Half time: Blades 0 United 0
Full time: Blades 0 United 1
53 mins Kevin Nolan tracked back towards the halfway line to dispossess
Kyle Walker, Ryan Taylor picking up the loose ball before thumping a 30 yard
shot that hit Chris Morgan and left former Magpie 'keeper Ian Bennett stranded over on wrong side of his goal, in front of a disbelieving
Permanent Newcastle manager Chris Hughton said:
"I have my moments, the same as
anyone, where we have been this season so far we have had to try to keep a
calmness and composure to keep everything together. Expectations are high and
there’s a lot to live up to. It was just how I felt at the time. It’s
moments like this, when you go in the changing room at the final whistle, what
we are in the game for.
"It was an ugly win. Sheffield play a
style which makes it difficult - you have to be strong and resilient. For the
majority of the game I thought we handled everything they threw at us.
“We’ve just got to make
sure we keep up the performances and stay where we are.
"We weren't fortunate. Steve Harper
made a couple of absolutely fabulous saves and that's the quality of the keeper
he is. Over the 90 minutes we deserved what we got. He's doing the business.
There are different aspects to Steve Harper. He's a Newcastle lad and has been
here for a long time, he's a very calming influence, a mature lad and a mature
player and that has been invaluable for us.
"It was vitally important we got
something from the game and my first impressions are that he (Nolan) won the
Steve Harper added:
"I think we deserved it for a collective team effort, and I have to
mention Andy Carroll was outstanding at both ends of the pitch. He got some
fantastic defensive headers in, and did a big job for us.
"At 1-0 down at home, they're going to launch bodies into the box. They
got a couple of overloads, and I was happy to keep a couple of them out. I've
been working on a few reaction things with Paul Barron, and I was happy with
"I thought the one I saved with my legs was going to be my last one, but
then the lad's headed it, and some days, they go in, and I was just happy to
keep it out.
"It was a great result. We did what we were doing earlier in the season
at Cardiff and Ipswich. We didn't do it at Forest and Scunthorpe because we
gave sloppy goals away. We know that if we keep clean sheets, we can score
goals, and so it proved.
"When you come to places like this it's important to get to half time
still in the game, because if you give them a goal it can be tough. We did OK
first half. We came in 0-0, and you've got to credit Chris Hughton for
swapping Jonas Gutierrez and Ryan Taylor over.
"He put Jonas on the right and Ryan on the left, and Ryan cuts in and
scores a winning goal. We know we can score goals. We've got a lot of
firepower and proven goalscorers.
"We've seen Ryan Taylor do it enough times against us to know he's
capable of doing what he did tonight. It was on target and took a little
deflection, and fortunately gone inside the post."
Blades boss Kevin Blackwell commented:
"I ran over a black cat about a month ago- I thought I'd got away
with it but obviously not and we've been found out. We've just got to keep
working hard and believing in ourselves because if we play like that then
hopefully, things will start to go our way and we'll get the right
"Decisions like the one we've seen out there are absolutely pivotal.
I don't think our keeper has really had a shot to save yet Harper has had
to make a couple of world-class stops out there.
"Kyle (Walker) might be out between two and six weeks. It was a foul, and of course
it's a blow because we all know what a quality performer he is. Newcastle
couldn't handle him out there. He was causing them all sorts of problems
before he had to go off and, at the back, their forwards couldn't get past
"Decisions like that change games, but we've just got to keep working
hard because, if we do that, then hopefully they'll start going for us for
"It was a foul on Kyle, the referee missed that, then Chris Morgan
inadvertently knocked it past Ian Bennett from Taylor’s shot. He did not
have to have a save to make, while Harper had to make save after save. The
two saves from Harps... the one from Henderson was world class.”
Toon @ The Lane - last 10:
2009/10 won 1-0 og(Morgan)
2006/07 won 2-1 Martins, Steven Taylor
1993/94 lost 0-2
1989/90 drew 1-1 og
1988/89 lost 0-3 (League Cup)
1978/79 lost 0-1
1976/77 drew 0-0 (FA Cup)
1976/77 won 1-0 Gowling (Anglo Italian Cup)
1975/76 lost 0-1
1974/75 lost 1-2 Keeley
1973/74 drew 1-1 Robson
Full record v Sheff Utd:
A fourth away win of the season after successes at Crystal Palace, Cardiff and
Four games we've been involved in this season shown live on SkySports
have ended in 1-0
scorelines - victories for Newcastle at Cardiff City and Sheffield United and
at home to Leicester, plus that single goal defeat at Nottingham Forest.
