Smith Scores to Power Newcastle to 1-0 Win Over Sampdoria

Alan Smith was the man of the match for Newcastle this afternoon and scored a 59th minute goal on his debut to allow Newcastle to defeat Serie A side Sampdoria at St. James Park this afternoon in front of a disappointing 23,000 fans.

Sam Allardyce – who played Taylor and Rozehnal in the center of defense this afternoon will be very pleased with the clean sheet.

Smith seemed to have scored after 51 minutes but was ruled offside by the referee after replays showed he was level and the goal should have stood.

Oba Martins also should have been awarded a penalty when he was brought down in the second half but again referee Marriner waved appeals away.

Once Newcastle got ahead, after Smith’s goal, they always looked in control which again must have also been satisfying for new boss Sam Allardyce.


Alan Smith – man of the match and scores only goal – didn’t we get him a new shirt?

Newcastle fielded a completely different side from the one that started against Hull City in mid-week. The side in 4-4-2- formation was as follows:

Carr Rozehnal Taylor N’Zogbia
Solano Geremi Butt Milner
Smith Viduka.

Both Smith and Viduka , two ex-Leeds team mates were making their debuts and forming a two man strike-partnership up front. This combination while at Leeds scored 74 goals in 90 games, which is not too bad a scoring record. Young Charles N’Zogbia was again starting at left back after his sterling performance in the position against Carlisle United.

Nicky Butt and Steven Taylor both returned from injury sustained during the Celtic game.  Geremi was given the captain’s armband again and was the only player in the team who also started the Hull City game.

Newcastle kicked off attacking the Leazes end in front of a rather disappointing crowd of just over 23,000.

On five minutes there was the usual confusion in Newcastle’s penalty area as both Carr and Solano went for the same ball and it fell loose to Montella who was only 14 yards from goal.  But his shot was brilliantly saved one handed by goalkeeper Shay Given. A Sammarco strike a couple of minutes later and from 25 yards just goes wide of the post. Certainly Sampdoria were starting brightly.

On 17 minutes Stephen Carr makes a crunching but fair tackle on Zeigler as the crowd audibly wince.  On 24 minutes Viduka is played in by Smith (from Solano) but as Mark tries to lob the goalkeeper, Mirante just managed to deflect the ball.

The tacking is getting very crisp as Delvecchio catches Butt with a late tackle but the referee moves in quickly to separate the two as United are awarded a free kick.  Milner has a half chance from the edge of the area on 37 minutes but slices the ball wide.  On 38 minutes Shay Given is replaced by Steve Harper. This looks like a precautionary change since Shay doesn’t look too badly injured. Seems like Sam has told the players not to keep playing if they have even a slight injury since it will only make things worse – good thinking. On 41 minutes Milner gets in a good cross from the left wing and  Viduka gets in an excellent glancing header which goes just wide – a good effort by Viduka.

At half time the score still stands at 0-0 but the game is anything but dull and there has been a lot of heavy tackling.

Oba Martins and Shola Ameobi (also recovered from injury) are brought on in place of Mark Viduka and Nobby Solano at the start of the second half.

On 51 minutes it looked like Smith had scored when he prodded the ball home but was ruled offside. The replays showed he was level and the goal should have stood. The assitant referees nearly always give a level situation as offside – but it isn’t.  The benefit of the doubt should go to the attacking side but the officials hardly ever give it. That’s unfortunate for Smith on his debut.

On 56 minutes Newcastle should have had a penalty as Martins moves through, puts the ball past the goalkeeper, but then looks to be brought down – but referee Andre Marriner waves play on.  However, 8 minutes later – on 59 minutes – Newcastle make their breakthrough with new boy Alan Smith heading home direct from another good  Geremi corner past keeper Miante.

Smith drifted into space and cleverly got clear to head the ball home nicely. Very appropriate for Smith – who is already popular with the Newcastle fans – to score on his first appearance for the Magpies. On 66 minutes Peter Ramage comes on for James Milner and N’Zogbia is pushed up into midfield.

The game starts to slow down as Newcastle attempt to wrap up the game and the win. Newcastle seem surpisingly comfortable in doing so and after two minutes of added time the final whistle blows to record a win for the Magpies. It’s a good performance from the team with the defense looking solid and some spirited attacking with a well-taken goal from Alan Smith. Certainly a good start from the Yorkshireman. Can Sam turn Smith into a better player? Don’t bet against it. Geremi again impressed in midfield and hopefully will continue to be played there by the manager.

