Halloween hat-trick! Stoke City 1-3 Newcastle United match report and highlights

Posted on November 1st, 2011 | 26 Comments |

Steven Taylor and Demba Ba.
The man in the mask salutes hat-trick hero, Demba Ba.
Venue: Britannia Stadium, Sir Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-upon-Trent.
Date: Monday, October 26th, 2011.
Kick-off: 8:00pm.
Referee: Mike Dean.

Demba Ba’s second hat-trick of the season powered Newcastle United to a 3-1 victory at the Britannia Stadium and up to 3rd place in the Premier League.

Stoke usually start apace at home but it was us who made the running from the off today and Stoke’s defence of a strange flick from Obertan to nobody in particular gave us our first corner within 2 minutes. Our first attempt came to nothing but Stoke only managed to clear for another corner and from this one Ryan Taylor fashioned himself a chance with a long shot that was wide and high, although not by all that much.

Most of our play was up the right and Best and Obertan looked busy in that area but the deadlock was broken with a move started by Tim Krul. A Stoke attack led to a goal kick, with which Krul found Guthrie. Guthrie put the ball into space on the right of the box and Obertan caught Stoke sleeping, chipped a lovely ball across the box right onto the head of Demba Ba who made no mistake finding the net after only 12 minutes. 0-1 to us.

Stoke tried to respond to the deficit and there was a worrying game of pinball in our box soon after. Don’t ask me who did what but the ball rattled around for a while and eventually escaped for a corner, which Stoke put out harmlessly for a goal kick.

A moment of confusion between Steven Taylor and Tim Krul nearly gifted them a goal, but fortunately Krul got the ball just before Stoke could and hoofed it out for a throw-in.

Demba Ba started making a bit of the running up the left but he was himself nearly gifted a goal when a Stoke defender slipped. Unfortunately he couldn’t quite beat the keeper to the ball.

Stoke made an early substitution in the 19th minute, taking off Ryan Shawcross and bringing on Matthew Upson, presumably due to some injury although I didn’t notice anything.

Most of Stoke’s attacking was via their typical long throws but they weren’t really worrying us and Krul was catching or dispatching a lot of them without too much trouble. On the break from one of these, a cracking ball from Cabaye nearly put Ba in again but he was just beaten by the keeper.

One Stoke attack did produce a worrying moment as Krul failed the gather the ball and fumbled it out for a corner but Stoke seemed to be wasting a lot of their possession with ‘hopeful’ passes that came to nothing, although Etherington cracked in stormer of a shot that forced Krul to save.

Stoke are generally dangerous from set pieces but they wasted a free kick just outside the box by crossing it far to the right, which was defended easily.

Jonas wasn’t having much luck taking the ball up the left today and was often being closed down by two or three players but every other aspect of his game was excellent. He was defending superbly, tracking players back and cutting off many of the Stoke attacks.

We extended our lead on in the 49th minute when Captain Colo passed a great ball to Leon Best. I think Best took a shot but fumbled it, however the ball rolled beautifully across the box for Demba Ba to get his – and Newcastle’s – second of the night. 0-2.

Stoke made their second substitution of the match, taking off Wilson in the 41st minute and bringing on Huth, who I think was one of their better players tonight.

Krul had to deal with one hideous corner where the box was packed with bodies in front of him and somewhere in the melee, Ryan Taylor took a (accidental) thumping crack to the head which had him dazed for about 5 minutes. So much so in fact that Santon started stripping off his tracksuit in preparation. Taylor was okay in the end though, if a little dazed for a while.

Best shot one wide of the post, which pretty much brought the first half to a close.

Second half

Basically now it was a matter of putting the game to bed for us. Stoke hardly troubled us the first half, but they started the second half with a bit more verve and urgency.

Having not had too much luck up the right with most of their attacks in the first half, they started coming up the left more in the second and forced Krul to punch a save. Stoke started looking a little more dangerous from their trademark long throw ins this half and there were a few worrying moments where Krul failed to collect the ball and there was a bit of scramble to clear the ball.

Stoke pressured us a bit from a few long throws and corners and at the end of one of those Ryan Taylor got decked again, this time by a knee in the side. He certainly earned his money in bruises tonight.

We didn’t seem to be making as much forward progress this half, although we had our moments. Obertan is frustrating sometimes as he gets into good positions and then does something totally unexpected with the ball which confuses our own players as much as the opposition.

Stoke put a very dangerous ball across the cross and absolutely nobody – either on their side or ours – managed to get a boot on it but fortunately it went out for a goal kick. It’s fair to say that the this half was Stoke’s so far, although they had no goals to show for it.

