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Season 2009-10
Sheffield United (a) Championship

In association

Date: Monday 2nd November 2009, 7.45pm. Live on Sky

Venue: Bramall Lane


Admission: £26



Sheffield United

Newcastle United

0 - 1



Half time: Blades 0 United 0

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 Kop.

Full time: Blades 0 United 1

We Said

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 ball."

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 that tonight.

"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."

They Said

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.

"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.

(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 him.

"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 a change.

"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:

  P W D L F A
SJP 53 30 13 10 107 54
BL 54 8 13 33 51 99
League 107 38 26 43 158 153
SJP(FA) 6 3 1 2 11 11
BL 4 2 1 1 4 2
SJP(LC) 2 1 0 1 2 2
BL 3 0 1 2 2 7
Cup 15 6 3 6 19 22
Tot 122 44 29 49 177 175

A fourth away win of the season after successes at Crystal Palace, Cardiff and Ipswich.

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 the players.

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 September).

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 goal.

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 own devices.

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 harness.

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?  



Page last updated 03 November, 2012