- Division One Champions
residents of the North Stand at Maine Road give their heroes a warm welcome at
the start of the home game against Barnsley. The defeat of Wolves at Millwall
meant that City had won promotion to the Premiership and they needed just a point
from this game to win the title.
also needed just three goals to reach the 100 mark for the season in the league
as they entered the 'Arena of Dreams'.
v Barnsley 5-1
April 6th 2002
not a new signing for City but Ali Benarbia introduces his toddler to the fans.
minutes silence for the death of the Queen Mother was impeccably kept. Perhaps
she saw the great Billy Meridith play for City 100 years ago.
did not too long to wait for the first goal. Ali B (who else) made it. A cross
from the right gave Darren Huckerby the chance to crash it past Marriot and the'
line dancing' Barnsley back four after 12 minutes - above.
gave City a shock 8 minutes later when a free kick from Lumsden rocketed against
the City bar and rebounded into the air with Carlo Nash well beaten.
looked like being number two but the ball was deflected for a corner from the
shot by Huckerby set up by Wright-Phillips.
pressure by City brought their 99th league goal when good work by Macken and Benarbia
gave Darren Huckerby an easy chance to score - below. That was after 35 minutes.
got a surprise goal back just before the interval when a cracker of a shot by
the ever dangerous Bruce Dyer beat Nash at the near post.
At half time we
were still waiting for number 100.
100th of the season deserves two pictures so here they are. In the 53rd minute
Made by Jensen on the left - his final pass giving Macken an easy chance to score.
Macken was making his full home debut after his transfer from Preston and his
holding ability will prove useful in the testing to come in the Premiership.
typical back heel by Ali Benarbia gave Darren Huckerby to complete his second
home hat trick in successive games.It was a great goal started by a run and pass
by Shawn Wright-Phillips in his own half. Brilliant stuff and there was more to
70 minutes City made it 5-1 when Macken scored his second following good work
by Wright- Phillips and Benarbia. The rout was complete - now it was time for
celebration. Man of the match was Benarbia with Huckerby a close second.
the game drew to its close a large posse of Police gathered near the North Stand
the last twenty minutes or so a thin yellow and orange line was formed around
the ground to prevent a pitch invasion.
the final whistle went Ali B gave his shirt to a fan in the Platt Lane stand who
will no doubt treasure it for ever more, while one stupid idiot - the only one
- I hasten to add, ran onto the pitch. He was dealt with quickly.
is the team being photographed by the press in front of the main stand. The shot
no doubt will be in all the papers.
the end of the game the players and staff went round the ground to give their
thanks to the fans. Berkovic gave his children a chance to savior the occasion-
above. We also had Kevin Keegan doffing his cap to the fans in the Kippax - left.
now - two games to go - away to Gillingham and the final home game against Portsmouth
to reach 99 points and beat the league goals total of 108 set in the 1926-27 season
when City came third in Division Two. In that season City won their last game
8-0 against Bradford City but failed to win promotion by the narrowest goal difference
ever 1.7705 against Portsmouth's 1.7755. I remember it well ! Oh no I didn't.
how about sweet revenge by cracking nine past Pompey!
Nash, Wright-Phillips, Jensen, Dunne, Howey, Pearce, Benarbia, Horlock, Huckerby, Macken,, Tiatto,