That was about to change though. From a Stoke corner Ba put his hands in the back of Huth and after he went to ground all too easily, the referee pointed to the spot for a Stoke penalty in the 75th minute. Jonathon Walters stepped up and netted the penalty to bring Stoke back into the game. 1-2.

Stoke were up for it now and we looked a tad sloppy for a while. Pardew substituted Cabaye for Perch on 78 minutes and Perch was booked for a studs-up tackle within seconds!

We got our revenge for their penalty on 81 minutes when Best was given the lightest of pushes and went down in the box. It was soft – like Stoke’s – but the referee pointed to the spot and Ba made no mistake and claimed his second hat-trick of the season. 1-3

That pretty much wrapped the game up for us. Ba played in Obertan on the right of the area and his shot missed the far post by about 6 inches. Best didn’t have a brilliant game but he worked hard and was substituted for Sammy Ameobi on 86 minutes.

Stoke had a couple more attacks. One down the right forcing Colo to make the clearance and Crouch thumped one over the bar from another attack, but the fat lady had sung by then and it was just a matter of the clock ticking down. Dan Gosling came on for Guthrie in the dying seconds but that was it.

We definitely had the better of the first half and I think Stoke did more of the attacking in the second, although they didn’t trouble us too much. It was a good victory for us though. Not many teams take points away from the Britannia stadium but we have tonight and deservedly so.

Despite Ba’s hat-trick, Jonas was the outstanding player for me. He was strangled a lot with his usual runs down the left but he was both tireless and effective in his defensive duties.

Bring on Everton I say!

Goals and match stats

Stoke City: Jonathan Walters 75 (Pen).
Newcastle United: Demba Ba 12, 40, 81 (Pen).
Men of the match

Demba Ba and Jonas Gutierrez.

Yellow / Red cards

Stoke City:None.
Newcastle United:James Perch (Yellow, 78)


Stoke City: 56.3%.
Newcastle United: 43.7%

Stoke City (4-4-2): Asmir Begovic (G), Andy Wilkinson, Ryan Shawcross (Matthew Upson 19), Jonathan Woodgate, Marc Wilson (Robert Huth 41), Jermaine Pennant, Glenn Whelan, Rory Delap, Matthew Etherington (Kenwyne Jones 68), Jonathan Walters, Peter Crouch.

Subs: Thomas Sorensen, Robert Huth, Kenwyne Jones, Dean Whitehead, Matthew Upson, Cameron Jerome, Wilson Palacios.

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul (G), Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini(C), Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor; Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye (James Perch 77), Danny Guthrie Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez; Demba Ba, Leon Best (Sammy Ameobi 86).

Subs: Rob Elliot (G), Davide Santon Santon, James Perch, Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux, Hatem Ben Arfa, Sammy Ameobi.

Stoke City vs Newcastle United match highlights.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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26 Responses

  1. I really enjoyed when Perch came on and BOOOOM, yellow card. Think he looks better in midfield than at RB or CB. Though obviously he is not anywhere near the starting lineup. Jonas was fantastic today, defensively. Solid by Guthrie as well, and Colo… Well Colo was his usual self; flawless. Flair players on for Everton-match. Benny, Marveaux.

  2. Superb match report Hugh, especially so as you did it in such a short space of time.

    Aye Erland, some very good performnaces, but I noticed Guti more than anyone else, even though Ba scored a great hat-trick! They both thoroughly deserved their men of the match awards.

  3. were having a dream season so far, long may it continue !!! Ba looks set to proves his doubters wrong , many said he would score 15 a season he is well on course, would love to see Leon bag a few as well but hey Best is racking up the Assists … Toon for life through thick and thin

  4. Full credit to the Toon for a quality performance. They looked composed and like a team worthy of their position in the league. However, sooner or later, especially if this keeps up, we’re going to have to start appreciating Alan Pardew for what he has brought to the overall balance and style of the team. And if that continues throughout the season, why, even Mr. Ashley and Mr. Llambias might start looking like a couple of long lost friends…!
    p.s. Thanks for the write-up Hugh. Good one.

  5. It was Crouch that flopped for the penalty.

    Jonas offered little in attack tonight … yet was still one of the top players on the pitch. Superb defensive help for Raylor, as he has done all season.

