Escape to victory – Newcastle 3 Plymouth 1.

Posted on September 19th, 2009 | 8 Comments |

You'd think 'direct' would be our motto
You'd think 'direct' would be our motto
Well that’s certainly how it felt. I’ll cut to the chase on this one because I’ve got my GNR preparations and an early night ahead of me. And frankly most of today’s game was instantly forgettable. From Enrique’s elaborations, to Joey Barton’s wonky radar and then over to a lop-sided and blunted formation, there was much to brush under the carpet come 4.50pm this afternoon.

However, thanks to a timely substitution, the endeavour of young Ranger and the fact that Plymouth were on the whole pretty horrible, we walked away with three points and a slightly flattering scoreline. And given that results went our way, we’re sitting quite comfortably behind West Brom who hammered the Smogs 5-0 at home.

Hughton promoted Geremi and Lovenkrands into the starting line-up amidst raised eyebrows in the Upper Tier of the Sir John Hall stand. Although there was a general acceptance that Butt should be replaced by Smith in the middle of the park. The new fella started on the bench. And once again we went with an uninspiring 4-5-1 approach to the game.

However, we made a great start as Stevie Taylor headed home Geremi’s deep corner to make it 1-0 and thoughts of a romp could not be easily ignored. Despite the good start though and another effort wide and then at the keeper from Lovenkrands, our formation once again invited the opposition on and they had a few snapshots which worried Harper.

Danny Simpson made way for Ryan Taylor via a twisted ankle and while the defence was settling again, Plymouth nearly scored following Enrique’s dawdling and trying to be too clever in the box. Fortunately, when Steven Taylor diverted a cross towards goal, Harper’s mush came to the rescue. And with the home crowd growing increasingly frustrated with the pedestrian pace and lack of dyanmic ideas, the halftime whistle blew.

The visitors made it 1-1 within five minutes of the restart as the defence went to sleep and Duguid had an easy job of stabbing past Harper. That got the Plymouth team and crowd going and it nearly all went horribly wrong when a speculative shot from the edge of the box nearly ended up in the top corner of Harper’s goal but the keeper saved well.

Hughton really had no choice at this point to liven things up on the hour, but he did so to great effect bringing on Ranger, who for me should be starting games. He also brought on Guthrie, again another who should be a starter for me. Off went Lovenkrands, who is lacking match fitness and the hugely disappointing Joey Barton. Nolan slipped back into the centre of midfield, Guthrie went left and Ranger went up top with Carroll.

Instantly we started to force the issue and Ranger justified his inclusion by holding the ball up superbly well in the box to feed R Taylor, who found Guthrie on the far side. He also proved his worth, finding Nolan at the back post, who duly obliged to make it 2-1. We took more control after that although Plymouth saw a chance go agonisingly wide of the top corner before we made it 3-1. Andy Carroll reached a flick on, just inside the box and drove coolly past the goalkeeper. He nearly got his second, not long after and was really unlucky when he turned after a succession of keepie-ups and swivelled to drive a fierce volley of the crossbar.

And so it ended, 3-1 and what looks like a comfortable victory and also suggests some attacking endeavour but in reality, again it was down to poor opposition as much as anything else. Obviously there is a long way to go, before we talk of whether this squad would survive the Premiership. My feeling is that half decent side might murder us. We must take the initiative more and take the game to teams because this really was a case of escaping to victory in a game which should have been a whole lot easier.

Kudos to Coloccini though for a very cheeky meg in the 1st half. Went up in my estimations, just for that :)

But he’s also put in two decent performances against Cardiff and Plymouth today so credit where’s it due. I am worried about yet another casualty though. Geremi’s legs have gone and Barton? Where to start…


Harper, Simpson , Enrique, Smith, S Taylor, Coloccini, Barton, Geremi, Carroll, Nolan, Lovenkrands
Subs: R Taylor, Ranger, Krul, Khizanishvili, Butt, LuaLua.

Goals from – S Taylor , Nolan and Carroll


Larrieu, Sawyer, Lowry, Gray, Duguid, Fletcher, Clark, Mackie, Arnason, Sheridan, Gow
Subs: Letheren, Fallon, Judge, Timar, McNamee, Paterson, Wright -Phillips.

Goal from – Duguid

Crowd – 42,000+ (including Joey Barton for much of the game)

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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8 Responses

  1. Thanks for the report BBM. I only managed to follow the match on the BBC’s web site but got the impression that we were struggling until the substitutions.

    Still, can’t sniff at 3 points – keeps us in contention with the Baggies.