Scouse hitmen on target, Guti loads the bullets [Newcastle United v Crystal Palace]

Posted on August 23rd, 2009 | 4 Comments |

Scouse hitmen at work.
Scouse hitmen at work.
Even though I live in London, usually, I’d rather be flayed alive than travel to South Norwood, the home of Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park. It’s an absolute mare to get to, either struggling though all the worst that London traffic has to offer, or making around 73 changes on the train. Even so, there seemed to be a good crowd of Geordies in the away end, around three and a half thousand apparently. They were in good voice, with a little bit of rather predictable anti Ashley chanting, but some great support for the team

It seems that Crystal Palace are still in denial about being relegated in 2005, as the Premier League theme started blaring out of the PA before the game commenced, the old 2005 one too, which added a stuck in limbo feel to the proceedings.

Ameobi and Nolan got the game underway, and just while I was settling in, the custard boys go and bang one in. The ball was passed around nicely for a minute or so, then Gutierrez made an beautiful chipped pass back to Nolan, who proceeded to thread it very skillfully through the legs of the Palace keeper (Flavahan) for the best possible start to the game.

Newcastle continued generally with some attacking flair, I thought we might see a careful, cagey battle with Hughton’s 4-5-1 formation and Shola on his own, but this was not the case at all. Newcastle played an attacking game, but Palace did counter-attack, and this was by no means a wholly one sided game. Our defence was on the back foot on several occaisions, most notably in the afterglow of our goals, when we ended up being held back in our own half quite a bit. Fortunately, like some other games this year, the opposition seemed to lack the ability to make the most of their possession and chances. Sears took a decent drive which tested Harper as much as anything, then Newcastle United old boy, Darren Ambrose tried to stab in twice, the first around fifteen minutes into the game, and the second shortly after. The first one blazed over though, and the second was receved fairly confortably by a greatful Harper, who was in close attendance. It was generally another solid performance from the Easington glovesman incidentally, without anything too spectacular to test him to the limit.

Other chances followed in the first half, Shola had one or two very decent ones, but he was bit of a marked man up there on his own, however he performed a good role for the team in drawing play, and generally being a big, awkward fellow with a bit of menace. Nolan also had another very good chance around the quarter hour mark with a well taken header, forcing a decent tip over from Flavahan.

The highlight was definitely Ryan Taylor’s spectacular goal on the 25 minute mark though. Gutierrez was a key man once again, putting in a great cross to tee up Taylor, who placed himself beatifully for the shot in some space, then casually whacked it straight into the top corner, leaving Flavahan helpless. As I mentioned earlier though, this seemed to be followed by a period when Newcastle seemed to lose the initiative somewhat, and were held back in their own halves for a while, with a fair bit of set piece defending from wor lads.

The game continued in roughly similar fashion. Newcastle attacked, made some decent half chances and generally dominated the game, but it was still open, and Palace continued to snap back occaisionally. Half-time came and went and while the second half wasn’t bad, it was generally something of an anticlimax after the two goals of the first. The scariest moments for Toon probably came with three headed chances from N’Diaye, Scannell and Lee respectively. However, all three efforts were wide or over, with Palace once again not quite making the most of their chances.

Meanwhile at the other end, Shola blazed over with a bit of a wild one after being supplied with a chance by Danny Guthrie. Collocini put in some canny tackles this time, and generally had a decent game, as did Smith. While he was still tenacious and tough, chasing down alot of players, he didn’t go over the line for a change, he just, more or less, stayed on it. Despite the lack of Newcastle goals, it was also good to hear the Geordie crowd keeping up with the racket most of the time.

Hughton decided to give the young pup and the old faithful (Ranger and Butt) a bit of a run out on the grass after an hour or so, with Ryan Taylor and Guthrie being the sacrificial lambs after good performances. Newcastle reverted to a 4-4-2 atthis point and funnily enough, this seemed to tighten things up slightly. Finally, old warhorse of former glories, Geremi, came on to give Guti’s frisky legs a rest for next time. That was about it really, except for the long journey home.

Other notes:

Palace manager, Neil Warnock had a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp over three Palace bookings, (Hill, McCarthy and Lee) and reverse situations where he felt Newcastle received more lenient justice. Hughton seemed happy enough though.

My Man of the Match: Jonas Gutierrez with some excellent passing and his usual leggy, dribbling antics. Made both goals with Solano like panache.

Newcastle United

Harper, Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Enrique, Jonas, Smith, Nolan, Guthrie (Ranger, 66), R Taylor (Butt, 65). Ameobi.

Subs: Xisco, Geremi, Butt, LuaLua, Kadar, Ranger, Krul.

Crystal Palace: Flahavan, Hill, Derry, McCarthy, Fonte, Ambrose, Danns, Sears, Lee, Butterfield, N’Diaye.

Referee: Andy D’Urso

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1091 articles on this blog.

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4 Responses

  1. Good report Worky. Sound like you enjoyed it despite the journey to South Norwood!

    Good to see Jonas coming good. In the matches I’ve seen this season I have noticed he’s even had more cracks at goal himself, which his seemed quite reluctant to attempt last season.

  2. Yes good report Worky. Great to see us on a winning streak. Long may it continue! Taking about streak, don’t know if any of you saw the link i posted late last night from the Mail (I know) regarding Llambiarse’s alleged streak at St James last week after the Reading game?