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It's Owe yes for the Magpies against Bolton

By Lee Ryder on Aug 23, 08 04:51 PM

MICHAEL Owen made an instant impact on his return to action today at St James's Park after scoring the goal that won all three points for Newcastle United against Bolton.

Owen pounced with 19 minutes left against the Trotters but United had to first survive a penalty scare with Shay Given proving to be the other hero on the day for the Magpies who remain unbeaten.


Keegan fielded the same team that picked up a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford as the Magpies looked to build on their good start.

United were roared on before kick off by opera singer Graeme Danby with a wonderful rendition of the Blaydon Races but the game failed to match his thunderous performance early on.

Yet KK was able to name Michael Owen on the bench after a summer of torment for the England striker which included him suffering mumps and calf problems.

Both sides started the game cautiously but on six minutes Martins tried to stab a left wing cross at goal only for the ball to bounce off Joey O'Brien and out for a corner.

On 13 minutes a collision between Shay Given and Johan Elander resulted in the Bolton striker being replaced by former England midfielder Gavin McCann - who was given the usual welcome for an ex-Sunderland man at St James's Park.

That tightened up Bolton's midfield even more with their suffocating tactics preventing United getting any real rhythm to their game.

And when Newcastle made a rare counter attack after Martins had slipped in Jonas he was quickly upended by Joey O'Brien just outside the centre circle.

The midfielder was booked for his trouble and a free-kick was handed to the black and whites but Bolton sustained the pressure.

Eight minutes before the break Bolton enjoyed a rare glimpse of goal when Steven Taylor's defensive clearance only went as far as Jloyd Samuel but the left-back could only curl it high over the ball.

But United were indebted to Steven Taylor a minute later when he bravely cleared Fabrice Muamba's curling effort from just outside the box.

KK made a change at the start of the second period with Geremi replacing Damien Duff.

Five minutes into the second half Habib Beye ventured forward to cross from the right for Martins but the Nigerian failed to make the right connection with the goal gaping in front of him at the Leazes End.

The lack of cutting edge resulted in Keegan replacing the former Inter Milan man seconds later when Owen was handed a slice of the action with Nicky Butt handing him the captain's armband after his arrival.


But United were soon in trouble as Steven Taylor handled a Gretar Steinsson cross from the right two minutes before the hour.

However, Kevin Nolan was denied as Given threw himself to his left at Gallowgate and blocked the Scouser's spot-kick before recovering to hook the ball away with his feet.

With 20 minutes to go Samuel sent Milner tumbling 25 yards from goal but Geremi's effort was deflected over the top for a flag kick.

N'Zogbia curled the ball in but Bolton cleared it again but Jonas picked up the loose ball to feed Geremi.

The Cameroon international then delivered a crisp ball from the right into the six yard box for Owen who leapt high to head home the opener in his first game of the season and make it 1-0 to United on 71 minutes.

Newcastle then missed a great chance to seal it five minutes after the goal when Beye's right wing cross was headed over by Milner.

UNITED: Given, Beye, N'Zogbia, S Taylor, Coloccini, Milner, Butt, Guthrie, Gutierrez, Duff (Geremi 46), Martins (Owen 51).

BOLTON: Jaaskelainen, Samuel, Nolan, Cahill, Muamba, M Taylor (Gardner 65), J O'Brien (Riga 85), Elmander (McCann 15), Davies, Steinsson, A O'Brien.

Ref: Steve Bennett (Oprington)

12 Comments

Paul Gadd said:

The lowest crowd for years tells its own story about the reality of the situation at Newcastle United. 5,000 missing fans is a massive drop for Newcastle.

Mike Ashley needs a "WOW" signing or needs to review the costs of the admission money for the game.

Anonymous said:

We are going to win the league!!!! :)

mitch said:

Good to see Owen back he will be crucial to us this season. colo my MOTM then shay well done lads

Carl said:

Not the best performance but 3 points non the less, have to agree with Paul though the ticket prices need lowered, 5000 empty seats says it all. Upping prices this year was a joke, we were in a relegation fight last season I dont understand how Ashley can justify raising the prices, and giving us 1 watered down free pint wont make up for it mike, GET IT SORTED.
Well done Michael Owen though, the guys top class.

DAVE ROBSON said:

THANK GOD FOR SHAY PROVING YET AGAIN TO BE IN THE TOP 4 GOALKEEPERS TO HAVE PLAYED IN THE PREMIERSHIP.
WE HAVE GOT TO GET BEHIND THE LADS MORE THAN WE ARE DOING, WE WENT VERY QUIET AGAIN IN THE 1ST HALF.
IF WE DO GET A FEW BAD RESULTS THERE WILL BE MORE THAN A 5,000 SHORTFALL IN CROWDS.
FANTASTIC START TO THE SEASON, BUT WE DESPERATLEY NEED SOME IMAGINATION & PACE IN MIDFIELD, QUICKLY.
ANOTHER STRIKER AND DEFENDER (NOT SENDEROS)
COME ON ASHLEY DIP INTO YOUR POCKET

Ginkoh said:

We did not play well yesterday. But we got 3 point as Keegan said it's bonus. See Liverpool they should not got 6 point but this is football.

Hopefully we can rise our game. It's hard to take the physical game like that We need more passing vision and add some big big center forward to increase aerial battle level.

alan said:

The problems facing Mike ASHLEYs lack of spending on new players this summer was highlighted by the vast amount of empty seats in the directors/corporate box
Never seen it so empty before

phil myers said:

5000 down on attendance despite all efforts by club ie buy a shirt get a match ticket at reduced cost!
This has been simmering for a few years
Didn't renew ticket for fisrt time in nearly 20 years last 3-4 years been a joke something had to give, then club stick 2 fingers up at you after one of the worst seasons in the premiership and increase ST prices by 10%. you can only fool people so long

Phil said:

I agree with Ronnie Lambert on a previous post - Taylor has some qualities, but 3 handballs in one game? He played Nolan onside for a "sure goal" late in the game, but then made a GREAT block in the last minute. He's brave, but he needs to learn from Coloccini, who is a GREAT centre half in my opinion - the best I've ever seen at SJP if he keeps it up. We still have some "good" players, but the passing has to improve, and the needless give-aways of possession stopped. The two new Argentinians need quality in ALL positions to continue to flourish, or they'll fall back to the level of some inferior team mates. Signings quickly please!!

RAY WILSON said:

Hi lee. A strangely quiet SJP yesterday. A few comments- Collocini -Very impressed-played last week and this week like he has been with us for years-the guy oozes class. Could some one please tell Taylor he is going to lose us more games than he can win for us if he does not stop his rather stupid antics-he has always behaved this way and its time it stopped - 5000 empty seats tells a sad story -the credit crunch is affecting every one -lack of understanding to raise prices this year of all years.Kevs job is a long way from being finished-we need a class striker with power and pace to compliment Owen -I love martins -but he is not improving -and he needs to -his first touch is still poor and his vision to find a colleague is non existent -overal the team passing needs to be better.We urgently need a real "Thinker" the sort of creative player we have not had for years-not many around -but there must be one somewhere.Lastly Charlie is no defender Jose must be brought back and quickly.

CP said:

So are the "I don't rate Owen" fans who worship Oba still around? Oba for all his tricks and occassional wonder goals is'nt in the same league as Owen. Fact - Owen kept us in the Premier last season, without him we are destined for another 12th/13th finish, with him we might be top 8. If we let him go it tells you everything about where this club is going under Ashley - NOWHERE.

Ashley - if you aint careful you will see a sub 40,000 crowd before long.

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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