Newcastle had a dream start top their against West at St. James’ Park today with a goal from Mark Viduka after only 2 minutes. Milner was trying to go through on the left and turned and laid the ball back to Charles N’Zogbia who put in a beautiful cross to Viduka who headed nicely home from 6 yards.
It was a great start for Newcastle and the crowd celebrated.
Mark Viduka – 2 first half goals from striker
The game started again and it was obvious that Newcastle had left all the cobwebs back at Pride Park and were in for a game today. West Ham started to play some good football and the game was very even as both teams fought it out for midfield control. Then Habib Beye, starting for the first time showed his skill with a wonderful run down the right as he beat two West Ham players before putting in an inviting weighted cross which was just too high.
Then after 27 minutes West Ham should really have scored as they were starting to pressure the Newcastle defense. Noble went thought and his beautiful right foot shot was brilliantly saved low to his right by Steve Harper. The save was even better when seen on the replay as the ball was going just inside the post and Harper was at full stretch. A great save from the Newcastle keeper.
Then as West Ham were coming more and more into the game Cacapa made an almost costly slip. As he was clearing the ball around the six yard box he slipped and the ball presented itself to Carlton Cole who shot from a narrow angle. However, Steve Harper again made a good block.
Newcastle have started to go back on their heels and allow West Ham to attack them and this is dangerous against a team with the skill of West Ham. Then after mounting pressure from the Londoners they equalize with a good goal from Ashton. From a throw in the ball is not cleared as it bobs about in the air. It falls to Ashton who makes no mistake from 7 yards and fires nicely past a helpless Steve harper.
Newcastle paid the price for this goal as they had stopped their attacking play and settled in to defend. Not a good strategy from the Magpies. However, after the goal Newcastle come alive again and begin to attack West Ham. Then on 41 minutes N’Zogbia made another delightful run down the left wing and as he moves inside he crosses rather than shoots. Mark Viduka just gets a boot to it to send it home for his second goal of the game. A second goal worked by Charles N’Zogbia and another striker’s goal from Viduka.
The game is very even at half time and both teams have shown they have lots of skill. Newcastle need to up the pace in the second half if they want to hang on to all 3 points. It looks like more goals will also be needed.