FT: Newcastle 2 Birmingham 1 – Newcastle Leave It Late


Newcastle came back and at last had some luck, when they scored after 89 minutes to win 2-1 against a battling Birmingham side today.

Newcastle had only themselves to blame when they found themselves behind after just 9 minutes. David Rozehnal was badly at fault for Birmingham’s goal. Rafael Schmitz played a long ball forward which David Rozehnal defended badly as he allowed the ball to roll across him and he was then out-paced by Cameron Jerome who easily rounded Shay Given to score.

A terrible goal for Newcastle to concede.

But after 36 minutes as Newcastle came back into the game Martins was brought down for a penalty and the Nigerian took the penalty himself and scored, although Taylor did well to get a hand to the ball and would feel himself unlucky not to have saved it.

Just before half-time Newcastle were coming back into the game and Milner had a powerful shot come crashing off the cross-bar.

Half time came and Newcastle were quite well placed to get the 3 points they desperately needed. But Birmingham started the second half well, just like they did the first half and it was obvious this was not going to be an easy game for the Magpies.

After 69 minutes we saw our little Turk Emre come on for captain Geremi. As the game went on Newcastle were pressing for the equalizer and the crowd was cheering them on as much as they could.

But it looked as thouh the game was going to peter out to a disappointing draw when Emre took a corner after 89 minutes. He curled the ball beautifully in to the near post and Habib Beye, of all people, headed the ball into the ground and into the nest for a classic winner for the Magpies. It was Habib’s first goal for Newcastle and again from one of our set plays.

The crowd went wild as at last Newcastle had a little bit of luck at last, and after 3 minutes of added time the game was locked up and Newcastle got their first 3 points in 7 games.

It was a hard working performance by Newcastle, and there’s one thing you cannot say about a Sam Allardcye side – and that is they just never give up.

3 points is what we wanted and in the end 3 points is what we got. A great result for Newcastle United, and it should do wonders for their confidence. But Sam will still be furious with the goal we conceded.

But hey, it’s 3 points, which is exactly what we needed this afternoon. That will raise the spirits again of the fans, after our great performance in mid-week.  Milner again had a very good game, and must be pushing for an England place on this form. Oba Martins and Smith also had good games. At the back Rozehnal looked a little shaky, and obviously was at fault for the goal, but our own Steven Taylor had another solid game as did our two full backs.

We just have to keep a clean sheet some time, as it’s now 13 games since we last had one against Wigan.

But it’s 3 points and we’ll take then – thank you very much.

Comments are always welcome.

43 comments so far

  • dougnufc

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #1

    Yeah!! Beye’s the hero for us

  • BeyeBeyeBeye

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #2

    What up with all the spelling in this report?

  • wrighty

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #3

    Ed, great 3 points from the lads, thoroughly deserved…not to mention the bit of luck at the death !!

    Anyway, looks like you’ve had a good afternoon with a few pints too with all the typo’s above…good on ya!


  • Ross

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #4

    smudge, milner, and oba (even with the misses) had good games.
    rozehnal..he looked dodgy to say the least at times. glad steven taylor is back.
    beye, again had a good game, and got us the win, well done to him.
    viduka looked alright also. had he played a certain ball to martins a second or two earlier in the first half i think it was? our second would have came before half time, constant pressure paid off.
    loving big sams choice of headwear also, and the celebrations when the second goal went in. jumping about like a lad on christmas day,haha

  • scott 9

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #5

    just what we needed im confident we can beat fulham on saturday we could end up gpoing on qa right roll

  • Obafan

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #6

    BEYE BEYE BEYE BEYE!!! Yes his first goal for the Toon and what an important one, hopefully we are back on the rails now to have a couple of games with good performances. We need to work very hard on a couple of things;
    1. Learn Milner how to cross the ball (IMO not deserved to be MOTM)
    2. Learn how to defend long balls (Roz was awful today and I hope Cacapa or Faye will be back very soon; Taylo was outstanding, well done Steve!!!)
    3. Viduka is fantastic with the ball in his feet but will someone please tell him that he has to do eveyrthing 2 touches quicker
    4. Smith needs to stay upfront, cause in midfield he is not good.
    5. Barton is a walking time bomb, he should have had a red card for an awful challenge on Jerome, but got very lucky.

