FT: Newcastle 1 Wigan 0: Newcastle Get First Home Win



Newcastle won this afternoon at St. James’ Park against a 10-man Wigan side after Kevin Kilbane was harshly sent off after 46 minutes for seemingly heading Alan Smith in the back of the head. It was his second yellow card but a very harsh decision by referee Steve Bennett.

Newcastle missed many chances in both halves with the chief culprit being Michael Owen, who missed four golden opportunities to score.

Owen, however, made no mistake with only three minutes remaining when substitute Obafemi Martins crossed to the near post and Michael timed his run to absolute perfection to head past Chris Kirkland for a good opportunist goal and snatch all 3 points for Newcastle.


Michael Owen – scored the winner for Newcastle with only 3 minutes remaining

Newcastle were easily worth the full 3 points, although for much of the game, it appeared their missed chances and the excellent play of Titus Bramble (yes Titus) and goalkeeper Kirkland would keep them at bay.

Newcastle were eventually rewarded in front of a crowd of 50,461 with only 3 minutes remaining and when Owen scored the crowd erupted.

Another good clean sheet from the defense and it looks like Newcastle will not need to score a lot of goals this season to get the points.

Steve Harper in goal made a fantastic save in the first half to keep out Wigan, and we continue to notice how much better he looks under Sam Allardyce. England boss Steve McClaren was again at the game and although Owen eventually scored he missed far too many chances for Newcastle. But to his credit, like the great striker he is, he kept going and eventually got a good opportunist goal for the winner. Two goals in two games now for Michael. Maybe when Owen gets his sharpness back we could have won this 4-0.

In the second half Steven Taylor hit the bar and had a goal ruled out for offside. Nicky Butt and substitute Shola Ameobi also missed gilt-edged chances for the Geordies.

But it was a win and a clean sheet – which is a perfect result for Newcastle – after the transfer successes of yesterday, and we now have 8 points from the first 4 games. A good start and our next game is at derby away two weeks come Monday – we need another 3 points then and the strikers need shooting practice for the next two weeks 😀

The full match report follows:

Michael Owen was in the starting line-up for his first Premiership game of the season as Newcastle look for their first home win of the season. Michael replaced Oba Martins from the team that started at Middlesbrough last weekend.

Steve Harper keeps his place in goal from last week, while Steven Taylor will start at right-back following the injury to Stephen Carr (hamstring) with Cacapa and David Rozehnal paired at the heart of the defense, as we had expected.

Former Newcastle players Antoine Sibierski and Titus Bramble both start for Wigan on their return to St.James’ Park.

Charles N’Zogbia was making his 100th appearance for the club and was moved to left-back after playing in left midfield against Barnsley.


Newcastle: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Charles N’Zogbia, Cacapa, David Rozehnal, Alan Smith, Geremi, Nicky Butt, James Milner, Michael Owen, Mark Viduka

Subs: Shay Given, Oba Martins, Matty Pattison, David Edgar, Shola Ameobi

Wigan: Chris Kirkland, Andreas Granqvist, Antoine Sibierski, Kevin Kilbane, Emile Heskey, Jason Koumas, Michael Brown, Denny Landzaat, Titus Bramble, Mario Melchiot, Paul Scharner

Subs: Mike Pollitt, Julius Aghahowa, Emmerson Boyce, Josip Skoko, Marcus Bent

Referee: Steve Bennett
Attendance: 50,461

Wigan kick off towards the Gallowgate end.

3min – Geremi’s take a free-kick and Rozehnal and Cacapa challenge with Bramble on the penalty spot but Kirkland collects the ball safely.

8min – Cacapa moves forward from deep and Viduka flicks on to Owen who is through on goal with Kirkland, Owen tries to side-foot into the far corner but Kirkland diverts the ball around the post. A definite chance.

16min – A cross comes in and Bramble heads clear but only to Owen of Bramble 14 yards out, he drills a right-footed shot goal-wards which deflects off Mark Viduka and straight to Michael Owen at the far post and Owen puts the ball in the net from close range but is flagged offside.

19min – Koumas fires goalwards and Steve Harper makes an excellent save at full-stretch to prevent the visitors from taking the lead. The crowd chants “Harper for England”. England coach Steve McClaren is in attendance and certainly Steve is a lot better than some of the goalkeepers England have given caps to these last one or two years.

