New Manchester City manager John Bond’s first cup game was the fourth round tie against Second Division promotion hopefuls Notts County at Maine Road, played on this day (29 October) in 1980 The game had the potential to end in defeat, especially as Bond would be unable to play any of his new signings (remember the struggles pre-Bond’s arrival earlier in the month and the impact he and his new arrivals Now, Hutchison and McDonald had?), nor would the expensive Steve Daley be able to play due to injury.
The match actually ended 5-1 to the Blues with Dave Bennett opening the scoring after 16 minutes. Dennis Tueart was in inspiring form that night scoring the other four City goals, but the result was prof that Bond’s whole approach had lifted the Club. Basically, Bond had taken Allison’s team and given them belief and confidence. Some of the younger players, like Bennett and Caton, may have been given their chance under Allison, but it was under Bond that they started to achieve their potential.
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On this day (30 January) in 2011 Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City team faced Notts County in the FA Cup. Edin Dzeko’s first City goal came on this day too!
In the build-up to the Notts County tie much was made of the fact that County were the world’s oldest League team and that they were facing the world’s richest club – as usual ignoring the hard fact that it was City’s owner that was wealthy not the club itself. Who’d have thought then that ten years later we’d still be hearing this same old claptrap!
Television, in particular, liked to build up the David and Goliath aspect to it. For neutrals it added to the interest perhaps, but for the Blues it continued to give a false impression of the stage they were at in their development.
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Did you recognise this ground? I posted it on Monday and asked: ‘Can you name the ground featured in the image above? This is a 1920s photo of this ground. There really isn’t much left that matches the image seen here but the main stand (top) did have a recognisable feature that has been replicated. Also, that terracing to the left remained the same for decades. I certainly stood on it for a memorable game in the 1980s.’ The answer is…
Notts County’s Meadow Lane. The terracing to the left housed Manchester City fans (as did most of the rest of the ground. County gave City the home terracing and most of the seats) when City went there for what was hoped would be a promotion game in 1985. A barmy day saw the party end and we had to wait for the following game at home to Charlton for the chance to celebrate.
So, this is the last ground quiz of the year. Have a happy New Year and here’s to a great 2022. I know 2021 has been another tough year for most of us, so let’s hope 2022 is much better.
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I had planned to run ‘Historic Name That Ground’ only during the close season as in previous years, but it’s proving of interest so I’ll keep it going for a little while yet. If you have an old image of a ground that you think it’d be worth including in this weekly quiz then please get in touch. They don’t have to be from the 1900s to 1960s – even ground images from the 70s and 80s may prove a challenge to identify these days. You can email me at gary@GJFootballArchive.com Thanks.