Newcastle Town 5 Highgate United 0

Saturday 4th October 2008
Newcastle Town 5 Highgate United 0
FA Carlsberg Vase First Round
At Lyme Valley Parkway
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: press pass; Programme: £1-50p (36 pages)
Attendance: 73
Weather: rain
Duration: first-half: 45:22; second-half: 46:38

This tie stood out as the one to chose as 'Match of the Day'. After making a great start to the season in August and early September, Newcastle had suffered the dreaded Manager of the Month. I witnessed Greg Clowes receive the Premier Division award before the 4-0 home win over Runcorn Linnets. Since then Castle have won one of their four league games and lost their unbeaten record in a home defeat against AFC Fylde. Could this Vase tie get them back on track?

Now that I've got around nine or ten clubs to follow, I'm starting to feel like a supporter as well as reporter of these clubs when I see them play. Being a one-club man with Stafford for all those years seems a distant memory and the variety of being able to choose a decent match to watch each week has reinvigorated my enthusism for the beautiful game.

As before, programmes (£1-50 36 pages) were available at the entrance and teams available from the Press/PA Box from where I chose to watch the action. Weather wasn't brilliant - cold, wet and damp - but ideal for the cross country runners competing in the adjacent park.

The game got underway in driving rain with Newcastle opting to attack from right to left (or north to south) in relation to my position in the ground.

Newcastle took the lead on 11 minutes. Jordan Johnson got on the end of a pass from Kinsey and cleverly chipped visiting keeper Perry Cox from just outside the area.

With clear-cut chances scarce, Newcastle needed a second goal which came in the 32nd minute, just after Andy Bourne hit the bar. Minor sent a pin-point cross into the area for Chris Budrys to score his fourth goal of the season with a diving header.

The rain eased for the second half and any lingering doubts about the visitors getting back into the game ended five minutes after the restart. Andy Kinsey was brought down inside the area by substitute Scott Turner and got up to send the keeper the wrong way with the resulting penalty.

The fourth goal came in the 57th minute courtesy of Bourne who slotted home from 10 yards out.

Cox pulled off a good save to turn round a rising effort from Johnson as Town looked to further add to their goal haul.

Richard Minor finished off the scoring in the 75th minute. Keeper Danny Reid launched an attack on the break and found Kinsey on half-way. Minor stayed on side down the left to receive a throughball from Kinsey and easily beat the helpless Cox with a low shot.

Newcastle Town (blue/blue/white): 1. Danny Read, 2. Alastair Brown, 3. Paul Taylor, 4. Steve Elks, 5. Ryan Dicker, 6. Andy Bourne (capt), 7. Richard Minor, 8. Ashley Hill, 9. Chris Budrys, 10. Andy Kinsey, 11. Jordan Johnson. Subs: 12. Neville Thompson (not used), 14. Karl Espley (for Hill, 62), 15. Ian Willis (for Johnson, 61), 16. Dean Gillick (not used), 17. Tom Fogg (for Bourne, 72).

Highgate United (red/red/red): 1. Perry Cox, 2. Jake Sammons, 3. Ian Wood, 4. Neil Kitching, 5. Steve Darlington, 6. Luke Edwards (capt), 7. Chris Hayden, 8. Dave Timmins, 9. Matthew Breeze, 10. Chris Gummery, 11. Marvin Johnson. Subs: 12, Kieran Robotham (for Breeze, ht), 14. Curtis Karim (for Kitching, 54), 15. Alan Shimmon (not used), 16. Scott Turner (for Darlington, ht).

Referee: A Clayton (Hyde).