Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Raylor rocket lights up Bonfire Night

Newcastle Utd 2 - 1 Everton

A battling performance on Saturday against Everton ensured our unbeaten run continued into the international break.

The only change from our win over Stoke saw Sylvain Marveaux come in for the injured Obertan Kenobi, with Danny Guthrie once again tasked with partnering Dreamboat in the middle of the park.

It was their interplay which helped us take an early lead after some slick passing between them and Saylor saw Guthrie given sufficient space to find Danny Simpson marauding down the right wing. His cross towards Leon O'Best looked likely to be cut out by Tim Howard in the Everton goal, only for Dutch defender Jonny Heitinga to stick a foot out and divert the ball into his own goal.

That lead was shortly to be doubled after a Raylor long throw was headed clear by Jack Rodwell, only for our left-back to take the ball on his chest before unleashing a spectacular half-volley over Howard and off the underside of the Gallowgate crossbar into the net. It was a stunning strike from a player who at long last looks to have found his best position.

With Mr T and Obertan Kenobi already absent, we then saw Dreamboat hobble off clutching his groin and former Everton youngster Dan Gosling came on to replace him. However, it was a different product of the Toffees' youth system who was to have the next significant role to play, as on the stroke of half-time Rodwell gained half a yard on Simpson from a Royston Drenthe corner and fired a bullet header past Tim Krul, Raylor perhaps partly culpable having moved away from the near post he looked to be covering.

With Everton back in the game, and Gosling struggling to fill Dreamboat's boots, Everton looked the more likely team to add a goal in the second half, and with first Marveaux hobbling off and then O'Best, our team became further disrupted as firstly Little Big Lad and then HBA joined the fray.

Whilst Little Big lad might have pinched one on the break, the reality was that it was Everton who continued to press for an equaliser, Gosling perhaps fortunate that a handball was missed by referee Andre Mariner. However, while Everton huffed and puffed, they couldn't blow our house down, with the hours spent on the training pitch honing the meanest defence in the league paying off, something helped by Louis Saha seemingly leaving his shooting boots on Merseyside.

Not a classic performance by any means, but another win to add to the collection, which briefly saw us elevated to second before 5unde1and rolled over and allowed Fergie's mob to tickle their tummies at Old Trafford later in the day. The international break will hopefully allow us to focus on getting Dreamboat and Mr T back near to fitness before our double-headed trip to Manchester later in the month. However, even if the unbeaten run comes to an end at the Etihad, we'll still have 25 points in November and there haven't been many times in recent years that we've been able to say that.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everton were robbed and were by far the better side. Newcastle were very lucky,and I can see them falling like a stone once they start meeting teams with decent strikers.

1:40 p.m.  
Blogger Ben said...

Yep, 'cos Arsenal, Spurs and Villa don't have "decent strikers"...

Another encouraging performance in that we had to dig deep in the face of injuries and significant second-half pressure. I must say we seem to be missing Mr T a lot less than I'd anticipated - Guthrie's been doing a grand job, and will be unfortunate if/when he's displaced.

6:20 a.m.  

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