In the final 20 minutes of this game Newcastle lost control and Derby County were attacking Newcastle to try to get the equalizer and there were appeals for a Derby penalty and then Yedlin headed off the line, so it was too much like last Wednesday’s game against QPR.
But this time we just hung on for a valuable 3 points and a 1-0 win with the goal coming from?
You guessed it – that man Matt Richie with his 12th goal of the season – after good work by Mitrovic and Matt’s shot took a deflection after 27 minutes and the lads hung on at the end for a very good win against Steve McClaren’s side.
We are now 2 points clear of Brighton who are at Brentford tomorrow in their game and they will need to win that to go above Newcastle United.
But this game was again a nervous one for this Newcastle side.
Matt Richie scores winner after 27 minutes
As expected Rafa Benitez was told in no uncertain fashion what Newcastle fans think of him during this game, as his name echoed around a completely sold-out St. James’ Park.
We understand Rafa likes being liked by the fans – so why he would he ever want to leave Newcastle United?
Mo Diame had a great first half and he followed up his words of yesterday that he wanted to make a difference at Newcastle and he made some powerful runs at their defense.
However our defense looked a little dodgy when a poor Ritchie back pass only found former target Darren Bent but Ciaran Clark made a great recovering tackle.
Then Newcastle went ahead after 27 minutes after Ritchie’s deflected shot looped over goalkeeper Scott Carson.
Newcastle still managed to miss chances in the second half to put this game out of sight – something we must remedy quickly, although maybe Dwight Gayle will be in the next game or the one after that.
Mitro missed a decent opportunity and we lost Isaac Hayden to injury and on came Ayoze Perez, but it was after Hayden’s injury Newcastle seemed to lose their way.
It was again a nervous ending with Newcastle still only one goal up and Yedlin cleared off the line, but this time we hung on for all 3 points.
The result was always going to be more important than the performance and it was a great 3 points – just what we needed – and Reading could only draw 2-2 at Ipswich.
And Rafa will be very pleased with the clean sheet – only our second clean sheet in the last 11 games – so that was good.
Newcastle: Darlow; Yedlin, Hanley, Clark, Dummett; Shelvey, Hayden (Perez, 49), Ritchie, Diame, Gouffran (Lascelles, 90); Mitrovic (Ameobi, 83).
Subs not used: Elliot, Gamez, Lazaar, Murphy.
Derby: Carson; Baird, Keogh, Pearce, Olsson; Bryson (de Sart, 46), Johnson (Anya, 76), Butterfield; Ince Bent, Russell (Camara, 64).
Subs not used: Mitchell, Christie, Shackell, Vydra
Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire)