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March 2010 Archives

Don't talk to Newcastle United fans about endurance.

Down the years they've been there, done it and got the soaking wet t-shirts!

Last night against Nottingham Forest was another example of their incredible dedication.

NEWCASTLE United took another giant step towards the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest.

Shola Ameobi and Jose Enrique both netted to put the Toon on the brink of a return to the top flight at the first time of asking.

Shola said: "It was a massive win for us, a big three points, and I'm pleased to get the goal, the fans were with us all the way, and it was a fantastic night."

Ameobi, who replaced the injured Andy Carroll four minutes after the break, blasted home a 71st-minute drive, and Jose Enrique's brilliant first goal for the club in injury time all but killed off Nottingham Forest's hopes of automatic promotion.

Victory at Peterborough on Saturday would be enough to secure promotion if third-placed Forest, who have now lost their last eight away games, extended that to nine at Bristol City with the Magpies 13 points better off having played a game fewer.

It was Ameobi's first appearance since February 9 and his first goal since Boxing Day, but it was arguably the most important of his nine for the season to date.

The game kicked off in torrential rain which made conditions underfoot treacherous for both sides, and it was the visitors who coped the better during the early stages.

United created the game's first chance when Carroll thumped in a firm volley from Wayne Routledge's cross to force goalkeeper Lee Camp into a good 12th-minute save.

As the half wore on, the Magpies began to dominate the midfield battle, and Carroll might have done better in the midst of a 24th-minute goalmouth scramble, but he could not get his shot away after good work by strike partner Peter Lovenkrands and Jonas Gutierrez.

Routledge saw a shot blocked by Kelvin Wilson five minutes later with the visitors pinned back inside their own penalty area, but his side had a let-off 13 minutes before the break.

Nathan Tyson turned up on the left to pick out striker Dexter Blackstock with an inviting cross, but he miskicked in front of goal.

Lovenkrands could not get a decisive touch amid another melee after Gutierrez's 44th-minute cross caused panic in the Forest box, and Jose Enrique whistled a long-range effort across the face of goal seconds later.

Tyson headed weakly at Newcastle keeper Steve Harper within a minute of the restart after midfielder Paul Anderson crossed from the left as the visitors made a good start to the half.

The game was becoming increasingly scrappy as both sides continued to seek a breakthrough, but it took a good block from Fabricio Coloccini to deny Anderson after he broke from halfway with 59 minutes gone.

Danny Guthrie curled a free-kick high over two minutes later and Forest started to make their big push.

But it was the home side who eventually went ahead with 19 minutes remaining when Ameobi received Kevin Nolan's pass with his back to goal and turned smartly before firing a low left-foot shot in off the far post.

Routledge might have sealed the win with 15 minutes remaining, but saw his stinging effort palmed away by Camp, who then produced fine stops to deny Nolan and Guthrie.

However, Enrique's first goal for the club in injury time sealed the win.

I was at the game, and you can replay my live blog below.

Newcastle will edge closer to the promised land with victory over Nottingham Forest tonight but for manager Chris Hughton the work is only just starting ahead of next season.

And in terms of new faces, Hughton, according to morning reports, is understood to be considering a move for Hull City star, all round playmaker, dressing room joker and one time Humber Bridge hot head Jimmy Bullard.

Hughton was thought to be at the KC Stadium to see Bullard net a penalty against Fulham on Saturday.

Doncaster 0 Newcastle United 1

By Lee Ryder on Mar 23, 10 04:29 PM

TOON striker Andy Carroll will make the headlines for the right reasons after his goal gave Newcastle United a 1-0 win away at Doncaster.

Carroll was embroiled in controversy after being allegedly involved in a bust up with fellow player Steven Taylor which left the defender with a broken jaw.

But the young hit-man made sure people will be talking about his performance at the Keepmoat stadium after bagging the winning goal.

Carroll started the game and he was wearing big gloves in the warm-up.

Nicky Butt also started, Tamas Kadar partnered Coloccini in the heart of defence and Ryan Taylor was in at right-back with Danny Simpson slotting into the left-back position.

Joey Barton was on the bench along with Enrique who had a tight hamstring.

Carroll's name was cheered by the 3,200 away fans when it was read over the tannoy at the start of the game.

It was a rowdy atmosphere at the Keepmoat with both sets of fans giving it full throttle in the early stages.

United created their first chance within two minutes when Guthrie rolled it to Routledge on the right and his cross found Carroll who headed it across goal, but Sullivan claimed with both hands.

Carroll then played in Jonas down the right but Shelton Martis hacked it clear.

The Toon Army were in great voice early on and a rousing rendition of "We're Newcastle and we're going to win the league" filled the Donny air.

Routledge then pierced the Doncaster defence and it eventually rolled to Carroll, but he scooped it high over the top with his left foot from 18 yards.

Nevertheless it was a decent start from the black and whites.

Donny tried to fashion an opening on 10 minutes as ex-Sunderland player John Oster worked his way down the left channel before seeing his shot blocked by Ryan Taylor.