    For the rest the result is the only thing that matters and let’s hope the players get mentally strong after this victory.
    When I saw Beye winning a corner and pointing to the fans I sais to myself that he would make a goal and he did… Fantastic!!!!

  • LiamBirchy8

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #7


  • wsq

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #8

    need to add quality!! we are so mediocre that’s why we suffer.

  • sparetheman

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #9

    We got lucky in the end but I’m just happy we won. Something to build on.

    My player ratings:
    Given – Didn’t have any significant saves or contribution to make. 6.
    Beye – Was good defensively and put the effort in going forward. 7.
    Rozenhal – Looked a bit dodge occassionally. 5.
    Taylor – Didn’t do well with long balls. 6.
    N’Zogbia – Linked up well with Milner. 7.
    Milner – Still not putting in complete performances but was probably our best player. 7.
    Barton – A bit sloppy and made a ridiculous tackle. 5.
    Butt – Came off early. 6.
    Smith – Not convinced by him in midfield still; I would have brought on Emre or Enrique rather than pull Smith back when Butt came off. 6.
    Martins – His normal eccentric performance. 6.
    Viduka – Disappointing. 5.
    Emre – Didn’t get a lot of time but made the vital cross. 7.

  • Carsoninho

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #10

    Good performances from everyone except Roz and Geremi… Geremi is our Beckham, he seem to be on the team purely for set-pieces, however Emre came on and delivered the goal for Beye… Also had a free kick just before that was heading goalwards but got handballed, should have been another penalty! Emre must start ahead of Geremi, however I’d stick with Rozenhal, 1 game doesn’t make him a bad player.

  • Ed Harrison

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #11

    Apologies for the spelling errors early on – they should be OK now – wanted to get the report out early – what with the late goal and all. Great 3 points – now for Fulham.

  • Ed Harrison

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #12

    sparetheman – excellent commentary.

  • Jon

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #13

    The author of this article does not like Martins scoring goal.

  • Ed Harrison

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #14

    Jon – I’m Oba’s biggest fan 😀

  • Jon

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #15

    The author of this article does not like Martins scoring goals.

  • blues nose

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #16

    just watched the match live in china… seems to me you had most of the play… and maybe more of the goal scoring chances… it was a pen… but still thats how it goes… but it has left a bad taste – you guys scoring so close to the end… 1-1 would have been a great result – at least the villla lost!!! up the blues… and fair play to you guys – feeling a bit drunk after all it is 1:30 am – got to go now i have a chinese waiting !!!!!

  • Dragoner

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #17

    People say we didnt deserve to win…However i feel things have simply been evened out.

    – we lost at Blackburn when we should have drawn at least.

    – we drew at Arsenal when we maybe should have won.

    – now we have won when we maybe should have drawn…

    …hold on, thats not evened out is it? i think we are in line for another “underserved” result. 😉


  • ToonKing

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #18

    sparetheman, i don’t agree about Barton and Oba, I felt that Joey was good today and continuing he’s crawl back to he’s former self, some of the stuff he did was brilliant, like that cross with the outside of he’s foot.

    Oba on the other hand was poor today, and overall poor recently. Even i could have put away some of the chances he had today. he needs to stop running like a freaking Roadrunner and start thinking and scoring.

  • comfortably numb

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #19

    A good win but we are still a long way from being a good team in my opinion. BS’s ‘tactical’ ideas worry and baffle me in equal measures, at times today we really looked liked we had no real shape. A few things I noticed during the game:
    1-no outlet on the right, when Beye goes forward
    we’re really exposed on the right.
    2-players going for the same ball in midfield too
    many times.
    3-why bring on Viduka when you have an LB on
    the bench and could have just pushed Zog
    forward, and put Millner on the right?
    4-When it becomes obvious that the opposition
    are playing 5 in midfield and we are
    outnumbered why stick with 3?

