Friday, November 8, 2019

TOP TENS: Stand-in Goalies

Kyle Walker's slow-motion heroics in the San Siro provoked the not unreasonable question, "how many times has this sort of nonsense happened before?" and the answer is - as you would expect with anything slightly daft at City - "plenty of times", although not so much in these days of well-packed substitute benches. Our Top Ten becomes a Top 11, if you include another unforgettable bit of City slapstick-goalkeeper action with David James playing upfront v Middlesbrough.

1. ALAN OAKES for BERT TRAUTMANN. Season 1962-63
As things get just a little hot under the collar during City's slightly out of control 6-1 defeat at Upton Park, 'keeper Trautmann, not known for his histrionics, becomes super peeved with referee Ken Stokes after he allows West Ham's 4th goal to stand. No VAR to muddy the waters further in those days, of course. Trautmann chucks his green jersey on the pitch after being sent off, leaving midfield stalwart Oakes to pick it up and carry on the good work. Two further goals are conceded in the mayhem.

2. MATT GRAY for HARRY DOWD. Season 1963-64.
A year later and another goalkeeping catastrophe against Bury at Maine Road. Dowd injures his finger in the 55th minute, but courageously decides he wants to play on. Matt Gray takes up the reigns in goal and Dowd cavorts around to such good effect up front, he ends up scoring the 87th minute equaliser, to bring the house down. Hero.   

3. MIKE DOYLE for RON HEALEY. Season 1970-71.
Nottingham Forest are at Maine Road for a run of the mill league fixture, but Healey's injury spices things up with first half goal-scorer Doyle summoned to the sticks. Forest surge back to win 3-1 with a hesitant Doyle powerless to stop any of the goals.

4. MIKE DOYLE for KEITH MacRAE. Season 1974-75.
City are at Filbert Street when early disaster strikes, with injury to Scottish keeper MacRae. In steps Doyle for the second time in two seasons, who proceeds to give a masterclass of brave goalkeeping right through to the 89th minute, when Bob Lee pops in the Leicester winner. Doyle had kept them out for 80 minutes.

5. TOMMY BOOTH for JOE CORRIGAN. Season 1980-81.
Joe Corrigan is hurt in a collision with Jeff Cook after just three minutes of a League Cup tie at Stoke, but soldiers on until half time, when a suspected cracked knee cap (ouch), makes it impossible to carry on. Stalwart defender Booth steps up to the plate and City rally to Stoke's third minute opener by producing a rousing second half, where Booth is well protected and mainly untroubled, while Tony Henry pops in a late equaliser.

6. BOBBY McDONALD for JOE CORRIGAN. Season 1982-83.
Corrigan dislocates his shoulder in the third minute of City's home game with Watford and is helped off the pitch by Roy Bailey. Up steps McDonald, looking like a munchkin in Corrigan's massive green shirt, to provide one of the most amazing spectacles ever seen at Maine Road. The Scot is quite magnificent keeping the visitors at bay for 87 minutes. Dennis Tueart nets to put City top of the table. Only City provide comfort of this kind.

7. STEVE REDMOND for ERIC NIXON. Season 1987-88.
Nixon is done up like a kipper by Mark Bright, who has had a running feud with the keeper since early in the game. Knowing Nixon is already on a yellow, Bright charges into Nixon when he is in possession of the ball and crumples to the floor to get the keeper red-carded. When tempers settle, Redmond takes the green shirt in time to watch Neil Redfearn's penalty slide past him. It provokes a Palace come-back and a 3-1 win.

8. NIGEL GLEGHORN for ANDY DIBBLE. Season 1988-89.
Dibble pulls a muscle taking a goal kick with City 2-down at Fellows Park and in the middle of a dire display. Up steps Gleghorn and that siege mentality is plugged in immediately, with a rousing City response putting them 3-2 up by the beginning of the second half. No City story is complete without more farce to top and tail the event, though, and in steps goal-scorer David Oldfield with the perfect back pass to set up Walsall's late equaliser.

9. NIGEL GLEGHORN for ANDY DIBBLE. Season 1988-89.
Just over a month later and City have learned their lesson, bringing in the experience of Paul Cooper from Ipswich for the vital promotion run-in. Inexplicably manager Mel Machin chooses the just about fit again Dibble to play in the vital home game with Palace. Naturally Dibble breaks down and in steps Gleghorn again to keep the marauding Palace strike force at bay in a 1-1 draw. 

10. NIALL QUINN for TONY COTON. Season 190-91.
More City slapstick as Coton is sent off for bringing Dean Saunders down. Coton leaves but not before handing his shirt over and throwing his gloves in the ref's face. Derby needing points to avoid relegation then see Saunders long run-up produce a good penalty, which Quinn stretches to and puts around the post. City win, Dean is sent down. 

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