A great win by the lads this afternoon, as they overpowered a lack-luster Reading side at St. James’ Park, in front of a very decent crowd of 36,944.
Needless to say the very long-suffering Newcastle fans finally left St. James’ Park very happy indeed at the professional display by the team and a wonderful hat trick by Shola Ameobi.
And it was that man Shola Ameobi who scored all 3 goals for Newcastle, for the first senior first hat-trick of his career at Newcastle.
We knew there was goals in that lad – somewhere – and we said last week that’s what we needed to see from Shola this season, and boy did he deliver the goods today for the side! 😀
In a first half in which Newcastle dominated, and had plenty of the ball, Shola made the vital breakthrough on 36 minutes as a good strong cross from the left by Enrique into the box, was headed downwards strongly by Ameobi.
But he had power in the header, and the ball bounced beyond and over goalkeeper Frederici. The goal was important because Newcastle had dominated until that point, but had nothing to show for their territorial advantage.
The lads went in comfortable ahead at 1-0 at the break having looked a well coached and tidy side that was looking good.
We needed a second goal to have some breathing room and it wasn’t long before that man again, Shola Ameobi had the ball in the net for his second goal.
It was after 61 minutes when Nolan stopped the ball going out of touch and played it to Ryan Taylor. His fellow Liverpudlian put in a beautiful cross that Shoa headed home at the far post in good style.
And Shola almost had his hat trick after 69 minutes when another header was brilliantly turned over the bar by Federici.
But then Shola scored his first ever hat trick for Newcastle as casually placed a penalty well wide of the goalkeeper after Shane Long had handled a corner taken by Joey Barton.
3-0 up and it looked like the points were ours and a great goal scoring display form that man Ameobi.
And after 78 minutes Shola was taken off to a standing ovation from the delighted Geordie crowd and replaced by Spanish striker Xisco.
3 minutes later Alan Smith, a Trojan again in midfield today, was replaced by 18 year-old Kazenga Lua Lua to warm applause from the home crowd.
The lads played the game out and were worthy winners, and on this evidence we should do very well this season.
What we need to do now is always support the lads on the field, whatever happens.
But certainly the players again did their jobs today, getting the required 3 home points, and now they need to do the same thing Wednesday evening against Sheffield Wednesday.
Newcastle lie 3rd top of the Championship after today’s games, and that’s the type of start we needed in our first two games.
On this form, we have to be in with a chance of bouncing straight back to the Premier League, but the squad must be strengthened in both skill and numbers within the next couple of weeks for that to happen.
Mike Ashley was at the game and sat next to potential new owner Barry Moat – but we should know by Tuesday and certainly befor eour next game oin Wednesday who the owner and new manager will be.
Let’s hope it’s Barry Moat and Alan Shearer in charge, and if it is there should be a bumper crowd on Wednesday evening at a vibrant St. James’ Park.
Howay The Lads – we can do it !!
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Ryan Taylor, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Alan Smith (c), Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton, Jonas Gutierrez, Andy Carroll, Shola Ameobi
Subs: Tim Krul, Geremi, Xisco, Nile Ranger, Kazenga LuaLua, Ryan Donaldson, Tamas Kadar
Reading: Adam Federici, Liam Rosenior, Ryan Bertrand, Kalifa Cisse, Alex Pearce (c), Jay Tabb, Jimmy Kebe, Scott Davies, Simon Church, Shane Long, Jem Karacan
Subs: Matthew Mills, Brynjar Gunnarsson, Noel Hunt, James Harper, Hal Robson-Kanu, Ben Hamer, Gylfi Sigurdsson
Referee: Anthony Taylor