    I’m over the moon that we won today but lets not get carried away-we were lucky!

  • Jon

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #20

    Sounds good 🙂

    The goalkeeper should have saved the penalty.
    Isn’t Geremi our penalty kicktaker?

    Be happy for the goal!

    Who cares who’s the kicktaker and if the keeper should have saved it.

    We got the goal and that’s what counts 🙂

  • Eve

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #21

    Most were good enough today,

    Given was solid in goals, didn’t have much to do, had to make 1 or 2 saves, he couldn’t be blamed for the goal
    Beye did well
    Martins couldn’t have bought a goal today.
    Viduka was horrible.
    Milner was..meh, bad croses.
    Smith was good enough.
    Barton was again good enough.
    Geremi wasn’t great.
    Emre made an impact when he came on.
    Rozehnal, now he can be blamed for the first goal

  • Jon

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #22

    Oh cut it ToonKing!!!
    Martins is the only one scoring our goals and he’s the only one creating and getting chances.
    and even if he misses some chances he’s the only one who is at the right place at the right time.

  • sparetheman

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #23

    Just realised I missed out Geremi!

    Geremi – Solid enough, didn’t create much but didn’t lose the ball either. 6.

    ToonKing, that moment you referred to was the only time Barton got in a promising position that I can remember and even then, his cross was to no one. He did well to get away from the defender that occasion though. Other than that, he ran lots as you’d expect but with one or two unforced errors (I recall a couple misplaced passes) and that terrible challenge, I didn’t think he deserved a 6.

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    Dec 8, 2007 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #24

    Very Well Done Lads!! Especially Beye who has been excellent since he arrived. Fully deserved to score the winner for a memorable night. Also good work from Big Sam who is doing the right things consistently now in substitutions, formations and starting eleven. This is hopefully the start of a good run of wins. A massive applause for the lads after their fighting spirit earned us the three points after being a goal down 🙂

  • Frankieboy

    Dec 8, 2007 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #25

    If only we had 4 Habib Beyes across the back. We have to be looking at 9 points from next 3 games given the opposition (heard that one before) then take it from there.

  • Jon

    Dec 8, 2007 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #26

    Shay Given
    Habib Beye
    Steven Taylor
    David Rozehnal
    Charles N’Zogbia
    James Milner
    Joey Barton
    Nicky Butt (Off 31)
    Geremi (Off 72)
    Oba Martins (Off 90)
    Alan Smith
    Emre (On 72)
    Mark Viduka (On 31)

  • Bob

    Dec 8, 2007 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #27


    I agree with Jon.

    Martins is still a very erratic and frustrating player, there is no doubt about that.

    However, he always manages stand up and be counted – he puts his dignity on the line and never chickens out of hitting a shot. He doesn’t hide.

    Instead, he just keeps plugging away and has scored in all but two full 90min Premiership outings this season (Arsenal and Liverpool, I believe). I don’t really agree that he has been poor recently. He must have 2 out of the past 4 games despite our horror show at Liverpool and our general lack of form.

    When he becomes more experienced and gains more composure, he will be one of the best strikers in the world.

  • Tripp

    Dec 8, 2007 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #28

    Man o man. Woke up late today and fired up the laptop, opened RSS feed came here and the top story said 1-1 and I was gutted. Then I saw the HT in the title and had hope. Came on the site and FT 2-1 Toon. WOOHOO! And the best part is that Emre was the architect! I’m glad for Beye, he deserves the goal. Best of all this was a come from behind victory. Yes, it sounds like Roz’s defense was at fault, but the side battled on and got the win. They did it the hard way, but they did it. The leaking of shite goals has got to stop though. We’ve got to make things easier for ourselves.

  • wsq

    Dec 8, 2007 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #29

    martins needs quality around him. any of the top 4 would want him especially arsenal. a bad game for martins is just not scoring, which is similar to rooney. viduka could’ve put him in scoring positions many times but didn’t today.

