The opening half tonight was quite even with Newcastle looking well organized and playingÂ some good open football.
But the last ball in the final third of the field was letting the team down again and again.
Argentine Jonas Gutierrez has had a good start to his Newcastle career, and has looked extremely skillful and has linked up surprisingly well with his new team-mates.
But we have to win this game tonight, and we must be sharper with that final pass – because we should be able to win this game.
Here is a detailed report of the first half.
1min â€“ Milner crossed the ball and Shola Ameobiâ€™s flick almost resulted in a goal as the ball goes across the goal and beyond the far upright .
2min – Steve Harper got his first taste of the action with an easy save from Cicero’s 22 yard shot
6min – Gutierrez and Nâ€™Zogbia work well together as Gutierrez played a nice flick that let in Charles Nâ€™Zogbia behind the full back, and he just reached the ball but his cross was blocked for a corner.
Milner took the corner which results in an injury to Bertha goalkeeper Christian Fielder,a nd he is replaced by Jaroslav Drobny.
Note: a famous name indeed – Jaroslav Drobny was the first left-handed tennis player to capture Wimbledon in 1954 by beating American Ken Rosewall for the title â€“ now back to football.
13min â€“ Newcastle look to be in control and very tidy and have a spell of prolonged possession after which Gutierrez won a corner. Milnerâ€™s corner was high, but keeper Drobny took the ball well.
15min â€“ Danny Guthrie tried a 20-yard drive which went for a corner off Chahed. The Magpies took a short corner but Steven Taylor was penalized for pushing.
18min â€“ Newcastle got a free kick 20 years out and young N’Zogbia struck the ball well, which was deflected for a corner. Milner took the corner which fell to Taylor, and his nice lob was only just over the ball â€“ unlucky for Steven.
22min â€“ So far so good for Argentine Gutierrez, who has looked full of skill and the Argentine won another corner but Milnerâ€™s corner is poor and blocked by Hertha Berlinâ€™s first man â€“ not good.
28 min â€“ The German team are now playing better but a free kick get to Smith on the edge of the box, but Von Bergen intercepts and clears. Alan needs to start scoring badly if he is to get a games once the other strikers are fit.
35 min â€“ Newcastle have yet another corner as Von Bergen blocked Taylor’s header on goal, but it looked like it could well have been a hand-ball by the German, but play was waved on.
40 min â€“ The game was quite even at this stage, and then Steven Taylor took a bullet drive from Cicero’s right in his stomach. Taylor was down on the ground, but the Geordie lad is made of stern stuff – and he got up and looked OK, if in a little pain.
43 min â€“ Newcastle were playing some nice football in the first half, but it was that last final ball that was letting the lads down. But the approach play was good in the first half and the team looked very organized and were keeping their shape well â€“ the sign of a Kevin Keegan side.
45 min Referee Ivan Gonzalez blew the whistle for half time.
We look to Newcastle to increase the pace of the game in the second half, to get the breakthrough we need.
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Claudio Cacapa, Danny Guthrie, Charles N’Zogbia, James Milner, Alan Smith, Jonas Gutierrez, Geremi, Nicky Butt, Shola Ameobi, Steven Taylor
Subs: Jose Enrique, Damien Duff, David Edgar, Frank WIafe Danquah, Ben Tozer, Tim Krul, Mark Doninger, Ryan Donaldson, Jonny Godsmark, Sebastien Bassong
Hertha Berlin: Christian Fielder, Claudiano Bezarra Kaka, Teve Von Bergen, Sofian Chahed, Santos Cicero, Marko Pantelic, Rafael Caetano, Mark Stein, Rodneo De Lima, Bryan Arguez, Fabian Lustenberger
Subs: Jaroslav Drobny, Srdjan Lakic, Valeri Domovchyski, Maximulian Nicu, Sasha Bigalke, S.Radjabali Fardi, Lennart Harrtmann
Referee: Ivan Gonzalez