    Guthrie didn’t play too poorly either. One of the biggest concerns about this fast start was what would happen when the inevitable injury came. Considering that it was Tiote, who I would have ranked as our most indispensible player considering his return to proper wrecking ball form and the number of goals that we’ve conceded without him in the side in the League Cup, it has to be encouraging to weather the loss of a key player like that. Well done Danny boy (not Danny Simpson, who is crap)

  6. Yeah the side seems to be jelling and playing for each other,Ba is incredible fast and has a great positional awareness , looks like he’s on his way to a hell of a season.
    But it would be unfair to start singling out players , for the most part everyone in the side put out a tremendous amount of both effort and energy in this game.
    Long may it continue.

  7. Good match report excepting “when Best was given the lightest of pushes and went down in the box”

    He stayed on his feet to his credit and still won the penalty…I think our first of the season in the premier league

  8. Obertan’s cross for the first goal was sublime and Best had two assists on the night (though the second was for getting pushed in the back). Great to see us spreading the love even if it all went through Ba in the end. And great to hear that Guthrie did a fine job in for Tiote. Great to see him getting games and contributing again. it’s encouraging to see a variety of players stepping up to the plate (is that a kind of mixed metaphor?) and making valuable contributions.

  9. Oh ! bye the way, did anyone notice how both the width and length of the playing area of the pitch had been shortened.
    It was obvious, as the old lines were clearly visible.
    I estimated the length had been shortened at both ends by about a combined total of between 15 and 20feet.
    The width by a combined total of at least 10 feet or more.
    I realize there are both minimum and maximum size requirements, but is it allowable to change the size to possibly gain an advantage over particular sides ?

  10. Danny Simpson is not crap, our players have the internet and none deserve to read that there crap by there own supporters. All our players are amazing.

  11. chuck says:
    November 1, 2011 at 2:42 am

    “Oh ! bye the way, did anyone notice how both the width and length of the playing area of the pitch had been shortened.”

    Aye Chuck, I noticed before the match started because the gadgie doing the live text updates on the club website said so.

    As far as I know thay just have to be at least to the minimmum requirements, and the requirements for the Europa League are somehat bigger than those for the Premiership.

  12. I thought Danny Simpson put in a great “shift” this evening. Not sure why people are calling him crap. He’s also a member of the best defensive side in the Premiership. Kudos Danny.

  13. chuck says:

    “Oh ! bye the way, did anyone notice how both the width and length of the playing area of the pitch had been shortened. It was obvious, as the old lines were clearly visible. I estimated the length had been shortened at both ends by about a combined total of between 15 and 20feet. The width by a combined total of at least 10 feet or more”

    The irony of course is that Stoke lacked width yesterday mainly because the wingers couldnt get away from the pair
    of players surrounding them at every touch of the ball.

    Even though we won I can honestly say that Stoke’s up and at em style is not pleasant to watch and why they get plaudits for their rough house tactics (sticking a player right in front of the keeper, effectively obstructing him) is beyond me :(

    Surely even die hard Stoke fans have to see that once their manufactured style of play is nullified they aint got a lot left to offer ?

  14. I remember a few years ago Souness at Rangers did something similar for a european game. The opponents had a couple of speedy wingers so he reduced the pitch width to the minimum as described by FIFA/UEFA to counteract the threat of the wingers, and it worked. It’s all within the rules I’m afraid.

    The strange thing about yesterdays game is that Stoke as usual relied on the long throw game to try and bully us, and we stood our ground admirably. Once they got it on the ground and stared running at us I got a bit worried, but Pullis took too long to work it out. His legacy in years to come will be this boring long throw stuff…horrendous. Ditto Delap….that’s his trick…effective against lesser teams, but not against the toon this time round I’m afraid !

  15. “Demba Ba, Superstar! How many goals have you scored so far?!”

    That’s the winning song for me, made famous in the Supermac days !!

  16. Ba Ba Demba, can you score a goal?
    Yes Sir! Yes Sir! Three at a stroll,
    One against Blackburn,
    One against Stoke,
    Want one against the Mackem twats,
    but they’re a fkn joke.

  17. Hugh – great report, many thanks – I’ve copied & saved it to read again!
    Worky – thanks for the videos!
    Pardew – thanks for showing me how to pick & coach a team properly!
    Stoke – thank you for yeilding your home record virginity to us – it was sweet and I will still respect you in the morning!
    Everton – look upon fortress St James’ and tremble!
    NUFC – thanks lads – the boys are back in town!

    we are the NU the NUFC


  18. Hugh – I wouldn’t know how to do it but you obviously have a talent, keep it up mate there’s too much rubbish written by hacks who don’t have a clue!

  19. Aye, it was crouch that flopped in the box, we scored the second in the 40th min, Best ‘flicked on’ to Obertan for the first & Best didn’t gan doon in the box.

    Soz Hugh, i’m being a pedantic get i know.