attempt was smartly smothered by Hammond. The ball broke loose to Stewart whose shot thundered back off the crossbar falling at the feet of Simpson who scored easily.
Back came Swindon and an outrageous error by Hinchliffe led to a goal. The anguished full-back’s back-pass carried little pace on such a heavy surface and Bamber pounced to beat the oncoming Nixon leaving the Blues clinging grimly to their lead.
… In the 68th minute City once more established a two goal cushion. White driving the ball in after good work on the left by Simpson and the alert Brightwell.
Swindon again bounced back, and in the 74th minute this see-saw struggle saw Foley strike a majestic goal following excellent work on the edge of the City penalty area by Barnes.

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