Then after that Taylor lost the ball on 13 minutes and Oster nutmegged Guthrie and slipped in danger man Billy Sharp on the left.

However, an inch perfect tackle from Coloccini prevented Sharp from getting his shot in.

United then won a free-kick moments later and after Taylor's set-piece from the right had evaded everybody, Coloccini managed to salvage a corner.

Guthrie whipped it in and Carroll headed just over.

But it took a minor deflection from a Donny player and handed United their second flag kick.

Guthrie this time could only watch as Sullivan claimed it with safe hands at the back post.

A poor clearance from Sullivan fell into the path of Carroll on 15 minutes but he wasted the chance after being crowded out by Donny defenders.

Chances after that few and far between, and at half-time it was 0-0.

Newcastle started the second half still looking to find a breakthrough.

Harper's long punt was aimed at Nolan on 48 minutes but it bounced over him and out for a Donny goal kick.

It was a scrappy start to the second period but Hughton was making himself heard as he prowled the technical area.

But the Toon fans were celebrating on 59 minutes when Routledge threaded the pass through and Carroll went round Sullivan to bag his 16th of the season.

Newcastle could have doubled their lead when Guthrie crossed for Nolan but O'Connor somehow got a crucial block in inside the six-yard box on 69 minutes.

Doncaster still looked dangerous and were causing Newcastle problems in the final third.

Newcastle looked to introduce Joey Barton as the game headed into the final quarter.

The crowd was announced as 14,850. Then Barton replaced Guthrie on 75 minutes.

And there was a chant of "There's only one Joey Barton" from the travelling Geordie fans.

Despite a nervy four minutes of added time at the end of the game, United managed to hold on and go five points clear at the top.

I was at the match, and you can replay my live blog below.


I brought you all the action as Newcastle snatched a point after trailing for much of the match at Bristol City.

Thousands of Toon fans made the 600-mile round trip and their efforts were rewarded when homegrown hero Andy Carroll lurched to steal an equaliser after a below-par Magpies performance.

United almost stole it at the death but the CIty keeper pulled off a stunning save from new boy Best meaning United left Ashton Gate with honours even.

I brought all the colour from the stadium, plus regular updates from the game.

Just click below to replay my blog.


Note:

1. FA rules say I can only talk about the game at certain times.

2. We get thousands of people on here each week, and cannot publish every comment.

3. We can't publish links to illegal streaming sites so don't even ask.

4. Enjoy the game.

Scunthorpe United were easily the poorest team to play at St James' Park but as one observer pointed out shortly after the resounding victory that isn't Newcastle United's problem.

Indeed, as has been said on several occasions already this season, Newcastle can only beat what's in front of them.

They say in life what goes round comes round and for Scunny they got it back in abundance after their over zealous post-game celebrations back at Glanford Park last October.

On last night's evidence you have to ask how Newcastle managed to lose the first game to start with?!?

No matter the defeat actually worked in Newcastle's favour after they went on a four month unbeaten run.

Newcastle United 3 Scunthorpe 0

By Lee Ryder on Mar 17, 10 02:54 PM

NEWCASTLE United cruised to another easy win at St James' Park with a 3-0 victory over Scunthorpe United.

It was an impressive win for Newcastle with two goals from Andy Carroll, one from Peter Lovenkrands and a further two disallowed, but it could have been even more on a night when everyone wanted a piece of the goal action.

Newcastle now go 12 points clear of Forest as they head for Bristol City to continue the promotion party.

I was at the game to bring you all the action.

To replay my coverage, just click the link below.

Note:

1. FA rules say I can only talk about the game at certain times.

2. We get thousands of people on here each week, and cannot publish every comment.

3. We can't publish links to illegal streaming sites so don't even ask.

4. Enjoy the game.

Given the life and crimes of Joseph Anthony Barton it was no surprise that the Toon midfielder was able to take a few cat calls and cheap shots that were intermittently spewed out by a handful of Hartlepool fans during his comeback from a foot injury.

In summary Barton's return from injury was one to forget for the ex-Man City man and one that for him was all about fitness with 75 minutes under his belt.

Barton donned the skipper's armband for a young United side that are currently experiencing a bad run of form.

Joey Barton can't do right for doing wrong sometimes but the word on street is that the Scouse midfielder will opt not to talk to the media circus which will descend on Hartlepool when he makes his latest comeback from injury.

Newcastle's season is at a delicate stage and the last thing that anybody needs is something or somebody upsetting the apple cart.

And while the temptation for journalists is to get some good copy from Barton, whether it would do any good as far as NUFC is concerned is a totally different matter.

Like him or hate him, you can't ignore Joey Barton.

Well that's the Tyne-Tees ding dong over for what could be at least another season and Newcastle United were probably much, much happier with the point than Middlesbrough by the end.

At times United were poor at the Riverside but they showed they have the ability to dig in and scrape a result when it matters most and more importanly they didn't cave in.

Even a neutral could have sensed that the game meant much more to Boro and in the end it must have felt like a defeat for Gordon Strachan's side.

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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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