Monday, March 08, 2010

Six of the best

Newcastle Utd 6 - 1 Barnsley

Mark Robins' Tykes came to Tyneside boasting one of the division's better away records, but left with the tails very firmly between their legs after an almighty thrashing on Saturday.

After a pretty sluggish start, the game changed just before half-time when Lovenkrands ran on to Fabrice Pancrate's through-ball and went down in the box as he tried to evade the challenge of Barnsley 'keeper Luke Steele. With Steele sent for an early bath, Lovenkrands picked himself up and hammered the resultant penalty past substitute 'keeper David Preece.

So, 1-0 up at half time and playing ten men, things looked pretty rosy.

Thankfully, with the comfort of our home record behind them, the team cut loose in the second half. Firstly, Bigger Lad latched onto a bad mistake by the Tykes' right-back to cross for Lovenkrands to nod home his second. Then Danny Guthrie, enjoying a rare start in his favoured central midfield role, fired home from 25 yards.

Minutes later, Gutierrez slalomed in from the left before firing a right-footed shot into the top corner and, after 19 months of waiting, he finally pulled the fabled Spiderman mask from the recesses of his shorts and fired webs at the crowd in celebration. It may only be his second goal for the club, but like his first, it was a real cracker. Unlike the mask which, to be honest, looked a bit rubbish. Still, if he keeps firing goals like that, I'll be happy to see it many more times.

Guthrie then added a fifth (his second) with a free-kick that went past everyone before creeping in at the far post (Bigger Lad optimistically trying to claim in skimmed off his hair band...) Finally, a long ball from Tamas Kadar found its way to Kevin Nolan who rounded Preece to slot home our sixth.

Frustratingly, Danny Simpson still had time for a shocking defensive header which allowed Daniel Bogdanovic to deprive us of a clean sheet.

With West Brom losing, the win extended our lead at the top of the table, and also boosted our goal difference. It also showed the confidence currently coursing through the squad's veins, with Lovenkrands, Spidermag and Danny Guthrie all turning in excellent performances.

On the minus side, Jose Enrique's return from injury only lasted 33 minutes before he limped from the field to be replaced by Kadar. It's to be hoped that he won't be missing for too long.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian


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