Escape to victory! – Newcastle 2 Doncaster 1

Posted on October 24th, 2009 | 12 Comments |

Nolan has stolen the three points!
Nolan has stolen the three points!
For such a relatively average game, this one managed to have a little bit of everything. And yet for the majority of it, Newcastle fans were once again left wondering whether this was going to be another long, hard season. With inept displays from Harewood, Carroll and in particular Gutierrez in the first half and everybody else just apparently and not for the first time, stuck in second gear, it looked like it might actually be a long, hard afternoon.

Once more Chris Hughton ignored what seemed to be the obvious opportunity to play Ranger but was forced into changes as Kadar came in for the injured Simpson. Nicky Butt also returned to first team action for the suspended Smith. Otherwise, we looked the same as we did against Scunthorpe, yes before someone says it, not great!!

I don’t get Gutierrez, I really don’t. For the umpteenth time I watched a game where he over-elaborated and held possession when the easiest thing and right thing to do, was to pass it. Instead he held onto the ball for far too long, got tangled up in a challenge and either lost the ball or threw himself on the floor in a heap. Anyway, Doncaster came here seemingly with every intention to try and play but with ex-Toon player, James Coppinger in the side, they never really looked like threatening. And then on 18 minutes they scored……..when a flick from James O’Connor to Sharp led to a low right-wing cross that seemed to take a deflection that picked out Dean Shiels who had the easiest of jobs to tuck it away. However, that goal was self-inflicted as Kadar had given the ball away cheaply and the defending was half-hearted.

The first half was largely forgettable as we struggled to make headway once we crossed the halfway line. They packed out the defence and we had no answer to get around them. And in they were neat and tidy when they had the ball, so we had to scrap a little. Then a rarity occurred. A decent cross came in and somehow Andy Carroll managed to skew his diving header wide of the post from six yards out. Gutierrez then had probably as good a chance as he has ever had of breaking his goalscoring duck in a black and white shirt but after a melee in the box, he slipped as went to shoot from all of ten yards, and his effort was high and wide. With that in mind and more frustrating play from Gutierrez and with Harewood both ineffective and uninterested by all accounts, Doncaster went into the break 1-0 up, as boos echoed round the stands.

The tempo in the second half was slightly better but we still looked lacking in ideas in the middle and guileless upfront. Hughton made the popular decision to haul Harewood off on the hour and replaced him with Ranger. Almost instantly we had some drive and options to aim for uptop. However, (I believe this is right) before that happened, Andy Carroll managed to miss the sort of sitter I haven’t seen in a long while. After gliding past a challenge and heading across goal, all he had to do was slide it past the keeper and yet he inexplicably spooned the shot, with his weaker foot, wide of the target, to howls of derision from the travelling supporters. It was fairly embarrassing.

However, credit where it’s due, he didn’t go hiding and when Ryan Taylor delivered a great ball into the box on 75 minutes, Carroll kept his composure and drilled a half volley into the bottom corner for the equaliser. And of course, at that point we expected to take the impetus and go on and win it. Well we did, but not before Doncaster were awarded a penalty by an altogether iffy referee. Fortunately, to the delight of me and my fellow Mags in Level 7 and everywhere else round the ground, their skipper Martin Woods managed to screw his shot as badly as Carroll and we were off the hook.

There was just about time for Billy Sharp to get himself wound-up and Khizanishvili sent off after he tangled first with young Kadar, then his centre half partner and also Nicky Butt. Somehow amongst all the handbags, as Butt and Sharp received yellows, it was obviously deemed Khizanishvili swung his harder because the assistant referee informed the ref (despite the ref being 10 yards away and the liner being 35 yards away), of something and he was shown the red card. However, rather than finishing on a sour note, after great work from Ranger and Carroll, Nolan popped up to show composure and slid the ball off the post and as the ball settled into net for the winner, 40,000 Geordies went ballistic!!

It says much for the current predicament that the loudest chant at the end was reserved for the owner and it didn’t reassure me he’ll get many Christmas cards from his paying customers. I guess it’s a shame we’re not celebrating the victories as much as we might otherwise and there’s lot of ill-feeling around still. The trains were cr*p today, the weather was cr*p today and Newcastle were cr*p today but I’m home, I’m dry and we’re still top of the league. It’s a funny old game and a funny old life.


Harper, R Taylor, Kadar, Khizanishvili, Enrique, Guthrie, Butt, Nolan, Gutierrez, Carroll, Harewood.

Subs – Krul, Tozer, Geremi, Baheng, Ranger, Donaldson, Lovenkrands.

Doncaster Rovers

Sullivan, O’Connor, Shackell, Hird, Chambers, Coppinger, Shiels, Gillett, M Woods, Fortune, Sharp.

Subs – G Woods, Dumbuya, Spicer, Oster, Hayter, Guy, Heffernan.

Attendance 43,949 (about 3000+ Donny fans – who were a little quieter than I was expecting to be honest)

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

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12 Responses

  1. Good review Bowburn. It was bad enough listening to it on the radio without having to watch it as well.

  2. This is an awesome blog. You are doing a great job, definitely trumps the ad loaded blog. After reading all the reviews form this match, not only does it sound less than impressive, it seems as the newspapers are back to ripping us…

  3. Yeah i have been watching this blog, i used to go on Ed Harrisons blog all the time but that has since been made too bloody hard to sign in and when i ask for a new password it seems impossible to make it work. plus the adverts are out of control on there now.
    Why is lovenkrands not playing? we srip and maon we have no players then sign him and never play him. He is sharper than harewood – who is crap by the way.

  4. Just read the article about Ashley needing protection from irate fans.
    Not a good thing.
    It was bad enough with the bedsheet brigade, but to physically threaten the man is both dumb and uncalled for.
    Embarrassing really, regardless of what ones opinion is.
    I`m sure most fans do not want to be associated with this.

  5. Chuck

    I agree with your comments. If it’s true (don’t forget it was in the news of the world), it mark yet another low point and will no doubt be a catalyst for the journalists to start having a go again.

  6. Splendid capsule review there BBM. Ugly, lucky wins are as much a part of any season as hard earned, beautiful ones.

    I agree about the vitriol as well, BTW, we should be cheering the team not slagging the owner….well, maybe just slag him off before the kick off!

    Oh, one more thing, I…erm…I’ve challenged Stardust to a “Blog Duel” and…erm…named you as my “Second”…..I hope that’s OK?

  7. Thanks for the report BBM. Sound like it was a dreadful game which we were lucky to scrape 3 points from but, as they say, points is points.

  8. Nice review BBM. I supppose we should be happy with the 3 points. Onwards and upwards…..

  9. So Ashley was attacked by Toon fans and had to be rescued – last Tuesday evening? Yet this newsworthy item seems totally to have escaped the media, national press, local press etc. for 4 days until the News of the Lies exposes it.! Or has their scoop reporter “Lunchtime O’Booze” only just woken up from his drunken stupor?
    Surprised that I’m sceptical?

  10. Does anyone know if the people who allegedly “attacked” Ashley spoke with southern accents and had badges with the word “Press” on them???


  11. well there’s a name from the past , craig – happy jack – chisholm , when did they let you out bonny lad.

  12. Septic.
    Don’t tell me, we’re crap &/or lucky when we win, & somehow, crap &/or lucky when we lose, is that right, or have i missed something?
    Yada,yada, yada.