The lads battled to all 3 points tonight, but this was closer than most fans expected.
With Mike Williamson starting for Newcastle, the Magpies went ahead after just 20 minutes, and it was an own goal from Derry, the Crystal Palace captain that put the Magpies ahead.
From a Guthrie corner, Carroll headed the ball towards goal, only for Shaun Derry to somehow slice the ball into his own net from just two yards out. A rather fortunate goal for Newcastle.
But then just 6 minutes later left-back Jose Enrique limped out of the game, and was surprisingly replaced by Fabrice Pancrate – who went in at right back, with 19 year-old Tamas Kadar switching over to the left, where he is more comfortable.
We don’t know how serious Jose’s injury, but this may cause some alarms bells to go off behind the scenes at the club, if it’s a serious injury.
When half time came Newcastle were still leading by the single goal, after a half that nobody would write home about.
Newcastle seemed more lively in the second half, with Pancrate starting to attack down the right wing, and on 62 minutes Lovenkrands gave way for new boy Wayne Rutledge, who got a huge ovation from the Geordie crowd – who love a player who loves Newcastle.
But Newcastle were always vulnerable to a Crystal Palace goal, with just one goal ahead, and the game was fairly even, when 18 year-old Nile Ranger came on for Jonas Gutierrez, and joined Andy Carroll up front.
On 81 minutes the Magpies broke from defense at at pace and Nile Ranger was presented with a golden opportunity to put in the second goal, as Fabrice Pancrate put in a beautiful cross right onto his head.
But the youngster didn’t get above the ball enough, and nodded the ball over the bar – a good chance lost that would have made the game safe for the Geordies.
Near the end of the game some Newcastle nerves started to show and the crowd became uneasy, as 2 points could have been dropped, but then in the third minute of injury time it was young Nile Ranger who got the second goal, and it was new boy Wayne Routledge who set him up.
Rutledge put through a lovely ball, and the very quick Ranger raced in on goal before coolly slotting the ball past goalkeeper Speroni for his first home goal of his career, and an appreciative roar from the Newcastle crowd, as it was 3 points in the bag.
It’s the Newcastle patched up defense again that had to take the credit tonight with another clean sheet, and with debutant Mike Williamson having a good game, his first for a full 5 months – a brave performance by the lad.
But this puts Newcastle 8 points clear of an automatic promotion place, since we are now that number of points ahead of WBA in third place, with a superior goal difference too.
These games are too close for comfort, but we’ll put this one down to a professional win, and that’s Newcastle first league double this season, with hopefully many more to come.
Make sure you lodge your vote for Newcastle’s best player tonight on our home page.