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City travelled to Wark in the knowledge that they were the only side to beat their
hosts so far this season, with a 4-3 win at the Sheepmount in August. Centre-half
Stuart Hill passed a fitness test immediately before the game and he was re-joined in
central defence by Carl Armstrong, with James Yallop reverting to his normal full-
back role. Wark fielded the league’s leading scorer in ex-Carlisle United striker Marc

Within 4 minutes, City had suffered a nightmare start as they fell a goal behind. Some
City observers felt there was an element of offside during the build-up but neat
passing between Thompson, M. Nixon and Lancaster ended with Thompson beating
Bradley from 18 yards out. City responded by earning a free-kick following
Lancaster’s foul on Amato, but keeper Sagar punched the ball clear, in what proved to
be a telling feature of the game. The loose ball fell kindly for Bell but he saw his shot
blocked. An Armstrong free-kick then resulted in Priest winning a corner for City.
Taking the kick himself, Priest saw his cross punched away by Sagar.

In the 10th minute, Armstrong’s free-kick saw Sagar challenged by Holliday and the
ball again dropped to Bell but City’s leading scorer blasted wide. City were being
awarded a string of free-kicks at this stage, and Heath’s delivery was collected by
Sagar. Wark broke quickly into City territory and Bradley had to parry a stinging 20-
yard shot from M. Nixon. Amato and Priest linked up and forced Famelton to clear
for a corner. Priest’s flag-kick found Amato and his shot was deflected for another
corner. Heath’s cross was safely cleared by the Wark defence.

It was a fast-flowing game played at a high tempo and Blaylock had to retreat deep
into his own box to head Lancaster’s cross behind for a corner, that City comfortably
dealt with. In the 17th minute, City looked sure to equalise when Alder disastrously
headed past his own keeper, with Bell latching onto the ball. However, Sagar showed
great speed and strength to stretch out a long leg and kick the ball for a corner.
Priest’s flag-kick was delivered low to the front post and was easily cleared. Amato
then saved his side with some great defensive covering as McLoughlin threatened to
break clear on the City goal.

After 20 minutes, Wark went 2-0 ahead with a very simple goal. It started with a
right-wing throw just outside the City box, and the ball reached M. Nixon who scored
easily. City were then holding their heads in anguish as Priest found Amato, who hit a
cracking shot from 25 yards but the ball rebounded from the Wark crossbar, with
Heath firing the rebound straight to Sagar. Heath then ran strongly at the Wark
defence, and G. Nixon had to block his shot at the expense of a corner. Priest’s cross
was headed to safety by the Wark defence.

After 22 minutes, Yallop’s fine left-wing cross travelled across the 6-yard area with
no final touch being applied. Thompson then shot over from 25 yards for Wark,
before his side scored a third goal in the 24th minute. An unfortunate slip by Hill
allowed M. Nixon to run clear and the prolific striker made easy work of the chance,
despite the angle not really favouring him.
City were now really up against it and a foul by Heath on Lancaster gave Wark a free-
kick in the City half. Taken short by Elliott, another foul led to a free-kick five yards
further up the field. On this occasion, Elliott fired well wide. In the 27th minute,
Bradley did well to claim Lancaster’s cross, as he looked to find M. Nixon.

There was a surprise soon after this when M. Nixon actually shot wide when well-
placed. On the half-hour, two Wark defenders challenged for the same ball, allowing
Heath to run clear on the City right, but his cross was caught by Sagar. In the next
minute, M. Nixon slipped past Armstrong and Yallop was at full-stretch to hack the
ball to safety. In the 34th minute, Blaylock, Heath and Bell combined well but
Famelton slid in with a marvellous challenge to save his side. M. Nixon again
breached the City defence but, on this occasion, he crossed for Lancaster and the ball
drifted out of play.

In the 41st minute, a foul by Hill gave Wark a free-kick, but Hill rose well to head
clear. As the interval approached, Amato shot wide from 25 yards and Cherry’s cross
was punched for a corner by Sagar, with Heath’s kick again being punched by the
iron-fisted Wark keeper.


