Vital Football

Latest Newcastle United News

Newcastle Utd 1 Mansfield Town 0

Newcastle Utd 1 Mansfield Town 0



NEWCASTLE UTD: Given, Carr (Ramage 58), Bramble, Boumsong, Babayaro, Brittain (Chopra 64), Clark, N'Zogbia, Solano, Shearer, Luque (O'Brien 86).

Subs Not Used: Elliott, Harper.

MANSFIELD TOWN: Pressman, Buxton, Day, Baptiste, Jelleyman, Uhlenbeek (Arnold 79), Dawson, Coke, Rundle, Russell (Birchall 72), Barker.

Subs Not Used: White, McLachlan, Hjelde.

Att: 41,459

I'm sure we all feared the worst after a dreadful first half when it was hard for work out which team was the League Two side. But Graeme Souness must be thankful Alan Shearer's historic 200th goal for Newcastle not only spared him a major FA Cup embarrassment, but it will fill the back pages, rather than an alternative that probably already written before the match!

The 35-year-old fired home from close range from Albert Luque's backheel 10 minutes from time to equal the legendary Jackie Milburn's club record total.

Shearer once beat Stags goalkeeper Kevin Pressman five times in a single game during his days at Sheffield Wednesday, but it was a measure of the League Two side's performance that he converted his only real chance. Had Pressman got hold of it, a goalless draw could have left the under-pressure Souness facing a riot. The fans were remarkably patient for 80 minutes, but the volcano was starting to simmer.

However lacklustre the performance, we remain in the hunt for the last trophy we can win this season, and last one Shearer can ever win wearing black and white. And for that we have to thank the Gods ... and one inparticular ... Shearer!

Forget Newcastle's injury problems which have been well documented, Souness still put out a side which cost around £45million to put together and which included seven full internationals. And while he promised to treat Mansfield with the utmost respect, I don't think the Stags gave much respect to the Jock, or his side. They sensed blood, and went for it fulheartedly.

But and as his millionaires walked off the pitch at half-time, Souness, who has spent the last week defending himself against intense criticism, had boos ringing in his ears once again. But he was just grateful Mansfield hadn't found a way past Shay Given, because it would have been even worse.

He insists he understands the crowd's frustration, and indeed calls himself 'Newcastle's biggest supporter', but it was sad to see his misfiring outfit embarrassingly incapable of imposing themselves on a team lying 20th in League Two.

A makeshift midfield saw Nolberto Solano lining up on the left rather than his familiar right. Lee Clark and Charles N'Zogbia also featured, as did Martin Brittain who was lightweight and criminally wasteful on the ball, leaving Shearer and the lively Luque feeding off scraps.

Despite familiar defensive concerns, goalkeeper Shay Given had only one real save to make before the break - from Allan Russell's long-range 18th-minute effort. The concern was in the middle of the park as Stephen Dawson and Giles Coke repeatedly got the better of Clark and N'Zogbia to feed dangerous wingers Adam Rundle and Gus Uhlenbeek.

Luque hardly set the place alight against the minnows, and it's games like this that you expect far more from him. But he never seems up for a fight, and today was no different. Mansfield saw far too much of the ball for the crowd's comfort, and too many players in black and white weren't up for getting the ball off them.

Carr made way for Peter Ramage and Michael Chopra soon followed him as Luque dropped in on the left side of midfield and Solano returned to his more accustomed right-sided role. By that stage, Newcastle were starting to threaten on a more sustained basis.

The post came to Pressman's rescue 16 minutes from time when Chopra deflected N'Zogbia's cross towards goal. But just as the knives were being sharpened, Shearer chose the perfect moment to draw level with Milburn.

Luque ran on to Solano's pass before backheeling the ball for his skipper to blast a low shot past Pressman and into the net as St James' Park erupted in a mixture of joy and relief.




Register on this site via the drop down menu and leave feedback to this story below or click here to join in the debates on the forum.

Go on, get vitalled!

Writer:
Date:Sunday January 8 2006
Time: 1:07PM

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Brook Not on the Slide

Recent Newcastle United Articles

Atsu Confirmed As First Summer Deal

Newcastle eventually confirmed the news that we all knew.

United Pair Miss Out On Crucial Qualifier

Scotland announced their squad for their upcoming World Cup Qualifier against England

Attentions Turn To NUFC Planning

Another training camp in Ireland may be in the works.

Mitrovic Call Up

Aleksandar Mitrovic has been called up by Serbia

Archived TOTT Articles

TOTT articles from

Site Journalists

TNMW
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

How Many Players Do NUFC Need To Survive Next Season?
Suggested By: Talk of the Tyne
None2%
1-31%
4 or 531%
6 or 742%
More than 724%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Newcastle 46 29 7 10 94 45
P Brighton 46 28 9 9 93 34
3 Reading 46 26 7 13 85 4
4 Sheff Wed 46 24 9 13 81 15
5 Huddersfield 46 25 6 15 81 -2
6 Fulham 46 22 14 10 80 28
7 Leeds Utd 46 22 9 15 75 14
8 Norwich 46 20 10 16 70 16
9 Derby County 46 18 13 15 67 4
10 Brentford 46 18 10 18 64 10
11 Preston 46 16 14 16 62 1
12 Cardiff 46 17 11 18 62 -1
13 Aston Villa 46 16 14 16 62 -1
14 Barnsley 46 15 13 18 58 -3
15 Wolves 46 16 10 20 58 -4
16 Ipswich 46 13 16 17 55 -10
17 Bristol City 46 15 9 22 54 -6
18 Q.P.R. 46 15 8 23 53 -14
19 Birmingham 46 13 14 19 53 -19
20 Burton 46 13 13 20 52 -14
21 Forest 46 14 9 23 51 -10
R Blackburn 46 12 15 19 51 -12
R Wigan 46 10 12 24 42 -17
R Rotherham 46 5 8 33 23 -58
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Newcastle United Results (view all)

Newcastle United Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Toon_NoMatterWot117
2.CuckFan75
3.keggy_keagal50
4.PieMag46
5.billybobcat27
6.Mcnamee6720
7.McCreery18
8.Rytoon17
9.Neppos16
10.The Pyrry12
Vital Football Comment