28min – Taylor sends the ball forward for Michael Owen and Granqvist slips and Owen is again one-on-one with Kirkland. He tries to lift the ball over the keeper with his left-foot but over the cross-bar. Owen should have scored.

36min – Newcastle are pressing and this time it’s Smith whose header has too much height and clears Kirkland’s bar.

39min – Viduka evades a couple of challenges inside Wigan’s area and the ball spins goalwards and Owen is first to react but Bramble recovers to slide clear.

43min – Nicky Butt comes close to opening the scoring but his header from Taylor’s right-wing cross is beaten away by Kirkland on his goal-line. Another real chance goes begging for Newcastle who should have been ahead at the break.

Half time arrives and the story is that Newcastle have had far the better chances and should really be ahead. The worrying thing is when you don’t convert your chances it usually comes back to hurt you. Newcastle need to be sharper in front of goal in the second half.

Mark Viduka has been replaced by Shola Ameobi as Newcastle get the second period underway attacking the Gallowgate End.

46 mins – Kevin Kilbane is sent off for a foul on Alan Smith as they both challenge for the ball. Steven Bennett judges Kevin to have fouled Smith and it’s Kilbane’s second yellow card so he is sent off. It’s a very harsh decision on Wigan and the Wigan players protest to the referee.

58min – Smith is late as he challenges Koumas and the Newcastle is unlucky to enter Bennett’s book for what was a fairly harmless tackle. Koumas is replaced by Bent before the free-kick is taken. Rozehnal clears for the hosts.

61min – There’s yet another yellow card as Scharner is booked for rash tackle on Butt midway inside the Wigan half.62min – Newcastle are continually in the Wigan half for most of the second half and fans are are willing their team on for the goal that will surely win the game.

61min – There’s another yellow card – this time it’s Scharner for a rash challenge on Butt midway inside the Wigan half.

55min – Geremi finds Ameobi with a long ball and it looks like Shola fouls Granqvist but referee Bennett waves play-on and Shola is one-on-one with Kirkland. Shola hits his shot for the far corner and it misses by inches. It looked like Shola had committed the foul and the Wigan players protest – again.

66min – Alan Smith is replaced by Oba Martins and the Nigerian receives another huge reception from the home crowd.

73min – Newcastle miss yet another chance as Ameobi plays in strike partner Owen on the edge of the area and the ball bounces off Bramble’s hand into the path of Nicky Butt, and the midfielder has a clear shot on goal from 12 yards out but blazes way over the bar. Newcastle’s supposed strength – the strikers have missed too many chances.

78min – Time is starting to be Wigan’s ally as Brown is booked for an innocuous challenge on Geremi midway inside Wigan’s half. From Geremi’s free-kick Newcastle have the ball in the net as Taylor blasts in from close range after Kirkland drops Owen’s header. However, a linesman’s flag rules out the goal with Shola offside – from the set-play.

85min – Time is starting to run out for the home side as they try to break down Wigan’s defiant defense and from a corner Bramble beats Ameobi to the ball and Wigan survive.

87min – NEWCASTLE GOAL (1-0) Bramble fails to clear and Taylor collects and feeds Martins on the right. Oba puts over a nice cross towards the near post where Michael Owen slips in front of his man to head beyond Kirkland. It’s an opportunist goal from Owen and one made by the Oba Martins. The crowd erupts.

90min – N’Zogbia gets a yellow card for a late challenge on Brown after he had over-ran the ball. From Brown’s free-kick Harper challenges with Heskey but Harper ends up injured on the six-yard-box. Harper receives treatment from the medical staff but is quickly back on his feet.

There is 4 minutes of added time which Newcastle play out to register their first win of the season at home.

Mission accomplished but Newcastle made it hard for themselves after Wigan were reduced to 10 men just after the break – but 3 points is 3 points and Michael Owen scored the winner.

Comments welcome.

57 comments so far

  • big pea ov the weab

    Sep 1, 2007 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #1

    whoooooooo hoooooooooooooooo first goal in 6 months about bloody time well done lads keep up the good work

  • Sandman

    Sep 1, 2007 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #2

    Kevin Kirkland? 😉

    Kevin Kilbane I think you mean, in the first line.

    Nice to get 3 points, but I was worried almost all the way through. Great to see Owen getting the winner. He had so many opportunities, as long as we keep giving him them then he’ll score bucket loads.

