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BBC NI's Kieran Tourish reports on Derry City's big night
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BBC NI's Ritchie Kelly reports from the Brandywell
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Monday, 13 November, 2000, 20:46 GMT
United presence clears Derry debt
David May
David May came through the Derry match unscathed
Derry City 0-1 Manchester United

An Alex Notman goal gave understrength Manchester United a 1-0 win over Derry City in Monday night's friendly at the Brandywell.

Over 9,000 fans turned up and in the process helped the cash-strapped Irish club clear a debt which was threatening their very existence in August.

A Derry City official said before the kick-off that the attendance meant the club are now in the black again after facing debts of 200,000.

At one stage, the club faced a winding-up order in the courts after owing money to the Inland Revenue.

United understrength

However, the visit of Celtic in October raised more than 70,000 and other local fund-raising initiatives have also accumulated significant sums of money.

Monday's game came about after local MP, SDLP leader John Hume, made an initial contact with Old Trafford legend Paddy Crerand.

Hume then wrote to Sir Alex Ferguson requesting that United help out the club and the manager readily agreed.

The United team was understrength with the best known players Raimond van der Gouw, David May, Mikael Silvestre and Northern Ireland international David Healy.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson was also absent and with his assistant Steve McLaren on England duty, backroom man Mike Phelan took charge of the United side.

May return

Centre-back May was playing his first match in 12 months after rupturing his Achilles tendon and he came through the encounter unscathed.

With Healy effectively marked out of the contest by impressive Derry City defender Peter Hutton, United struggled to break down the resolute home side in the first half.

Before Notman's decisive 64th goal, Derry's Johnny McIvor missed a great chance to opening the scoring.

The former Bangor player easily cut inside Silvestre on the edge of the box but with only van der Gouw to beat, he screwed his shot wide.

After Notman's goal, United substitute George Clegg, who had replaced Healy, hit the woodwork in the 78th minute.

Derry City included American goalkeeper Russell Payne who is hoping to earn a contract at the club.

Manchester United: Van der Gouw, M Clegg, May, O'Shea, Silvestre, Webber, Wallwork, Stewart, Bjorbjic, Healy, Notman. Subs: Studley for Silvestre, Evans for Notman, G Clegg for Healy, Lynch for M Clegg.

Derry City: Payne, McCallion, Hargan, Hutton, Harkin, Doherty, McLaughlin, Hegarty, Coyle, Beckett, McCready. Subs: Quigley for McLaughlin, Gallagher for Hargan, Connolly for Payne, Parkhouse for Coyle, McGlynn for McCready.

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02 Nov 00 |  Man Utd
May targets derby return
05 Oct 00 |  Northern Ireland
Manchester United agree to Derry match
02 Oct 00 |  Northern Ireland
Celtic pack the Brandywell
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