Monday, September 21, 2009

Back on the road

Newcastle Utd 3 - 1 Plymouth Argyle

Goals from Steven Taylor, Kevin Nolan and Bigger Lad ensured Newcastle returned to winning ways on Saturday, and moved second in the table with a win over Plymouth Argyle.

Chris Hughton's response to the midweek defeat at Blackpool was to drop Ryan Taylor, Nicky Butt and perhaps most surprisingly Danny Guthrie to the bench, with Geremi, Peter Lovenkrands and suspension-free Alan Smith coming in to replace them.

Having set off in the middle of the night, any Plymouth fans arriving a fraction late to the match would have missed Steven Taylor nodding home Geremi's corner unopposed in the fifth minute. From there, we allowed the visitors to come back into the game, and whilst we preserved our slender one goal lead until half-time, it was Argyle who started the second half better, and collected an equaliser through Karl Duguid.

However, the goal at least spurred us back into action, with Smith picking out Bigger Lad, who in turn found substitute Guthrie with a deft flick. Given time and space, Guthrie was able to cross to the back post for Kevin Nolan to head home from one yard.

Bigger Lad, now partnered with Nile Ranger, was clearly keen to celebrate the birth of his first born (which presumably now makes him Bigger Dad?) by getting on the scoresheet, and duly did so, controlling the ball on his chest and hammering home with his left foot to ensure a long journey back to the south coast for the Argyle fans (presumably all chauffeur driven by Paul Whitehouse). It could have been worse for the Pilgrims, had his acrobatic overhead kick not crashed back off the crossbar.

With Boro being thrashed by the Baggies, the win saw us open up a three point cushion over the forces of Smogness, and got us back on track quickly after Wednesday's blip. Next up are Ipswich on Saturday, when - once tribute has been paid to Sir Bobby Robson - we have to be ruthless in extending Keano's side's miserable winless run.

Other reports: .com, BBC, Guardian


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