Patient Newcastle Get Just Rewards In Second Half

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.    😀

Comments welcome.

35 comments so far

  • Tom

    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #1

    Also good to see someone else other than the strikers score a goal!


    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #2

    excellent win guthrie owen and martins three great players with three great goals, fantastic game for us which gives us loads of confidence gong into the tottenham game which is of course a winnable game HOWAY THE LADS!!!

  • Zangwill

    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #3

    Good job!Well done! Keep this heart! Become more strong!!!!

  • kukubird

    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #4

    Given must be over the moon with yet another clean sheet!

  • beyethegreat

    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #5


    gd point

    but lads lets not get carried away remember chelsea

    though maybe this is different coz in this game we found a balance between defending and attacking which is what we lacked in other games and als owhy we drew imo

  • Zangwill

    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #6

    For the third goal! I really feel Newcastle’s true face! Attack is the best defense!

  • Davy C

    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #7

    I am absolutely over the moon that we’ve won today and moved up the table at last. We struggled to get fluidity into our play in the first half but when we had possession we did really well most of the time creating far more good chances than Portsmouth. Bassong had a great game again and Collocini did ok despite a few hiccups that maybe should have been punished. Beye looked back to his best and other than a few early wayward passes Enrique had his best game in a black and white shirt and almost scored a much deserved goal. He brilliantly laid the ball on for Martins and was instrumental in many of our best moves.

    Jonas had a great game and looked excellent on the ball, N’Zogbia took a while to get involved but looked dangerous when he had the ball. Butt and Guthrie struggled early on but kept going throughout and Guthrie scored a great goal at the end.

    Martins ran and ran, held the ball up brilliantly, scored his goal and almost scored a peach in the first half. Owen finished excellently for his goal and worked tirelessly throughout. Ameobi looked really good when he came on and perfectly set up Guthrie at the end.

    Nice to see JFK smiling at the end!

    A well deserved 3 points in a game that could have gone either way after half time.


    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #8

    I like zoggy, I really do…but I have to admit I’m looking forward to have duff again in the team! Zoggy (and enrique in the first half with his slobby passes) where not that good as you try to make them…

  • Elliott

    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #9

    Going to spurs next week, if we play like we did today we should give them their usual league thrashing.

  • Jamie G

    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #10

    In sir bobby’s last full season at SJP, it was a 3-0 win against pompey which kickstarted our league campaign after a poor start. We ended up finishing 5th that season, just missing out on 4th in the 2nd last game of the season.

    Lets hope the same is in store now…we’ve proved we’re as good as any1 below the top 4 in the last few games and we need to play as well as this as often as possibile, because i honestly don’t think this was a fluke result.

    Also nice to see the martins and owen partnership starting to click…with both players on good form of late. Will it convince owen to stay?? who knows…but boy oh boy we need his goal scoring prowess at the club. However, I think he’d jump at the chance of joining man city or liverpool.

  • dan

    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #11

    3 points at last and boy did we need them.

    It is a strange season because draws are not enough to get out of the relegation battle, yet 2-3 more wins and we are challenging for Europe.
    Come on lads lets have another game like this where we play well in both halfs.
    Kinnear did a good job today and deserved the points.

  • Piers

    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #12

    West Ham v Chelsea (Stamford Bridge)

    1-0 West Ham at the break, absolute stunner. Chelsea looks half asleep and West Ham is taking advantage. Bellamy scored the goal in the 33rd. It was a good finish that a good player should always put away. He got the ball in the box and ripped into the bottom of the net. This is not good news for us as we need West Ham to lose today so we can separate ourselves from the bottom pack.

    Lastly, Could this be a week where the big 4 do not have a win between them? Hopefully Chelsea can change that with a solid second half.

  • dan

    Dec 14, 2008 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #13

    If we can beat Spurs at home and then Wigan away. Two teams on similar points, we will go top half. Then upset Liverpool with a draw and it will be a perfect christmas.

    The defense has for many years been our downfall. But Kinnear has made it the strongest part of our team in recent weeks. If we can keep scoring we could shoot up the table.

  • wigaz

    Dec 14, 2008 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #14

    Was a very good performance lets hope the lads can build on it though. Like the positive sounds of strengthin the side in Jan hope LB is Baines but IMO we need a AM as well & maybe a DM as well as Butt is sometimes very off the pace! Guthrie is very comfortable on the ball but we need some creativity in there asap!

  • Piers

    Dec 14, 2008 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #15

    Anelka scored….1-1

  • AndrewNUFC

    Dec 14, 2008 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #16

    This could be the turning point-but the same thing was said when we beat Villa. Without a doubt this will give everyone a hige lift though, Enrique was exellent and Guthrie’s finish was class.

  • Tripp

    Dec 14, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #17

    Ed isn’t this the first time we’ve beaten Pompey at Fratton park in like 58 years?

