16th April 2001 3pm.
but Blue Skies....
32 mins. Solano
turned back a low right-wing cross to Cort who side-footed a close range
volley into the Leazes goal. 1-0
Newcastle 1 West Ham 0
56 mins. A
cross hit the outstretched arm of Nigel Winterburn and Durkin pointed to
the spot. Solano calmly slotted the spot-kick to Shaka's right side once
Nobby had seen him dive the other way. 2-0
80 mins. A
pincer movement by Caldwell and O'Brien on Song in the area was deemed illegal,
the main perpetrator, Lampard strode up purposefully and leathered it past
Full time: Newcastle 2 West Ham 1
A clearly relieved Uncle
"We are going to enjoy the
victory. It's very important for us. It has ended a poor run, a depressing
run, a sad run.
"It has been the worst run that I
have had since I came here two years ago, in fact I can't remember ever
picking up two points from 21 in my career as a manager.
"I'm glad it's over and we should
really now pick up some more points and finish higher than where we
Robson then went on to talk about Alan
progress and Mr Steadman's allowed Alan to start a little bit of light
training but he does not want it to get warm or flare up again.
"It looks as though he might not
be available all season, and he might have to do an operation.
"He will decide whether to
operate again or build up his quads and progress with light
"In my head I have (written
Shearer off for the rest of the season), but he hasn't."
"If Steadman finds it has settled
down, he won't operate unless he needs to because every time the knife
goes into you it's a setback."
Not-so-'Appy 'Arry was
asked whether his Irons were safe :
"Not at all,
I wish we were. I think we still need another result.
"Coventry are having a right go
and I could see them certainly getting 40 points and I think we need a win
still for sure."
"Once we lost Kanoute
it was always going to be a struggle. We had no strength up front, no
pace, and he's important to us the way we play away from home.
"I had to push Joe Cole up there,
he's not a front man and it became more and more difficult."
The World was a younger place, Goma &
Dyer were in our lineup and Andy O'Brien was more concerned with the
machinations of the Bradford one-way system the last time we won at home.
With the Leeds away victory coming shortly afterwards, Bobby's period in
the wilderness had extended to 86 days before Cort and Solano managed to
score the goals that beat a frankly stinking West Ham side.
Pre-match portents were good, with the return of Dabizas and absence
through suspension of Stuart Pearce, as well as an injury to Di Canio that
meant once again, he avoided having to play up North. However, inside ten
minutes Newcastle were forced into a change when Barton limped off with an
Achilles problem. The omission of Hughes (not picked) and Griffin (groin
problem) from the bench meant that Steve Caldwell made his entrance, and
yet another new defensive lineup was chalked up.
After one or two miscues, Caldwell contributed to the United victory from
his unfamiliar right full back position, and when Mr Solano deigned
to join him out on the flanks, things started to get moving. With
Acuna also out of the starting lineup, Speed was able to revert to his
more usual game of linking up with the forwards, not having to worry about
stray Chileans haring upfield. Alongside him was Bassedas, who impressed
for a change and probably deserves to retain his place in the side.
With the game kicking off in virtual silence and a noticeable lack of
atmosphere evident, it was as well that the Magpies scored first, and the
ball in from Nobby was a beauty, meeting Cort's boot as the forward struck
his third comeback goal with a well-timed run.
Given in the United goal was a virtual spectator, as Dabizas especially
set about his task with determination and glee, his hard tackling approach
not the expected action of a man returning to the fray after an eight
month absence. The Hammers didn't seem to be able to raise themselves
after the opening goal, and their second half showing was little better.
The much-hyped Joe Cole appeared to be averse to passing the ball (the
white LuaLua?), while returning Geordie Michael Carrick won't look back on
this display with any satisfaction.
After the penalty award and Solano's strike, for a brief period the
visitors threatened to cave in completely, with the determined though not
especially fleet-of-foot Gallacher causing havoc and unlucky not to add a
third. Shaka Hislop, who had been well received by the toon fans both
before the start and when he took up his position for the second half in
the Gallowgate goal, also made a crucial save from Cort.
With things going so well, Shay Given might have been forgiven for
thinking that this was the day that he finally kept a clean sheet at club
level, but almost inevitably he was beaten from the penalty spot, the
fourth such award in five games. That was the signal for a last ten
minutes that had frantic patches, but never really saw West Ham manage to
threaten an equaliser despite throwing men blindly forward.
Newcastle looked once or twice as if they would punish the visitors on the
break, but didn't quite mange to, substitute Acuna failing to tumble over the line
with the ball from close range - perhaps we might have got a try for that
With the unwashed from down the road losing again and yet more scandal
concerning their players about to hit the streets, this victory couldn't
have come at a better time, and we can only hope that it's the springboard
for a creditable performance down there next Saturday.
As well as local pride, I feel a strong sense of civic duty for my fellow
EU citizens, and firmly believe that we should do everything possible to
prevent the mackems from despoiling European cities next season. This
country has a bad enough reputation without unleashing hordes of ne'er do
wells on the European mainland, with their own particular brand of Royston
Vasey parochialism. And nasty cheap trousers.
PS - aside from the scoreline, the highlight of the day has to be the
frank exchange of views in the second half between a Milburn Stand fan and
Nigel Winterburn. Said aged player was waiting for the trainer to leave
the field before taking a throw-in when he was distracted by one of our
fans, who appeared to be blowing kisses to him. Winterburn singularly
failed to see the funny side of this, and appeared to pass a few comments,
which resulted in the crowd in that area joining the kiss blower in
winding up the by-now obviously agitated Winterburn.
He eventually took the throw and cocked it up, but was allowed to continue
by an equally flustered referee, who then took the opportunity to have a
quiet word with the player. All harmless and frankly hilarious stuff, and
a good deal better than chucking petrol