  • bob

    Sep 1, 2007 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #3

    kevin kirkland got sent off ?? lol

  • Steve

    Sep 1, 2007 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #4

    yeah – great to see owen and oba linking up, maybe we can play these two from the start next time

  • Pete

    Sep 1, 2007 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #5

    Nah steve, rotate owen/martins – for me martins is first choice before owen

  • Rich

    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #6

    good stuff, almost forgot about the 2 points we dropped last weekend.

    and we werent playing 3 of our new signings today, ust think what well be like with those guys!! 🙂

    Come On The Toon!

  • sean

    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #7

    3 new signings dont you mean 2 new signings ( habib beye and aboulade faye)

  • Alex

    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #8

    We played them off the park today.If we had a little more luck and a beter ref and linesman then it could easily have been 4or 5 nil.We are definately on the road to the champions league. The defence were rock solid today and that without Beye and Faye.When Owen gets his sharpness and fitness back to 100% then we are going to be flying high.

  • dirk

    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #9

    I have to disagree – Owen is a class apart from Martins. Owen evry time for me.

  • Rich

    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #10

    @ Sean

    3 New Signings:

    I was referring to Barton, Enrqiue & Beye

    not Faye & Beye.

    IMagein how well be with a real LB, RB and Barton is exactly what i meant.

  • SW

    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #11

    Good stuff. Let’s hope we can build on this. 1-0 wins are good to be able to pull off.

  • Rich

    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #12

    posts not appearing again??

    @ SEAN –

    I Did mean 3 new signing.

    Barton, Beye & Enrique.

    but if i did mean the two newest signings one would of been Abdoulaye Faye, not too sure who Aboulade Faye is…

  • Owen

    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #13

    Well 1-0 against Wigan is ok but I won’t be putting my money on a Champions League place just yet.

    I’m glad went with a 442 formation, it just seems better balanced. But I’m not convinced of smith in midfield.

    I’d prefer to see Charlie Zog in midfield and Enrique at LB. Milner is class on the right side.


    BSA is undefeated so far, so I won’t tell him how to do his job just yet.

  • Bob

    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #14

    Owen still has a lot to prove. We could – and maybe should – have scored a lot more.

  • dragoner

    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #15

    faye is a great defender and arguable boltons best last yr (between him and Ben Haim) faye should come straight into first team ahead of taylor really, and cacapa in front of rozhenal, but i suppose it dont matter cos both tayl’s and roz r playin very well at the moment… i fink it will be essential to play faye against arsenal, we need the fast, strong experienced defenders for that match

  • dragoner

    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #16

    also, i hate the fact that thi svictory is tainted by the fact that wigan had ten men, when in reality the sending off only made the game harder for us because they ALL got behind the ball makin it harder for us to break them down, referee was poor today aswel, should have been 3-0

  • Edd Case

    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #17

    Rich, add Barton as well, that’s 4 new signings we were playing without.

  • Sinead

    Sep 1, 2007 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #18

    Harper?? Ok, I’m sorry, all due respect to Harper like but Given’s better. Other then that, it was good game.

  • nightfall

    Sep 1, 2007 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #19

    told everyone smith is nothing special… we have a great squad and ‘cos of smith playing, better players are left on the bench… for you…supporters from england, every player who was ever called up for england international squad…you think of them like they’re gods… i’m not saying he sucks…but we have way better players he is and they’re not playing ‘cos of him… plus ‘cos of his arrival there was no place for luque…HE IS WAAAAAAAAAAY BETTER THEN SMITH….LIKE IT OR NOT… as much as i like BSA, i think he made a mistake…not a crucial one, but still a big one…

  • Sinead

    Sep 1, 2007 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #20

    Smith’s a good player, his work rate is sky high, when Smith has a good game, the entire team has a good game, he lift’s everyone’s spirits. He’s a good player, he just needs time to settle.

  • valle

    Sep 1, 2007 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #21

    Im really amazed that sky is praising titus… for me, he looked that same ol Bramble, playing well untill he gets a mental breakdown. The man made a stupid handball and a concentration lapse, and had it not been for the officials he would have cost them 2 goals. He got away with it and then ppl suddenly forget how close he was to costing them… anyway, just glad he isnt ours anymore

  • valle

    Sep 1, 2007 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #22

    Luque was good in spain and seemed a good buy, but u cannot overlook that 2 managers has chosen not to use him, while the dressing room was complaining that there was players not pulling their weight… Whatever was wrong with him dosnt matter now, he left and thats properly for the best… We have a great team now, when all is fit we will beat most teams with ease, nice work Sam!

