This was a classic case of Newcastle holding on in the first half, hoping that better things would happen in the second half, and they certainly did.
Michael Owen – celebrating his birthday goal with Danny Guthrie
The first 15 minutes was almost all Portsmouth and Newcastle were finding it hard to get into the game, but Joe Kinnear and Chris Hughton have done well in coaching our defense, and the lads were able to stem the tide.
Indeed after 20 minutes Oba Martins hit a terrific swerving shot, that beat James all ends up, only to crash against his left hand post. It was a great left foot drive from the Nigerian.
When half-time came, we were pleased that Newcastle had not conceded, although Portsmouth had certainly been the more enterprising team in the first 45 minutes.
But then Owen, who is 29 years old today, scored another opportunist goal, and that gave the Magpies the confidence they needed to go on and take all three points with subsequent goals from Martins and Guthrie.
It was Jonas the provider again as he cut into the center, and put a great ball through to the England striker, who delicately chipped over the advancing James. Two more goals followed form Martins and Guthrie as the confidence started to flow through the Magpies.
After last weeks’ diabolical giving away of 2 points in the 91st minute, Joe Kinnear, the coaching staff and the players – not to mention the fabulous Newcastle faithful – will savor this victory, and why not, after all the pain of the past few weeks? 😀
That also improves our goal difference down to -2, which is now getting to be at least reasonable.
But this game shows that if you have a decent defense, and we now seem to have one with Bassong again strong at the back, and can keep clean sheets, then good things can happen in a game, and they did today.
This game has a number of interesting statistics attached to it:
- It’s the first time Newcastle have kept 3 cleans sheets in a row, away from home, in 11 years
- That was our 4th clean sheet in 7 games
- The first time we have scored 3 goals in the league this season
We also scored three against Coventry after extra time in Carling Cup
- It stretches our unbeaten run to 5 games
- It was the first win since we hammered Villa 2-0 at home on 3rd November – so that’s 41 days (6 weeks) since our last win.
Our next game is at St. James’ Park next Sunday (3:00 pm KO) against Tottenham, and what a game that promises to be. 😀