After a thrilling game this afternoon, the Blaydon Races rang out at The Hawthorns today, as Newcastle United secured the exact result they needed, with a 3-2 win over WBA, to pull themselves a little clear of the relegation zone.
And with Sunderland beating Stoke 2-0, and Bolton, Blackburn and Middlebrough all losing today and Hull City drawing 0-0 at Chelsea, Newcastle have gained on most of the relegation teams today.
There were 3 goals in the first 9 minutes of the game, as first Damien Duff, after just 67 seconds, was clean through and nicely tucked the ball into the net before Marc-Antoine Fortune, just 2 minutes later, slotted past Harper from just outside the penalty area.
But then new signing Peter Lovenkrands was on hand to tap the ball home on 9 minutes, to score his first goal, hopefully of many, for Newcastle United.
And then on 42 minutes Steven Taylor headed powerfully home from a Ryan Taylor corner kick to make it 3-1 at half time, with Newcastle being the more enterprising side in the first half. in what was an entertaining display from both sides.
Newcastle were holding out well in the second half but a WBA goal was always going to make things difficult for the Magpies, and sure enough after 73 minutes, Marc-Antoine Fortune got his second goal for the home side, as he slotted past Steve Harper, in the Newcastle goal, and it was game on.
After 82 minutes Lovenkrands went so close to scoring again, and if he had scored then, it would certainly have been a definite 3 points for the lads, but he just missed.
However, late in the game, Lovenkrands was replaced by Xisco and the Danish International got a terrific reception from the home fan He will be worth his contract if he can continue to get us some goals, and as a free transfer he looked a very good player this afternoon.
Newcastle saw the game out, without too much trouble, and a more than valuable 3 points. But it’s a pity we couldn’t have got a couple mnore goals to make it less of a nervous finish for the fans. 😀
But hey, we’re not complaining, and the three new boys on display today, showed they have improved the squad, and it’s a great start to the rest of the season, that’s for sure.
We also have a couple of weeks off to allow Martins, who wasn’t even on the bench today, Smith, Viduka, and Danny Guthrie recover more fully from their injuries.
We hope this will help our sick manager Joe Kinnear, who was taken to hospital this morning.
Since our next game is not for a couple of weeks, maybe Joe can take a short break next week, before coming back to prepare the side for our next game, which is at home to a good looking Everton side.
But this is exactly the result Newcastle fans needed today and the lads got the job done.
We are now in 13th place in the league with 27 points off our 25 games. That’s 4 points clear of the relegation zone, and just 2 points behind Hull City and 4 points behind Man City, who beat Middlesbrough 1-0 today.
Shay Given had a good first game at his new club.
Howay The Lads!!
WBA: Scott Carson, Carl Hoefkens, Paul Robinson, Leon Banett, Robert Koren, Chris Brunt, Do-heon Kim, Abdoulaye Meite, James Morrison, Borja Valero, Marc-Antoine Fortune
Subs: Dean Kiely, Marek Cech, Roman Bedner, Luke Moore, Pele, Filipe Teixeira, Youssouf Mulumbu
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini, Sebastien Bassong, Nicky Butt (c), Kevin Nolan, Ryan Taylor, Damien Duff, Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands}
Subs: Fraser Forster, Alan Smith, Mark Viduka, Geremi, David Edgar, Xisco, Claudio Cacapa
Referee: Chris Foy