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Toon win at long last!

By Lee Ryder on Oct 28, 08 09:41 PM

NEWCASTLE United climbed out of the relegation zone tonight with a narrow victory over West Bromwich Albion.

It was Joe Kinnear's first victory in charge of Newcastle and the club's first win since August as a penalty from Joey Barton and a stooping header from Oba Martins clinched the three points.

United made several changes to the team that had lost against Sunderland on Saturday with Jose Enrique replacing Sebastien Bassong at left-back.

Jonas Gutierrez started in midfield and was joined by Joey Barton.

Nicky Butt was out with an ankle injury and Geremi dropped to the bench with Shay Given donning the captain's armband.

With just 32 seconds on the clock it was Damien Duff who fashioned the first opening of the night with the Irishman picking out Ameobi but after the striker had dinked it goalwards Jonas Olsson hooked it clear.

Then on two minutes Martins broke free in the right channel before firing a powerful shot at Scott Carson who had to scoop it over the top.

Barton released Ameobi again on nine minutes with Ryan Donk upending the lanky forward in the box and ref Mike Dean pointed straight to the spot.

Barton grabbed the ball and sent Carson the wrong way to make it 1-0 before exploding with delight in front of the Leazes End.

It was his first goal since United played Fulham at Craven Cottage last season and his first ever strike at St James's Park.

Barton could have doubled the lead on 14 minutes after latching on to the ball following Duff's twisting run but the ball flashed wide of the West Brom goal.

The Baggies offered little going forward in the first half hour and even when James Morrison found a way through he skied his shot high into the Gallowgate End.

Morrison though forced a wonderful save from Given five minutes later after a good run down the left with the Eire star spreading his body to flick the ball away for a corner, which United cleared easily.

Habib Beye then squandered a great chance at the back post a minute later when he blazed it over after Ameobi had picked him out with a cross from the left.

But United were 2-0 up four minutes before the break as Beye made amends with a wonderful cross for Martins who nodded home from close range on his 24 th birthday.

On 54 minutes visiting boss Tony Mowbray replaced Chris Brunt with Ishmael Miller as West Brom tried to get back into the game.

Miller burst forward on the hour after a good run in the left hand channel but his shot was screwed wide.

West Brom defender Paul Robinson was booked with 62 minutes gone after grabbing Martins round the neck as the Nigerian flew forward again.

The Baggies were back in it with 25 minutes to go when the visitors enjoyed a slice of luck.

Ref Dean had played an advantage after a West Brom foul in the Newcastle half but Duff lost the ball.

And when Robert Koran slipped in Miller he made no mistake after rounding Given and slotting home for 2-1 following an Albion counter-attack.

There was a Newcastle change with 70 minutes played as Geremi replaced Argentine Jonas who had ran his heart out for the cause.

Steven Taylor wiped out Miller on the edge of the box two minutes later to hand WBA a dangerous free-kick.

Morrison's effort hit the wall but the ball squirmed to Miller who forced Given into a superb save at his near post - Newcastle were rocking.

Kinnear made his second substitution with 13 minutes to play as Spanish forward Xisco replaced birthday boy Martins.

UNITED: Given, Beye, Coloccini, Taylor, Enrique, Gutierrez (Geremi 70), Guthrie, Barton, Duff, Ameobi, Martins (Xisco 77).

WBA: Carson, Robinson, Koren, Greening, Bednar (Moore 67), Brunt (Miller 54), Zuiverloon, Olsson, Morrison, Borja Valero, Donk.

Ref: Mike Dean

Crowd: 45,801

4 Comments

Andrew Davis said:

Hi Lee,

Well its great that we won and i am more impressed with shola as he seems more and more agressive and he could of had a couple, but i still think barton stood out for me and he made some great passes and was rightly man of the match.

It was odd that we were wide open in defence and i hope that we are tighter next week and we catch villa on a bad day as they are a good team.

Well done the toon for tonight and 2-1 when it could of been a lot worse as west brom had a lot of chances as well.

Andrew said:

It was nice to see Joey Barton score from the penalty spot but his celebration after the goal was a bit over the top I thought . . . at least for him, considering the circumstances. I think it will take a lot of effort (on Joe Kinnear's part) to get him to stay calm in testy situations. Mind you, we did win the game and over all he played well.
One mistake I think Joe made was taking Jonas Gutierrez off . . . unless his injury is still bothering him? Jonas is a class player who makes things happen. He doesn't quit or give the ball away very often. We were a bit lucky to get the win actually when you consider it wasn't the worst tackle that brought Shola down. It’s nice to win, but based on this display, we'll need a lot of improvement or extra luck to get a win against Villa.

Teddy the Wonder Lizard said:

We should've finished them off, but what hapened? Nerves? Some careless marking at the back? Tired legs from those returning? The lightweight Duff and the out of sorts Martins? Amoebi's shooting inability? Defending too deep?

We've got a long way to go and Villa will punish us for these sort of problems.

Why isn't Charlie on for Duff? He's way better.

DAVE ROBSON said:

the 3pts were far more important than the display, this said taylor has got to improve his concentration and postioning.
i thought duff worked his socks off last night, and does seem hungrier at the moment, i think we just have to except that for every good thing shola does he is even more likely to do something just as bad.
jonas was 1st class last night, he covers every blade of grass on the pitch.
barton was exellent, showed some bottle to take penalty with him and jonas playing offered far more energy and guile in midfield.
we just need a more clinical cutting edge up front, when the chances come.
we will have to improve defensively for villa.
we played far to deep in the second half and invited trouble, we do this against carew and abonglahor, we will be punished.
it,s another game we cannot lose.

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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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