The last five goals Newcastle have scored have all come in the second
half of games - we've not netted in the first half since Ipswich Town, since
when we've played six games.
If some clown ever decides to rename Bramall
Lane, then the Alamo Arena would be a suitable new title - at least for the end
that Newcastle successfully defended in the second half.
After an opening 45 minutes in which the home side made - and missed - the two
main chances in an otherwise arid encounter, the second period saw the visitors
score a fortunate goal before digging in to repel boarders and surviving a
frantic finale when Harper's goal was besieged.
Three times the Magpies 'keeper made vital stops and when he denied Sheffield
for the third time, half of the home side sank to their knees in disbelief.
That came in extra time as Harper denied Henderon with a block reminiscent of
Viz icon "Billy The Fish", superbly diverting the ball round the right
hand post with his left arm.
Amidst all the plaudits that accompanied Chris Hughton's winning start to life
as our permanent manager however, he may ponder on the fact that his side
created more scoring chances when losing at Scunthorpe, a result that led to
press and fan comments that were perceived as overly negative by a number of
But it was all smiles after this game, as a second successive win banished
memories of the double away defeat at the end of last month and the three
points returned us to the top of the table.
Despite a discernible upping of the tempo after the restart from Newcastle, a goal didn't seem
likely until Ryan Taylor strode forward and tried his luck from distance,
getting just the sort of heavy deflection that we usually suffer
from (to support the theory that these things level themselves out, consider Ben Watson's
fortunate strike for QPR at SJP in late
An injury hit Blades side contributed to a full-blooded affair, but were unable
to get past Harper - also finding difficulty when forced to combat the physical
threat of Carroll and the confident forward runs of Enrique - who seemed to
have recaptured some of his early season form, but was again frustratingly
inconsistent with his final ball.
It was the return of Coloccini though that ultimately proved to be the
difference between three points and one - or none - here, giving Newcastle more
solidity and pace in that area than with Khizanishvili there and also providing
support to allow Kadar to post a more confident display.
Into the final stages and with both Ranger and Harewood on the field but the
former tracking back to emulate the defensive work of Carroll, the game was as
exciting and nerve-jangling as any we've been involved in since relegation.
The majority of the side showed ample endeavour and application tonight, but
quite what planet Gutierrez was on is open to question - never mind not being
at the races, wasn't even en route to the bookies.
If recent talk of a January departure is accurate - and like Michael Owen,
international commitments seem to be uppermost in his thinking, then perhaps
it's as well to do the deed and take the money - but it's doubtful whether we
even have the scouting network to find a replacement. Another unanswered
question, among many round these parts.
And even after being substituted, his elongated stroll towards the touchline
could still have cost us dear - that blatant time-wasting seeing additional
minutes added to the game. And equally culpable was the buffoon in the away
section who didn't throw the ball back into play late on - not as obvious as hoying an
inflatable on the field, but in its own way just as much of a potential own
While a 'roll your sleeves up and battle' attitude will see us match most of what is
against us in the league this season, the obvious and tangible benefit of some
top-drawer creativity in the team was never more apparent than on nights like
these, along with that other golden asset of pace.
The snag with appointing a defender as manager (and another one as head coach)
is that while their defensive tuition is worth its weight in the precious metal
of your choice, the other outfield departments of the side are left to their
In the same way that Carroll has undoubted enthusiasm and potential, Ranger
looks gifted but unmoulded. Who at SJP will add to his game though? Who will
pinpoint the piece of play late on when he squandered possession in front of
the opposition box and allowed the Blades to break?
Small things, but they bundle up into more significant questions of the who,
why, what variety. Continually putting the club on the market and taking it off
again hardly suggests we have a blueprint for future success in place.
We may frequently make heavy weather of it but getting back into the Premier
League looks like being the easy bit.
Top of the league yes, but a weaker club/team than the one relegated last May - and with little belief
that situation will have changed by the seasons' end, even with that missing
first choice "spine" of messrs Ameobi, Barton and Taylor back in
Maybe Ashley will explore the potential in
getting naming rights revenue from a biscuit manufacturer, given that we look
destined to become the club a Yo-Yo?