Taylor and Rozehnal looked a good pair and Stephen Carr also looked good. Many people think Sam can transform Stphen Carr into a good player – we hope they are right. N’Zogbia looked good in the second half after being pushed upfield after Ramage came on. Charle’s back to being an all-action player so let’s not talk about this boy leaving becasue he obviously not.

We expect Sam will be pleased by a number of elements in this game as the players are starting to look a lot better individually (improved fitness?) and functioning more as a unit. Isn’t that what good coaching brings out? James Milner was his usual lively self and looks to be improving all the time – as scary as that may seem to the opposition 😀

It’s always good to get a win to build that winning habit and mentality.  It’s another good performance from the team.

Now for Bolton next week.

35 comments so far

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 5, 2007 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #1

    first comment? 😀

  • Bob

    Aug 5, 2007 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #2

    Good game solid defensively and bright attacking with Smith taking his goal well. Geremi really impressed me in midfeild and milner was lively as usual, should be even better next season.

    Good to see Jose Enrique in the crowd too.

  • allansg

    Aug 5, 2007 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #3

    Great 1st game from A. Smith.
    Now lets see Dyer do a Milner, knuckle down and knuckle down for Newcastle.
    Hopefully we will see him play a part against Bolton as well.. shouldnt be injured as he passed a medical at West Ham.

  • Ed Harrison

    Aug 5, 2007 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #4

    Tom – you did it !!!

  • PM

    Aug 5, 2007 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #5

    is kieron dyer gonna be shipped off on loan? i hope he does he aint’t as good as people make out he is, shouldn’t even be an England international but i think milner could be the next magpie to get a call up from old ginger top

  • ToonKing

    Aug 5, 2007 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #6

    I loved Smith today!

    Geremi is great.

    Taylor and Rozy looked great……..surprisingly so did Carr…two games in a row.

    N’Zogbia in the second half after he got pushed in midfield was great.

    Viduka was good too.

    Given’s injury should be minor …………

    All in all we are set, Upwards and Onwards. New season ? – Bring it on !!!

  • Edd Case

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #7

    No Cacapa? Slightly disapointing.

    Good win though, and another clean sheet against good opposition.

    Just need Enrique, Drago and Riquelme now…

  • Tetsuo

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #8

    I don’t think Cacapa is fully match fit yet which would explain his absense, I was a little disappointed not to see him on the team sheet as well but given how we have had more fitness related injuries in pre season than any other premiership side i think it was a wise move to leave him out of this one. One thing i hope to see in the up and coming season is the absense of nicky butt in the midfield and while i accept he is someone who is willing to get stuck in at all times i don’t feel this makes up for his lack of actual ability on the ball, does anyone else share this opinion?

  • Rich

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #9

    Alan Smith – Legend.

    This game illustrated Sam Allerdyces genius, we were struggling with the defence of Samp, because they had our two striker very closely marked so when he brought on Shola & Oba they were taking the flak which allowed Alan Smith to drop back and loose his markers.

    Sam Allerdyce – Legend

  • Ivan

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #10

    i love nufc

  • 9th June

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #11

    Tetsuo, in a word NO!

  • Jinal

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #12

    I never got a chance to see the game but from what I’ve been reading, chances for a top 6 finish next season are pretty high. Someone please correct me if i’m being too optimistic!

    Greetings from Kenya.

    Howay the lads!!!!!!

  • Max Banks

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #13

    It is a shame that Martins is leaving isnt it to raise funds , oh well we have luque to replace him!

  • Howie

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #14

    Well from hearing what big Sam said about the Dyer situation it seems like it was a joint decision and not Ashley stepping in and Enrique will join by tomorrow afternoon he says. Lets hope Given is ok.

  • Tetsuo

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #15

    No Jinal I don’t think you are! I think with the addition of Drago and Enrique and hopefully a high profile playmaker there is no reason we couldn’t finish even higher up. Especially as our rivals for the positions between 4th and 7th will have a much more lenghtly schedule due to european competion. Our main aim was to have a quality defence and we are closer than i’ve ever seen as a newcastle fan to achieving this….Expectations are rising by the day.

  • Craig Allen

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #16

    I remember seeing an article about how “amazed” the medical team were at Cacapa’s fitness since he had little to no pre-season activity. Makes me wonder how amazed they actually were?

  • 9th June

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #17

    Given having a scan on his groin tomorrow. Sam says Enrique should sign tomorrow but no mention of Drag!