  • Cockney Magpie

    Sep 1, 2007 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #23

    smith is a very very good player just playing the best he can out of his natural position. Hey at least he is doing whats asked of him and giving it his best we all remember what happened when dyer was asked to play out of position. if i was BSA smithys would be the 1st hand i would be shaking after the game. y do u think man u were so sad to c him leave?

  • PP

    Sep 1, 2007 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #24

    Looking for oba&owen play together and do not play long ball too much. However good game today

  • Murvar

    Sep 1, 2007 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #25

    We lack a spark in midfield – Butt, Geremi, and Smith are a bit too similar. I can’t see Emre fitting in here – Zog’s drive is valuable. Barton will be the most important addition. I want Smith to be the one vying with Viduka for the target man position- he’s more mobile and better in the air. As for suggestions that Roz should make way for anyone – I find that incredible; he is what we have needed for ages – a central defender who reads a game well and is unflappable. Cacapa is proven over many seasons at the top level, and I want us to build on those 2 and Faye this season with Taylor having more time to learn his trade. At last we have a manager who has done the necessary – build a squad of natural stoppers capable of losing us our reputation for circus defending. We are blessed with 2 really good keepers; if Harps keeps on getting games he is good enough to be in the England squad. He is better than James and Green – and Robbo on present form, too.

  • Tripp

    Sep 1, 2007 at 8:37 PM

    Comment #26

    I was a bit concerned when I saw the score (couldn’t watch the game), but after reading the match report I’m feeling better. It looks like we dominated them and that they really only had one good chance, which Harper parried away. I’m encouraged. The team as it stands is deep enough that we can rest players that we would’ve been forced to play last season. Having Harper play for Given is a case in point. Why force people back in when it’s not necessary? Owen will get sharper with more playing time. Sure there were cock ups, but that can be overcome. We had numerous opportunities and that’s what’s encouraging. The goals will come. The important thing is that we took all three points away from SJP. Howay the Lads!

  • apan

    Sep 1, 2007 at 9:19 PM

    Comment #27

    Bramble fails to clear and Taylor collects and feeds Martins on the right. Oba puts over a nice cross towards the near post where Michael Owen slips in front of his man to head beyond Kirkland. It’s an opportunist goal from Owen and one made by the Oba Martins. The crowd erupts.


  • Owen

    Sep 1, 2007 at 9:43 PM

    Comment #28

    Just to make it clear, I’m not knocking Smith as a player.

    I think he’ll be a great foil for Owen and Martins. Way more mobile than Viduka.

    But when Barton is fit and Enrique playing left back, Zog is in midfield. Smith will struggle to hold a midfield berth.

    I’m glad he’s better up front……. 🙂

  • JoshI

    Sep 1, 2007 at 11:43 PM

    Comment #29

    I hate the fact West Ham killed reading 🙁 …… and Owens dissallowed goal was onside :S i heard it was clearly off.

  • JoshI

    Sep 1, 2007 at 11:46 PM

    Comment #30

    Watching it on MOTD now, how many chances did we actually miss?!?!?!?

  • JoshI

    Sep 1, 2007 at 11:48 PM

    Comment #31

    LOL Owens comments. What a legend!

  • JoshI

    Sep 1, 2007 at 11:50 PM

    Comment #32

    He certainly thinks hes not far off.

  • Kevin

    Sep 2, 2007 at 12:59 AM

    Comment #33

    A great match from all players except Shola – he continues to show potential and nothing more. Smith is a top player who had an off day today and STILL didn’t play as poor as many we started last season. I was really impressed today with Cacapa – he showed class and calm and had some excellently timed tackles. He and Rozehnal will center the defense perfectly. More than anything, I’m just over the moon that Beye can take Carr’s place and that we’ll have one of the best defenses in the Prem. Sam has been a gift to us, and although I’d prefer to see Oba, Owen, and Viduka all starting up front in a 433, he’s shown what he can do so far for me. He’s using the same skill and smarts as he did in Bolton, this time with a bit more money – and it looks like in 2-3 years time we’ll be headed back to the Champion’s League.

