Newcastle United, for the umpteenth time this season, came from a goal behind to win their 26th game of the season at St. James’ Park tonight.
The win was accomplished in front of a home crowd of 48, 270, the second highest crowd ever at a Championship game, and the Magpies maintained their unbeaten home record, but it took a wonder goal from captain Kevin Nolan to get the 3 points.
The Newcastle team got a terrific reception from the Newcastle crowd tonight, as the Nottingham Forest 0-0 draw with Cardiff City this afternoon, meant that Newcastle were promoted and will be playing Premier league football once again next season.
Newcastle started of just a little hesitation, and needed to win this game to give the fans what they have been waiting for all season.
But would you believe it – Sheffield United took the lead on 22 minutes.
James Harper put in a left-wing corner to the near post where Richard Creswell put in a glancing header through a number of players to give the Blades the lead.
Newcastle seemed to be woken up by going behind and they started to press to get back into the game. Newcastle started to surge forward at every opportunity, and from a Jose Enrique’s cross, Wayne Routledge cams close to scoring, as he hit the ball just inches wide of the target, from 14 yards out.
And Lovenkrands also went close on 43 minutes with a good volley, from Kevin Nolan’s set up but the ball was diverted over the crossbar by goalkeeper Simonsen.
Then, just like they did last Saturday the lads scored just before half time to level the scores.
From a corner by Danny Guthrie, Chris Morgan grabbed big Newcastle striker Andy Carroll, and referee Lee Hall blew for a penalty. It seemed a bit soft but it was nevertheless a foul – and in the area – so it it was definitely a penalty.
As usual Danish striker Peter Lovenkrands stepped up and sent Simonsen the wrong way with another excellent penalty top make it 1-1 and that was Peter’s 15th goal of the season – we hope the Danish selectors are taking note of Peter’s goals this year.
Steve Simonsen is the Stoke goalkeeper who has been sent out on a one month loan deal on March 19th, after their first choice goalkeeper Mark Bunn was recalled from a loan spell by Blackburn Rovers. Simonsen was available after Portsmouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was brought in by Stoke in January.
Half time arrived and the scores were level at 1-1.
Newcastle started to attack more in the seocond half, as they wanted the win so that Newcastle fans could really celebrate after the match, and on 63 minutes Enrique was clear of Quinn on the halfway line, and then put in a great defense splitting ball for Lovenkrands to run onto, and the Dane was clear through.
But Peter hit a hopeless shot high and wide from just 8 yards with his left foot, and then held his head in his hands – a terrible miss.
But Newcastle were pressing forward all the time for the go ahead goal and it came after 72 minutes and it was captain for the night Kevin Nolan who notched his 15th goal of the season for the Magpies.
Danny Simpson picked up a loose ball and put it back into the penalty area, where Peter Lovenkrands placed a neat header into the path of Kevin Nolan, who hit home a tremendous scissor kick from 8 yards out – what a wonder goal from Kevin!
And that was it, to the roars of the faithful Newcastle United fans, Newcastle recorded their 26th win in 41 games, and go 6 points clear of WBA on 89 points, with a game in hand on both WBA and Forest, who are now 17 points behind the Magpies in 3rd place.
There were some good performances tonight from the Newcastle players, with Lovenkrands looking impressive but also Argentine left winger Jonas Gutierrez, who looked tremendous.
We basically need 7 points from the last 5 games to ensure we are the League Champions.
We’re proud of our team this season, very proud.
Oh – and the promotion celebrations can now begin – we almost forgot about that. 😀
Howay The Lads!!