Thursday, August 20, 2009

No signs of Sho stopping

Newcastle Utd 1 - 0 Sheffield Wednesday

Another goal for Shola Ameobi, his fourth of the season, secured a win over Sheffield Wednesday last night. In front of 43,509 (an attendance up almost 7000 from Saturday) Big Lad latched on to Bigger Lad's flick from a Steve Harper clearance and controlled the ball on his chest before lashing it past the Wednesday keeper in one fluid movement.

With four goals this season, Big Lad has now equalled his total for last season, and we're still in August.

Last night's match saw the two hottest goal scorers in the league at St James Park, with Shola being watched in the stands by one time team mate, and current Cardiff striker Michael Chopra.

The game itself was a far tighter affair than Saturday's romp against Reading, with Wednesday giving a far better account of themselves than the last time they played at St James Park (when we ran out 8-0 winners in Sir Bobby's first home game in charge). The visitors could even have nicked at least a point at the end, with Steve Harper producing a good save from one-time Toon target Francis Jeffers, and thereby preserving our second consecutive clean sheet.

By that stage though, we'd also missed chances to extend our lead, with Ryan Taylor and Kevin Nolan both going close, whilst Big lad also could have added to his early goal, only to see his header excellently saved.

The only change to our line-up from Saturday saw new boy Danny Simpson replace the injured ASBO, allowing Ryan Taylor to push forward into midfield. With reports suggesting ASBO might be around for Saturday's match away to Crystal Palace, and Danny Guthrie making a welcome return to the first team from the bench, competition for midfield places is something for Chris Hughton to think about.

Up front his selection choices have been slightly curtailed by a groin injury to Bigger Lad, leaving him with a straight swap for Xisco or Nile Ranger, or alternatively pushing Nolan further forward to play off Big Lad.

With Barry Moat again in attendance, and negotiations ongoing, we can only hope that a resolution to the current managerial limbo comes relatively soon - although at least his third attempt as caretaker is seeing Chris Hughton enjoy some decent results. As the increased crowd shows, it doesn't take much to get us excited about the football. We can only hope that the early season euphoria lasts.

Other reports: BBC (highlights should be available from Friday morning), Guardian


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