  • Obafan

    Dec 8, 2007 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #30

    Jon – how can you give Milner 8, he did not deliver 1 good cross and he should have caused much more problems on the left wing; RB of Birmingham was so weak and even then Milner wasn’t able of constantly pushing him back. I stay with my thoughts: Milner is just an average player, so many other talented players ( who don’t make stupid mistakes like he always does)of his age are out there. He still needs to convince me and I’m hoping Duff gets back rather soon than late.

    Germi played a good game IMO, he didn’t lose the ball that much and he was calm in possession.

    Viduka needs to step up his speed, not only of running but also his passing and handling speed. First half he needed to pass the ball immediately to Martins and then it would have been 2-1 at half time.

    ToonKing – The only striker who is creating danger is Martins, okay his penalty was poor, but the chance out of the free kick was unlucky.

    I still wonder why SA wants Smith to play the whole 90 minutes, if he needs to bring on a midfielder or an attacker he switches everything around just to keep Smith in the team, which is not good.

  • ToonKing

    Dec 8, 2007 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #31

    I’m not contesting that Oba is a good player, he most definitely is, but he made me pull out my hair today. Him and Milner, we could have been up 3-1 at HT if they could just hit the goal from point blank range.

    Zog was outstanding today, i just love it how he comes from behind to shake things up. Milner pulled the RB out wide and there was nobody to mark Zog and he created havoc every time he cam up, plus he was very good at defending too. Can’t wait for Duffy to come back, those two on the left will be terrific force to be reckoned with.

  • Jóhann

    Dec 8, 2007 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #32

    First: I´ve been telling you all along. Roz aint a good defender. Only time untill he made an obvious mistake. He´s the fifth best central defender in my mind. Really do you think Edgar is worse than Roz? Come on. I will be shocked if Roz starts the next game. Massive disappointment. And yet again we get a goal againsts us. I always think more and more that maybe the problem lies in goal. I´m not saying Harper will solve the problem. But we need at least a more commanding keeper in my mind. Our defense has been attacked and attacked in the press all the time Given has been here… Any hints??ehh We change defenders over and over but nothing changes, mistake after mistake.

  • Hadrian

    Dec 8, 2007 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #33

    finnaly a bit of luck comes our way .

  • toonoholic

    Dec 8, 2007 at 7:43 PM

    Comment #34

    haha i loved that silly hat sam was wearing

  • Ryan

    Dec 8, 2007 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #35

    Hmm, I wanna ask. Have Steven Taylor signed a new contracted?

  • Soren

    Dec 8, 2007 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #36

    Hadrian – yes exactly, finally some luck for us.! Lady luck had been neglecting us for quiet some time now. Good performance overall and great fighting spritit after going down 0-1 yet again. Though, wondering why we weren’t good at the start of either halfs.

  • Eve

    Dec 8, 2007 at 9:35 PM

    Comment #37


    Given isn’t the problem. We can’t defend, we have bad defenders or bad defense coaches, something is wrong with the way our defenders play.

    Our defense has been attacked by the media and ourselves, the fans, forever, at the start of the season EVERYONE was good, new manager, new season, new hope, everyone played well, Harper did well, Given was injured, Given then played well in the Carling Cup, most people think that he’s the better keeper, he was pushed himself back in, he had a fabulous game or 2 with Ireland and then against Arsenal, got himself back in. Given then played well, the other players got alot worse, then Given got injured again and Harper had a real oppurtunity to get the no.1 spot and he didn’t play well at all.

    Harper is a good keeper, but Given IMO is a lot better.

    If Sam brings in the Bolton keeper, who isn’t as good as either of the keepers. But him and Sam are good friends.

    I’ve no doubt in my mind that Given will probally leave, I don’t think anyone wants that. Besides the one or two “fans”. If a new keeper is brought in, one of the keepers will DEFIANTLEY leave if they waste money and bring in another keeper. Especially if, like the Bolton keeper who’s older and not as good as any of the keepers at the club.

