Newcastle got a vital win tonight which could help propel them into the Premier League at their very first attempt, and it was a close 1-0 win with Gateshead striker Andrew Carroll scoring a tremendous individual goal after 59 minutes, in what was a keenly contested game.
Newcastle and Doncaster were even after the first 45 minutes, played during a downpour at the Keepmoat Stadium, and both sides carved out good chances, with the only surprise at the half time whistle being that there was still no score, as it was a very open game.
After 21 minutes Doncaster’s Billy Sharp had the ball in the penalty area, and hit the ball at Newcastle’s goal for Steve Harper to only partially block the ball in the area, and it was the alert Danny Simpson who beat James Hayter to the ball to clear for the Magpies.
But it was end to end stuff in the first half and Newcastle were certainly ready for this game, despite all the bad news in the papers today.
Half time came to bring to an end to an entertaining and positive game so far – for both sides.
The second half continued in the same vein, but Newcastle then got the decisive first goal after 59 minutes.
Wayne Routledge, who had another very good game tonight, went running at the Doncaster defense and got the ball in behind the Doncaster back-line for big Andy Carroll to chase after.
And with his upper body strength, the Geordie striker held off the challenge of O’Connor before rounding goalkeeper Sullivan to put the ball into the back of the net – a tremendous goal by the 21 year-old striker and another assist from Routledge. That was Carroll’s 16th goal of the season, which is easily his biggest tally ever.
This lad looks like he can really become a great striker, but he needs to control his aggression off the field of play, but we’re sure we’ll hear more of that tomorrow – but for now let’s celebrate what is a vital win for Newcastle tonight.
If the lads keep winning , nobody can catch us.
And Wayne Routledge continued to tear the Doncaster defense apart after Newcastle’s first goal, and the only surprise was that the chances the lad was setting up, were not converted to make it easier for Newcastle. Where’s Peter Lovenkrands? 😀
But towards the end of the game Newcastle seemed to settle for the 1-0 win, and played out time fairly comfortably with Joey Barton making his long awaited return to the side on 75 minutes, when he replaced Danny Guthrie.
A tremendous away win for the Magpies tonight, and they showed their professionalism to the traveling Newcastle fans. just as we had hoped they would, after all the bad publicity in the press today.
And Steve Harper and company have broken the clean sheet record, with 19 clean sheets in a season, breaking the record set back in 1993 when Kevin Keegan was in charge of the side in the Championship.
Nottingham Forest beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at home tonight, so remain 10 points behind the Magpies who are on 80 points, and Newcastle have a game in hand and now play Forest next Monday night at St. James’ Park.
A win in that game should go a long way to ensuring Newcastle gain promotion this season, at the very first attempt, as the games are starting to run out for Forest.
Newcastle now have 8 games to play and Forest can only get another 21 points and end up on 91 points if they win all 7 games they have left to play.
So that means Newcastle need four more wins in their final 8 games for certain promotion, and even less if they beat Forest on Monday night, because then Forest can only get 88 points in total.
So if we beat Forest on Monday night, we’ll need 6 more points (5 really because we have a much better goal difference) from the remaining 7 games to be sure of promotion, and even Newcastle cannot fail to do that!.
WBA are 5 points behind Newcastle with an inferior goal difference, and they play Coventry City at home tomorrow night.
4th placed Swansea City were hammered 5-1 at Blackpool, so Newcastle have now conceded fewer goals than any other Championship side, with 28 goals conceded, and we now have 23 wins in 38 games – not too bad at all.
Middlesbrough had a good 2-0 home win against Preston tonight, so they are starting to make a move but are still 5 points off a play-off place.
Finally, with all the business with Carroll and Steven Taylor today, this is a sweet win indeed for the Tyneside club, and we needed it.
Credit to the players, but also to manager Chris Hughton who somehow keeps his players’ minds on what’s important – winning football games.
Well done lads!!