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It's Character Forming

ICF's Man City natch report

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Just back and after a couple of glasses of red wine and wanted to file a report of a rare win at ManC

Team was Ruddy, CBs R Bennett and R Martin (Basso has clearly been carrying a knock and left out now we were safe ) and Whittaker and Garrido at fullback. BJ and Howson in front of them with Piljks and Snoddy on the wings and Holt up front with Wes just behind.

So our first choice team excep the crucial CB area where the lack of Basso/Turner didn''t bode well. But eith ManC in a mess and us with nothing to lose I was optimistic when I arrived a few mins late, sticking by my feeling as I''d said that a win for us wouldn''t even count as an upset in the circumstances.

It was clear they wanted the season over as soon as I walked in and saw we had good possession in their half. Last year here Lambert set us up to defend deep but with nothing to lose we were pressing them deep in their half and had good possession with chances. At the other end they were playing some near one/twos on the edge of the box but unable to break through.

So it went on, very evenly, until an attack in their box saw the ball break comfortably for Pilks and he buried it to Hart''s left sending us away fans into celebrations (reserved only by doubts that we''d keep the lead)

It stung them in to action and only a few minutes later Rodwell did a neat one/two and got the ball back around the penalty spot unmarked to finish easily.

The only further action I recall was holt getting taken down in their box but as it was the far end from us I couldn''t see if it was a pen.

So 1-1 at the half and most of us would have settled for that.

The second half resumed with City still pressing deep, eg making it hard for Hart to pass the ball short, but ManC still looked dangerous on occasion as they played neat passes forward. They may have been "on the beach" but you could still see the quality.

Quality was on show at the other end tho when Wes intercepted and saw Snoddy with space in front and played a superb high diagonal ball fro him to run onto. Snoddy latched on and drilled it across for Holt to finish from the far side at an acute angle. A super goal

City were still going for it and a few minutes later ManC counter attacked and a lovely ball was played down our right for Rodewll to run onto. Whittaker was left acouple of strides behind and couldn''t catch up as Rodwell ran into the box and finished clinically at the far post. 2-2.

It didn''t faze us and we were still having the better of it, and it was no surprise when another great move out Howson through on Hart and another clinical finish put us 3-2 ahead.

This time we managed to avoid conceding within minutes and it was no surprise when Tettey came on to give BJ a well deserved rest and before too long E Bennett for Pilks.

ManC were pressing for an equaliser but RM and RBennett were able to smother their chances in the box and we played out with composure from the back, almost too much composure on occasion as they intercepted and nearly created a chance but didn''t really test Ruddy.

With time ticking down they were beginning to run out oif steam and Becchio came on for holt. We could have made it safe when Tettey surged forward and was put through on hart but missed the far post with Becchio square of him would have had an easy finish. They won a corner with some late pressure but the city fans were starting to believe as we stood firm to the final whistle

So a fine victory which earns us dosh too. Plenty of fine performances but I''d highlight our CBs for an excellent performance against some top players who still didn''t want to lose no matter what.

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"It didn''t faze us and we were still having the better of it, and it was

no surprise when another great move out Howson through on Hart and

another clinical finish put us 3-2 ahead."Howson ran from the halfway line, beating three Man Ciry defenders.  He was hardly "put through on Hart".

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