    Given isn’t the problem, IMO he demanded the area well today when he had to and in the last 3 matches as well, (I can’t remember back 4) you can’t blame Given for the defenders lack of form, he can scream and shout at them for the entire match and it wont make them be any better, it didn’t make Bramble play any better, it didn’t stop Roz from messing up today and he certainly can’t be blamed for the poor buys that the managers have bought over the years.

    There’s a problem in our defense, there always has been but it’s not Given. Well IMO he’s not the problem.

  • Steve

    Dec 9, 2007 at 12:38 AM

    Comment #38

    I cannot handle some of you blokes paying out on Viduka… He is the only man capable of bringing down our woeful longballs to feet. Without VIduka, our long passess are just awful, and go through to the keeper every time.. He’s still to get back to match fitness, but at last we had presence up front (In saying that I think Smith has been superb the last 3 games)… I’m not sure if some of you are watching a different player, but what Viduka does for our side is there for all to see… He will be a regular fixture so you’re going to have to deal with it..

    Butt was awful… Turned over 3 simple passes in his 20 odd minutes.. He either plays beautifully, or has a woeful match… Not consistent enough for mine..

    Taylor was fantastic, won everything all day. After a few uncertain situations, took the bull by the horns and charged through packs…

    Roz was dodgy but is class overall.. Just give him time. He’s had some very good games. Just needs to up the consistency.

  • iain

    Dec 9, 2007 at 1:45 AM

    Comment #39

    good result. but there are still tons of tactical/selection issues that baffle me, even more so with sam often contridicting himself.

    most games are won on set pieces he says yet we have the worst set piece taker ive seen at st james park in years argubly since weve been in the pl. even odder is milner/zog started taking corners and we looked more dangerous and he still wont let them take throw ins or free kicks, also emre the actuall best set piece specialist sits on the bench. id rather emre did one of his crap performances and took the odd brilliant set piece than crap geremi during the game and crap set pieces.

    if sam is so good at sorting out set pieces why has he let martins take penalties, he must have the daftest pen run up ever, ive never seen a player until martins not decide which foot hes using until hes striking the ball off the pen spot. he just runs up and which ever foot gets there first kicks the ball. funny becuase set piece waster geremi isnt on penalties if he cant be trusted to pick his spot from 12 yrds as our set piece specialist what hope have we from freekicks outside the box.

    if sam keeps picking geremi then i dont think i will ever believe hes the manager to turn us around.

    i still think although roz has been a bit dodgy at the back he would be a million times better in cm than butt and geremi.

    he has every attribute that butt and geremi dont and that have then costs us in cm.

    hes quick (no cynical foling like butt does becuase he cant catch the player – pity he only fouls them within shooting distance of our box), roz stays on his feet (some say hes lightweight in challenges but hes no worse than geremi who bottled at least 2 challanges today that didnt even need him to slide in).

    the pace thing worries some of brums slower players could get past geremi in two steps from a standing start he was so flat footed and slow.

    roz isnt any worse at passing but frankly if he kept in cm and did the breaking up play role he would be more effective than butt/geremi.

    our weaknesses have been lightweight/slow/poor in air/poor communication in ch positions imo only two of our players can cover for those failings thats taylor and faye.

    in cm we have been slow/wastefull in possession and the only two players we have currently without moving faye from ch as hes our best ch by miles that we can put into cm is roz/emre.

    id rather be lighweight in mf and have a strong quick back line, than be lighweight in both areas.

    ultimatly still no balance in the team. its amazing how much difference that made to sir bobs nufc be keeping it simple and allowing average players perform by keeping it simple.

  • coolsmurf

    Dec 9, 2007 at 3:05 AM

    Comment #40

    how good was our attack whenever n’zogbia came marauding down the left?

    our attack is hopelessly unbalanced. we either play long balls or go down the left through milner.

    beye is our other outlet on the right and he is a right-back!


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