Fabricio Coloccini sent a proud Newcastle United back to the top of the Championship today with the only goal of the game at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The only bad news was that on 92 minutes captain, Alan Smith was sent off for a second bookable offense and he will now miss a game due to suspension. In the second half it looked like the ref had his eye on Smith, and unfortunately the inevitable happened just before the end of the game.
However Nicky Butt will be available to fill in for him in defensive midfield.
The winning goal came after just 18 minutes as Newcastle started the match stroking the ball around the pitch, and it was Argentine International Fabricio Coloccini who scored, and to think he had only arrived back from South America 48 hours ago. Fabricio was in the Argentine World Cup squad for the defeats to Brazil and Paraguay.
It was from a Ryan Taylor corner kick and young Nile Ranger challenged Scotland International goalkeeper David Marshall for the ball, and the ball bounced around and was put back to Taylor by Coloccini.
Then Ryan delivered a cross to the far post where Coloccini climbed beautifully to head into the bottom corner of the net, for his very first goal for the club. Great work by the Argentine, who looks a class above other players in this league.
Newcastle deserved this win, which takes them back to the top of the Championship, but they had to contain a good Cardiff City side, urged on by thei supporters, for long periods.
But the lads are now two points clear before the next game away at Plymouth on Wednesday.
All 3 substitutes were given a run out with Lovenkrands on for Guthrie on 62 mins, Butt on for Ryan Taylor on 76 mins, and Geremi for Barton on 87 minutes, so this will give Butt and Lovenkrands much needed match practice.
Dare we say Newcastle looked a well coached side today!
And that’s 5 wins on the trot, with four of them in the league and without conceding a goal too.
The play of the Newcastle defense with Harper solid, and the back four of Simpson, Taylor, Coloccini and Enrique looking class, could yet be the cornerstone on which a promotion challenge is maintained this season.
And even when we have our top two strikers injured – Ameobi and Carroll – we can still win the game with a single goal.
This is our third 1-0 league win, the other two being against Sheffield Wednesday and Leicester City at St. James’ Park, and if the lads can get a win at Blackpool on Wednesday night, they can expect – and will deserve – a bumper crowd at St. James’ Park next Saturday for the home game with Plymouth Argyle – 3:00 pm KO.
If Newcastle continue with these great results, they may even be the real thing this season.
Howay The Lads!!
Cardiff City: Marshall, Rae, Hudson, Whittingham (Etuhu, 68), Chopra, Bothroyd, Burke, Capaldi, Quinn, Gerrard, Ledley. Subs not used: Enkelman, Kennedy, Gyepes, McPhail, Taiwo, Matthews.
Newcastle United: Harper; Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Enrique; R Taylor (Butt, 76), Smith, Nolan, Guthrie (Lovenkrands, 62), Barton (Geremi, 87); Ranger. Subs not used: Krul, Kadar, Donaldson, LuaLua.
Goals: Coloccini 18
Bookings: Enrique 33, Guthrie 44, Smith 66
Sent off: Smith 90
Attendance: 25,630 (sell out)
Referee: Andy Hall (West Midlands)