Steve Harper’s first-half heroics during last night’s 1-0 victory over Leicester City, showed just exactly why he’s Newcastle United’s No.1 goalkeeper this season.
Steve Harper - fantastic save from header after 21 minutes
Harper twice stopped The Foxes last night with great saves – as they looked to be getting on top of Newcastle, and at half time there were a lot of worried Geordie fans for sure – us included.
Harper brilliantly saved Steve Howard’s header, as the Durham-born striker hit home a corner, but somehow Steve kept it out.
One of our problems in the first half was that Howard was winning every ball in the air, and Danny Simpson is too short and not dominant enough in the air to play center back, although he was good with the ball on the floor.
Then on 37 minutes, the Easington-born keeper flung himself down low to his left, in the driving rain, to get both hands to Paul Gallagher’s goal-bound free-kick and divert it for a corner.
Chris told Newcastle United TV after the match last night:
“Steve Harper has been a big reason why we’ve kept four clean sheets in a row and was a big reason why we won tonight,”
“He made two great saves again and that allowed us to get the winner at the other end.”
“But that’s why he’s in the position he is and that’s why he’s our number one.”
And there’s one big reason Steve has been outstanding in the last several games – Tim Krul.
This is what competition for places in a squad will do – and Steve is only too well aware there’s a top notch 20 year old just ready to take his place as Newcastle’s number one. And that’s not even to mention Fraser Forster, currently on loan to Norwich City.
But Harper was great last night, and he saved the game for us in the first half, when Leicester had several good chances to score, but either didn’t take them or Steve was there to save.
After 21 minutes he produced that save to remember.
Leicester City fans can argue this morning, with some justification, that they missed a great chance of a memorable victory last night – but it was the fighting never-say-die attitude of the Newcastle players after half time, that won the points for the Magpies.
And we always love to see a fighting,spirited and passionate display from the lads, and we got that in spades last night.
By the way this was Leicester’s first league defeat in 6 months.