  • evil dick

    Sep 2, 2007 at 1:05 AM

    Comment #34

    I’m not worried at all after watching that, we dominated and looked calm at the back. On another day that would of been 4-0 by half time. But the lads didn’t drops their heads got on with it and got the 3 points.

    By the way it was actually me who scored the winner not owen, as i skidded across the carpet on me knees. but i’ll let him have it.

  • dan

    Sep 2, 2007 at 1:11 AM

    Comment #35

    Owen and Martins up front next game for me. If Owen is fit – you can’t ever leave him out in my opinion….a total predator in the box , whether he’s had a good game or not! Martins is just raw talent!

    I really don’t think Viduka looks up to scratch (apart from his goal at the smoggies). Does he look a little unfit to anyone else, or is it just me????


  • michael

    Sep 2, 2007 at 1:42 AM

    Comment #36

    Smith might not be Essien or Fabregas but he’s better than Nicky Butt. Midfield spoilers (who break up the play) never look good unless they have an exceptional game. Barton, Geremi and Smith will be first choice. Wheras Viduka (despite his age and increased bodyweight %), Owen and Duff will end the season as the front three. Whilst I really think Milner, Martins and N’Zogbia are each worth about 15 million quid each at least they could all still play for their respective U21 teams. We forget that because they’ve been around for a bit. Taylor is in the same boat. It’s no suprise to me that Big Sam bought experience cos we were so light on real pro’s. (Too many slovenly mincers taking bucket loads of cah for no performance!) They’ll all improve and play 20+ games but compare these yuongsters to Nani and Anderson at Man Yoo. Both Nani and Anderson aren’t expected to carry Man Yoo this season but will undoubtedly do well in a winning team when they get their limited chances. We should afford our three the same luxury, and not get carried away with our Geordie overexpectation.

  • michael

    Sep 2, 2007 at 1:47 AM

    Comment #37

    and Emre is just a bit pish overall.

  • Rocky

    Sep 2, 2007 at 1:51 AM

    Comment #38

    I was listening to the radio hoping to hear Newcastle score all afternoon and when they did, I missed it! I was evn gutted to hear that Wigan played with 10 men in 2nd half and we only got goal!

    But after watching match of the day, feeling better seeing that we battered Wigan, just unlucky not to score a few more. I really wish he can incorporate Martins, Owen and Viduka in the same team. I’m no fan of Viduka, even though some of my freinds rave about him. Owen and Martins will give defences sleepless nights.

    WIth a back 4 of Rozenhal, Capaca, Beye and Enrique with Taylor and Faye as back up, we have one mean defence. Ok we still have to play the top 4 teams, but I am very optimistic.

    I agree with Murvar, our midfield is too similar. We need creativity. I guess they were just rumours, but if we could have got either Deoc or Riqulme, that would have been fantastic.

    Is anyone sad to see Solano Go? I definitely am. He still is a real good player and I wish we cud have kept him to play on the right. He is 1 of the best crossers in the game and the trio of Owen, Viduka and Martins would have benefited. As it stands now, we have no natural width.

    Sam, if you’re reading this, we ant a 3 sum of Viduka, Martins AND Owen. Take one off every game to bring on Ameobi.

  • Bill F

    Sep 2, 2007 at 2:09 AM

    Comment #39

    Only saw highlights on Beeb, hence late comments. Wife told me off for shouting and swearing at screen, it was bl**dy frustrating seeing all the misses and thought it was going to be another one of those days. I thought sending off was justified as Smith was clattered from behind and was second yellow. Michael could and should have had hat trick Wigan are not the toughest of teams and if we do not do better against the likes of them we may yet struggle. Liverpool were awesome against Derby, be interesting to see how we compare.

  • michael

    Sep 2, 2007 at 2:11 AM

    Comment #40


    I’m pretty sure that when all players are fit this will be our starting XI. It’s a very strong looking bunch, but maybe lacking some creativity in the midfield. Milner and N’Zogbia would add that and Martin’s will be the main man for us over the next 10 years if we can keep him. Emre and Butt are decent and will be important in covering injuries, and faye will struggle to get a game. Taylor will shine when allowed, but will effectively learn lots til Cacapa retires when he becomes first choice. Steve Harper will sit on the bench due to lack of ambition and self-belief when he should be Engerland’s Numero Uno (Still Shay is so much better than Paul Robinon).
    Who else is loving the fact that we actually have a squad instaed of 11 fit players?


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