City started the second period on the offensive, as Armstrong’s free-kick was headed
on by Holliday, but cleared by G. Nixon. In the 48th minute, Thompson’s right-wing
corner was headed out of the box by Hill and then fired well over by Lancaster. After
50 minutes, a good cross from Cherry caused a few problems in the Wark defence
before being cleared. Cherry then linked with Heath, forcing Famelton to concede a
corner. Amato’s flag-kick was deep and was collected by Priest, who claimed another
corner on the opposite flank. Heath’s corner was met well by Armstrong, with Sagar
pushing the ball out and Yallop firing a good chance high over the bar.

In the 55th minute, Priest fell under Alder’s challenge in the penalty box but referee
Straughan waved play on. Yallop then found Priest but Sagar safely collected the
cross. It was all City pressing forward at this stage of the game and, in the 57th minute,
Priest and Amato found Heath on the right-hand side of the penalty area. His shot
struck Peel and loud handball shouts were ignored by the referee. A rare Wark break
saw Thompson’s corner reach Famelton but Bradley saved easily.

City then made a change with Major replacing Amato. After 59 minutes, Blaylock
won a corner off G. Nixon. Priest’s flag-kick dropped nicely for Major but the
substitute mis-hit his shot and Blaylock fired the loose ball over the bar. On the hour,
a superb cross from Priest could only be palmed down by Sagar and Bell put a great
opportunity over the bar. City’s second change saw Driver come on for Bell.

Armstrong’s free-kick was cleared by Alder before, in the 64th minute, City
deservedly pulled a goal back. Newly-arrived replacement Driver turned well on the
edge of the Wark box before shooting powerfully past Sagar. Cherry’s cross from the
right was then just too high for Driver and Blaylock shot wide from 25 yards. In the
67th minute, Telfer replaced McLoughlin for Wark.
In the 70th minute, Wark went 4-1 ahead as M. Nixon raced clear of a square City
defence before rounding Bradley and rolling the ball into the net. City made their final
change as Rowell replaced Heath. Driver’s free-kick was once again punched to
safety by Sagar. Wark made their second change as Gibson came on for Campbell.

The first booking of the game went to Thompson in the 74th minute. City’s free-kick
from Armstrong was headed on by both Hill and Yallop before Wark cleared to
safety. In the 75th minute, Telfer shot well wide before the same player linked with M.
Nixon, forcing Armstrong to clear well. Holliday was then booked for City after
fouling M. Nixon, but Elliott’s free-kick was blocked. The sudden spate of yellow
cards continued as Gibson was cautioned. In the 80th minute, Bradley did well to
backpedal and tip over a hanging free-kick. Thompson’s corner was headed wide by

In the 82nd minute, Driver’s free-kick found Hill and his flick to Yallop ended in the
shot being saved by Sagar. A long run through midfield by Blaylock saw him find
Rowell, and Famelton conceded a corner, that was cleared to safety. In the 85th
minute, City were awarded a penalty as Driver was upended in the area by G. Nixon.
Driver took the kick himself and sent Sagar the wrong way but, sadly for City, the ball
bounced out off the right-hand post. Rowell then must have sensed his first goal in
senior football as he broke clear inside the Wark area, but his shot hit the side netting.

In the 87th minute, Telfer, M. Nixon and Thompson linked to find Richardson, who
shot straight at Bradley. City continued to press as Cherry was fouled by Famelton.
Rowell and Cherry took the free-kick short with Cherry’s cross seemingly headed
wide by Major, but the referee awarded a corner. Blaylock shot over as the corner was
cleared to the edge of the area. In the 90th minute, Priest found Rowell and the
youngster shot just over the bar. Rowell’s cross then caused a scramble in the Wark

This report hopefully shows that the final score-line is in no way a reflection on the
game. City suffered from a poor start and were put to the sword by Marc Nixon’s
clinical finishing, whilst missing numerous chances themselves.

TEAMS- WARK- Sagar, Alder, Elliott, Peel, Famelton, G. Nixon, Lancaster,

Campbell, M. Nixon, Thompson, McLoughlin. SUBS- Brown, Telfer, Richardson,
Potts, Gibson.
CITY- Bradley, Cherry, Yallop, Hill, Armstrong, Holliday, Blaylock, Amato, Heath,
Bell, Priest. SUBS- Major, Driver, Rowell, Rooke

REFEREE- G. Straughan

BOOKINGS- Thompson, Gibson (Wark), Holliday (City)

MAN OF THE MATCH- M. Nixon (Wark), Amato (City)