Newcastle made very hard work in beating Atromitos 1-0 tonight at St. James’ Park, and the all important goal was rifled in by Haris Vuckic after 21 minutes that eventually put Newcastle through to the group round the Europa League, with the draw being made tomorrow in Monaco.
Newcastle started the game brightly, and were on top for most of the first half and had Vuckic to thank for putting Newcastle ahead after 21 minutes, when he got the ball five yards outside the box on the right hand side, and the Slovenian then stroked the ball just inside the goalkeeper’s right hand post, for a great strike.
And Newcastel should really have been more than one goal ahead at the break but they wasted their chances. And after only 10 minutes Ryan Taylor limped off with what looked like an injury to his right knee.
And then in the second half Atromitos came more into the game, and they had their chances to equalize but missed a number of chances, and really let Newcastle off the hook. Thank goodness.
But we’re through, and we suppsoe that’s the main thing, although this was much closer than we thought it would be.
Newcastle were again anything but sharp in front of goal and we should have put this game away by half time, but that has to be a concern for Alan Pardew, that we are finding it very difficult to put the ball into the back of the net.
This is the game as we saw it as it happened.
Newcastle started this game brightly, and it was just the line green shirts and socks, and black shorts as they started the game quickly and passed the ball about well.
But bad news after about eight minutes as Ryan Taylor went down with what looked like an injury to his right knee, and after receiving treatment for a few minutes ion the touchline, Haris Vuckic came on, James Perch went to left back, and Haris went into midfield.
We’ll just have to hope that Ryan is not too badly injured and hope it’s not the knee ligaments.
Demba Ba in action tonight
After 21 minutes Haris Vuckic put Newcastle ahead with a nice goal, and he got the ball five yards outside the box on the right hand side, and the Slovenian then stroked the ball just inside the goalkeeper’s right hand post, with Demba Ba flying in, but the Senegal International didn’t touch the ball.
Newcastle kept attacking Atromitos and Haris Vuckic had a couple more chances, which goalkeeper Itandje did well to block, and though Newcastle had a lot of the possession, they were not sharp enough in front of goal and should have added to their lead.
Just before half time Tim Krul uncharacteristically spilled the ball and Chumbinho went for it and it looked like Krul brought down the Atromitos player, but the referee gave Chumbinho a yellow card for diving. That was lucky.
At half time the score was still 1-0 and this game was by no means over, with one goal from Atromitos would make the scored level.
Newcastle will need to get at least one more goal in the second half.
Immediately the second half started, Obertan had a wonderful chance to score and he was straight through but the ball was put out for a corner – Gabby should have scored.
Atromitos started to come back into the game and on 54 minutes a male streaker came running onto the field, and stopped the play, just after Marveaux had been brought down on the left wing, and the free kick was delayed – but nothing came of it.
James Tavernier came on in place of James Perch after 60 minutes, with the game still in the balance with Newcastle trying to get the all important second goal to give us some breathing room.
After 70 minutes Marveaux broke through on the left, but he over ran the ball and Newcastle were wasting some good chances to score, and they were also giving the ball away far too much.
Newcastle needed a second goal and after 78 minutes Williamson gave the ball away but the chance was lost by Atromitos.
Then Atromitos had a wonderful chance to equalize as Dimoutsos found himself with a clear shot on the right but he amazingly shot wide – that was a letoff for Newcastle.
Newcastle were being very wasteful – giving the ball away, and shooting too many times from distance and off target.
Then it looked again that Newcastle had given away a penalty after 85 minutes, and out hearts were in our mouths, but the referee coolly walked up to the Atromitos player and gave him a yellow card for diving.
But it was very nervous for Newcastle as Atromitos continued to come close to scoring, which would take the game into extra time, and this was not a confident second half display by Newcastle.
On88 minutes Bigirimana tried to set up Gosling on the edge of the box, but the former Everton man blazed the ball over the bar.
There were three minutes of added time for Newcastle to hand onto the win – if they could do it. Epstein then had a decent chance in the inside left position but shot just over the bar, as Newcastle tried to hand on.
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Ryan Taylor (Haris Vuckic 11); James Perch (James Tavernier 60), Gael Bigirimana; Sylvain Marveaux (Romain Amalfitano 90), Dan Gosling, Gabriel Obertan; Demba Ba
Subs not used: Steve Harper, Yohan Cabaye, Papiss Cisse, Adam Campbell
Atromitos (4-2-3-1): Charles Itandje; Ioannis Skondras (c), Sokratis Fytanidis, Nikolaos Lazaridis, Konstantinos Giannoulis; Matias Iglesias, Eduardo Brito (Njazi Kuqi 88); Elini Dimoutsos (Sebastiau Garcia 85), Chumbinho (Nikola Beljic 75), Denis Epstein; Tasos Karamanos
Substitutes: Velihir Radman, Stathis Tavlaridis, Evangelos Nastos, Panagiotis Ballas
Referee: Stephan Studer