Date: 18th April 2007 at 6:02pm
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With Shola beginning his competitive recovery last night there was a great deal more media attention on the reserves game. Rightly so as well – and they got a cracker. Andy Carroll beasted home a first half hat trick, staking his claim for a battle with John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho on Sunday. Shola scored his obligatory comeback goal whilst youngster Johnny Godsmark also notched.

Speaking afterwards Clarkie said:

“I am delighted with the whole performance – it was very good. We were pleased to play on a pitch of the quality at the Riverside, and the lads looked like they enjoyed it. I am pleased with all of the younger players of the group and the reaction of the senior players. Titus Bramble, Charles N’Zogbia, Shola Ameobi and Peter Ramage all did well. Shola is back two or three months earlier than expected and got better as the game went on.”