Monday, December 18, 2006

Two more to his total

Newcastle Utd 2 - 1 Watford

Two more goals by Obafemi Martins helped Newcastle to a further three points and lifted us to the heady heights of 12th in the league, following Saturday's victory over Watford.

Our second meeting with the Hornets saw a similar game to the first, with Watford's direct approach causing us problems, and also encouraged us to abandon our better passing game and play in a less fluid manner. The first half saw little in the way of chances for either side, with Kieron Dyer's twenty five yard shot our best effort.

Happily for Glenn Roeder, Dyer, Emre and Sibierski were all fit to start the game, and Duff and Parker were also able to come off the bench and play in the second half.

For Watford, a looping Jordan Stewart shot which looked innocuous, but forced Given to produce a decent save to push the bouncing ball over the bar, provided their best chance of the half, and with it goalless at half time, it was Aidy Boothroyd who looked the happier manager.

However, it was Newcastle who were able to break the deadlock at the start of the second half, with Butt feeding Milner on the right. The winger cut back on to his left foot, and fired in a good cross for Martins to out jump the centre half, and power the ball home from the edge of the six yard box.

Frustratingly, Newcastle were unable to see out the game, and Watford's direct approach brought dividends when Hameur Bouazza forced the ball home from a corner. Having blocked off Shay Given, the Irishman was left to gripe, but in fairness to the visitors it was nothing more than is seen on pitches up and down the country, and Newcastle should have marked the man and protected the keeper better.

With both sides pushing for a winner, Roeder was able to send Duff on down the left, and it was his ball in which eventually found Martins unmarked 15 yards out, and the Nigerian fired home his second of the game. He took his time to strike the ball, but when he did, it slammed into the net, and with it left the visitors to go home pointless.

He may have taken time to settle, but Martins is currently enjoying a rich vein of form in front of goal, and it is to be hoped that it continues against Chelsea in Wednesday's League Cup tie.

The contrast between one £10 million pound player and another could hardly be more marked, with Martins now starting to establish himself on Tyneside, and Albert Luque storming home in a sulk before kick off once he learnt that he didn't even make the bench.

Highlights: Toon goals

Other reports: BBC, Guardian


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