Newcastle got the result they needed tonight at Bramall Lane and kept their 8th clean sheet of the season as Argentine International Fabricio Coloccini made his long-awaited return to the side after a troublesome groin injury.
That was the good news, but the bad news is that we had to rely on a Sheffield United own goal to beat a weakened Blades’ side.
The vital first goal came after 54 minutes when Kevin Nolan took the ball from Kyle Walker 25 yards out and then gave Ryan Taylor a sight of goal.
As Ryan has the ability to do at any time – he hit a vicious shot at goal – and it cannoned off Chris Morgan to completely wrong foot goalkeeper Ian Bennett, and the ball ended up in the back of the net.
That’s one reason why we want to see Ryan play up front and he’s much better there with his shots and excellent crosses and so it proved tonight. It was good to see Danny Simpson remain at right back and Hughton brought in Tamas Kadar for his second successive game, and the young lad will be all the better for it – and he now has a 100% record at Newcastle – 2 league appearances and two wins. 😀
The youngsters are the future of the club so we take note of how they are being brought through the ranks – and although we were disappointed Nile Ranger didn’t start the game – he was brought oin after 74 minutes replacing Danny Simpson, and no doubt Chris would have had the boy on earlier if we hadn’t scored after 54 minutes.
There were surprises with the team selection with both Butt and Smith starting – but surely we cannot keep playing these two together – where ‘s the creativity?
We would have liked to have seen Guthrie start alongside Alan Smith to push up and create some chances. Nicky Butt took the captaincy tonight too.
Andy Carroll had a good game but it was his defensive headers out of defense which will no doubt receive some acclaim for his very relieved manager tonight – but it shows that Andy is slowly becoming the complete player – for one still only 20 years old.
This was much more difficult than it probably should have been – but hey – we hope to have Steven Taylor back for Saturday’s game – and that will give Chris Hughton some headaches for the home game against Peterborough.
We want Chris to have selection problems, and the lads must keep up their fair share of wins before January – draws are really not much good – and maybe then Mike Ashley will come through with the cash for new players.
It was a great result and we need more 1-0 wins because those are the scores of good teams, and it was great to see a clean sheet away from home but the Magpies had to thank veteran goalkeeper and local lad Steve Harper, who made a string of great saves to keep the clean sheet.
In the last 15 minutes Steve Harper continually came to Newcastle’s rescue with some fantastic saves, and the Newcastle goalkeeper somehow blocked Treacy’s goal-bound shot with his shins, after Treacy was left unmarked in the area 2 minutes into a 5 minute extra time period.
And Harper spread his body again just one minute later to somehow keep out Darius Henderson’s point-blank header. Maybe Steve’s not as good as Shay Given, but Steve Harper has been a top player for Newcastle so far this season.
And you have to question whether it’s luck for the Magpies, or just fantastic play from the Newcastle goalkeeper that ensured our second successive win tonight.
And it was Steve Harper’s name that was heard loud and clear at the end of the game by the Toon Army at Bramall Lane – fantastic play from the goalkeeper when it really mattered tonight!.
Marlon Harewood made a token appearance for Jonás Gutiérrez on 84 minutes, and the Argentine got warm applause from the 3,000 traveling Newcastle fans, as he left the pitch.
So we again had some luck tonight – but a win is a win – and maybe some day we may even start to play some good football. 😀
It’s pleasing we can be below our best but still get the win, so that’s 6 points from the last 2 games, and now 8 points form the last 6 games, with Peterborough United the visitors on Saturday afternoon, and we can take nothing for granted in that game, even though Peterborough are now 2nd bottom.
It should be an easy game, but hey, you just never know, and we’ll take the 3 points, however we can get them.
If we can indeed beat the side that eliminated us from the Carling Cup on Saturday, we’ll have a decent win streak of 3 going, as we head into the International break.
And we nearly forgot – this was Chris Hughton’s first game in charge as permanent manager on Tyneside – so he certainly got the right result.
We are again top of the league and 2 points clear of WBA in second place and with a goal difference of +13, which at some point we need to improve – since it’s worth a point at the end of the season.
Don’t forget to put your vote in for the man of the match on our home page – thanks – and for a parting cry for tonight – Howay The Lads!!
Comments always welcome.
Sheffield United: Ian Bennett, Kyle Walker, Chris Morgan (c), Matt Kilgalon, Jordan Stewart, Andrew Davies, Stephen Quinn, James Harper, Keith Treacy, Darius Henderson, Ched Evans
Subs: Ryan France, Kyel Reid, David Cotterill, Lee Williamson, Mark Bunn, Glen Little, Henri Camera
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Tamas Kadar, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Ryan Taylor, Nicky Butt (c), Alan Smith, Jonas Gutierrez, Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll
Subs: Tim Krul, Danny Guthrie, Marlon Harewood, Geremi, Nile Ranger, Ben Tozer, Ryan Donaldson