  • Neil W

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #18

    Where did the playmaker stuff get started?
    Are there any genuine rumours about Riquelme?
    Or is it the North East Media – so conditioned to a Toon Mega Transfer* – that they automatically make one up?

    Anyways, great win. Sam is clearly enjoying himself!
    V good performances. I tip Smith and Geremi to be joint players of the year! Good to see Zog back too.

    Another good day to be a Toonfan. Roll on Saturday!

    *Which usually backfires

  • Alexander

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #19

    Are you from Russia? -)

  • iluvnufc

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #20

    Sevilla are playing a pre season friendly this evening. Kick off is 11.00pm UK time. The match is being broadcast live on Spanish TV (Canal Sur) so I will tune in and check their teamsheet and subs. Hopefully, Drago will not be included which would be a sign he is indeed on the move. If he is included in the squad for tonight´s game, then perhaps he is staying with Sevilla, after all. I will keep you posted

  • TOON1

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #21

    Anyone got a link for highlights of samp game.Payed for setanta yesterday and it stil hadnt been switched on ,so didnt get to see the game .ABSOLUTELY GUTTED!!Heard enrique was in the crowd ,and big sam was constantly on his mobile.Big sam legend -keep the signings coming.

  • Craig Allen

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #22
  • Hog

    Aug 5, 2007 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #23

    resultwise, a very successful and promising preseason…

  • Alex

    Aug 5, 2007 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #24

    With Rozy and Taylor looking strong together and capaca and ramage in the squad it looks as if we have decent numbers in central defence.Even if drago does not come.It looks as though Enrique is sure to sign .So one more leftback and one rightback to challenge carr .Then i think we have enough depth in defence.Add one more midfielder then C L here we come.

  • Bev

    Aug 5, 2007 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #25

    was at the game today, and although it was a comfortable win, it really showed that we need a playmaker in midfield, and shola looked really unfit today too

  • Hammy

    Aug 5, 2007 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #26

    Saw the game on the telly…..Big Sam seemed to spend most of the game on the phone to his missus…….really like the look of Rozehnal, looks very solid and no nonsense, even CARR looked half decent putting in a few crunching tackles and actually winning the ball. Geremi also looked good, Zog looked uncomfortable at LB but different player when Ramage came on.
    Good workout and nice to see Enrique in the crowd or was it Joey from friends????

  • Alex

    Aug 5, 2007 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #27

    Zog is to attack minded to be turned into a LB in a 442 formation.Let the lad terrorise other teams defences on the left wing.

  • Neil W

    Aug 5, 2007 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #28

    Da!…………..Ok, South Yorkshire

    Toonista – someone into the Toon bigtime – like Sandinista, Guardianista, Socialista, Sunderlandista……ok, not that last one. Anyways, tis Spanish. Inventing bollocks expressions on the web is fun.


  • CD

    Aug 5, 2007 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #29

    Neil – Muppet 🙂

  • iluvnufc

    Aug 5, 2007 at 8:59 PM

    Comment #30

    Drago starts for Sevilla tonight in their pre season friendly. What do we make of that?

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 5, 2007 at 9:12 PM

    Comment #31

    Nothing, he might know he needs to keep fit to play vs Bolton, he might want to say bye to his mates at Seville in a match, Seville’s new LB Mosquera might not be fit yet? 🙂

    I think he will come, it says we are trebling his salary, i wonder what he earns at the moment?

  • Howie

    Aug 5, 2007 at 9:19 PM

    Comment #32

    It says on we are 44k a week. I’m starting to worry about this transfer. I think it might not go through.

  • Alex

    Aug 5, 2007 at 9:48 PM

    Comment #33

    If he does come lets hope its for more than just the money.Otherwise he could be Dyer mark2 if he really wanted to come then why was he not at todays match.Enrique was!

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 6, 2007 at 12:51 AM

    Comment #34

    Cos he was playing that night you mug 🙂

  • Darren

    Aug 6, 2007 at 1:31 AM

    Comment #35


    “Alan Smith – Legend”

    Easily pleased aren’t you, look up legend in a dictionary please (do you also stand outside St James and get interviewed by Skysports whenever we are in the news, greatly embarrassing the rest of Geordieland)

    Shearer = Legend
    Beardsley = Legend
    Milburn, MacDonald, Brennan, Davies, Robson, Mitchell, Moncur all legends.

    Alan Smith = played one friendly.


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