Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bramble Endures a Torrid Return

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bramble Endures a Torrid Return

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jack Pickering

Titus Bramble endured a miserable return from injury as United's reserves crashed at Villa Park last night.

The former Ipswich defender hadn't kicked a ball all season after injuring his groin in the build-up to the campaign in a friendly at Celtic, and two first-half fouls were punished in a 45 minutes dominated by Aston Villa.

Darryl Smylie shot into the side-netting early on for the Magpies after Martin Brittain swung in a corner.

But Bramble's foul on Luke Moore proved costly when Stephen Cooke stepped up to swerve a 30-yard free-kick past Adam Bartlett on 23 minutes.

Guy Bates looped a header over the bar on the half-hour as United tried to force a way back into the game.

But Tommy Craig's side were given a mountain to climb seconds before the half-time interval when the hosts went 2-0 up.

Bramble upended the impressive Moore as he skipped past him inside the box and the Villa striker picked himself up to send Bartlett the wrong way with the resulting spot-kick. …

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