  • Dan13

    Dec 14, 2008 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #18

    It was the first time we’ve been them at Fratton Park ever in the premier league according to century radio.
    Today’s result has brought me out from underneath a rock that I’ve hid under since stoke.

  • Robz

    Dec 14, 2008 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #19

    Really guys, are you saying Enrique didnt have a good game? He made some crucial tackles, and topped it all of with a assist. Enrique is great 1vs1, and he truely showed that today!

    Great play by the lads, and it truely is amazing to get 3 points away at Portsmouth!

  • bettyswollocks

    Dec 14, 2008 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #20

    did someone kidnap enrique and replace him with a quality lookalike. he looked a different player today. hopefully he can keep that up and maybe joe’s patience with him is going to pay off.

  • Alex

    Dec 14, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #21

    The nice thing about this win is we now have a six point gap between us and Blackburn . Wba are definitely going down if , we beat spurs and Wigan then a gap is opening between us and the relegation places and the pressure is then off a bit . When that happens then we will really see how good we are . I think a top 10 finish is definitely on and with a couple of very good signings in January maybe Uefa cup next season .

  • Piers

    Dec 14, 2008 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #22

    I completely agree, a good attacking mid and we could be there next year…….West Ham and Chelsea tied…….whens the last time the big 4 had a week where none of them won??

  • nightfall

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #23

    glad to hear we’ve won..couldn’t watch the match (no transmition), but i did watch chelsea-west ham…and parker was brilliant… any chance of getting him back?

  • jimmy grimble

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #24

    the other week when we drew with chelsea none of them won or scored

  • Alex

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #25

    nightfall that would be a brilliant signing , we should never of let him go .

  • StevieA

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #26

    We looked to attack when we had the ball. Good to see us playing down the flanks and using the pace of Jonas, N’Zogbia and Martins. I hope this is a sign of things to come I really do.

    The only negative side is that we seemed to allow Portsmouth in very easily, it seemed easier for them to create us problems for some reason but the goal came at a good time for us.

    I think we can go on to beat Spurs and if we do that we could be up to 12th or 13th. Boro are on the slide and things could get interesting down the bottom of the premiership!

  • micepie

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #27

    Dare I say it, I think that the teams currently 14th to 17th will be above those 9th to 13th later in the season!

  • michael12

    Dec 14, 2008 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #28

    What we are now is a team that is hard to beat. Not an always winning team but simply we are hard to beat. Well done JK!

  • Spyro

    Dec 14, 2008 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #29

    Would just like to say that the away support were fantastic today. It is not easy to match Pompys fans on their home turf, but we did and even before we scored. Fantastic.

  • Spyro

    Dec 14, 2008 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #30

    I agree Michael12, we are indeed a hard team to beat now. JK has made mistakes since his arrival, but his tactics were spot on today. Like all managers, he just needs time.

    Enrique and Guthrie were amazing today. Enrique just shades it imo and should have received the man of the match award.

  • Toon1978

    Dec 14, 2008 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #31

    Given……………9/10………Safe hands as usuall

    Enrique…………7/10…..made up for his first half performance.

    Bassong……….9/10…Can become one of the best defenders in europe givin time.

    Colocinni………8/10..Nearly cost us dearly but got better as the game went on

    Beye………8/10..Solid as usual

    Jonas…..10/10…A total work horse what a signing

    Butt….7/10..To many backward passes but did well in the end

    Guthrie…8/10…What a goal

    N’Zogbia..7/10…Had a good game.

    Martins….7/10..ran his socks off and got a goal as his reward

    Owen..7/10…Did very little but got his goal

  • roscoe

    Dec 14, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    Comment #32

    Wait till Joeys back!!! Then we’ll be on fire…


    Dec 14, 2008 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #33

    Given did really well in the air today,took control of his area.
    Beye was first class.
    Bassong was brilliant again-he is pure gold.

    thought Jose should have been substituted as he was giving the ball away and sloppy,he needs to be smarter n tighten up.
    Owen n Oba worked really hard today n Good to see Shola come on instead of Viduka
    Great to see Danny score today,deserves it


    Dec 14, 2008 at 9:03 PM

    Comment #34

    Credit to JK today,he had good tactics .
    Hope we buy more of the same type of players
    MA buy us some good players please and strengthen the team

  • Sav

    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:23 PM

    Comment #35

    Little bit praise for the experience of Nicky Butt. Sprayed some good crossfield passes and was there to take the pass and move the ball around safely when we were under pressure.

    Great display today.

    Boy am I sick of Jamie f…..g Redknapp! Always talking up Spurs, touting Owen, cousin Fwank Lampahd and buddy Joe Cole….and did I mention Spurs? Hadaway and play with your Wii. His dumbed-down magazine for professional footballers who don’t have an idea what to spend their wedge on says it all.
    Do I sound bitter? …And did I mention Spurs?


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