in association with
was for Newcastle
to end their run of nine winless games, so
diners had cause for a double celebration.
Sunday 26th November 2006, 1.30pm
Live on Sky
Venue: St. James' Park
Conditions: That lucky old sun shone - right in
the eyes of East Stand patrons for the first half.
1 - 0
Newcastle 0 Portsmouth 0
69 mins Ramage,
Martins and N'Zogbia all combined down the left and when Charlie crossed, Sibierski
was there to poke the ball into the Gallowgate End net. The goal was
greeted by a mass of twirling scarves, which had been handed out before
Full time: Newcastle 1 Portsmouth 0
Glenn Roeder commented:
"I’m delighted – I got the right performance and the right
“We haven’t been comfortable in the
league, but my players have shown great mental strength.
“Portsmouth have had a terrific start
to the season, but we kicked them out of the way today.
“The score-line doesn’t tell the
true story because we could have scored more goals while Shay Given had a
very quiet afternoon in our goal.”
“There are not many players who you
can compare with Kieron. He has his own style and showed today that he is
very important to this side.
“He’s exceptionally tired after this
game, but he has no problem with the hamstring that has kept him out in the
past. He deserves to stay injury-free now.
“Obafemi worked very hard and it’s
just a shame he’s so quick that the referee’s assistant wasn’t able to
recognise that he was onside. We would have had a few more goals if it
wasn’t for David James.
Over the years, all the good adjectives to describe our crowd have been
used. They’ve stayed with us.”
Speaking about the goalscorer:
"I just hope his critics
are big enough to recognise what a good signing he has been. Football is
about opinions and that’s the beauty of the game.
"He’s proved to be a shrewd piece of business. David Moyes at Everton
is a good manager and he was really upset that Antoine signed for us instead
Un'appy 'arry said:
“I’ve no complaints. We didn’t play very well and didn’t create
anything, but it looked like being a 0-0 scoreline until they got the goal.
“(David James) has been
fantastic for us this season. There is not a better goalkeeper anywhere as
far as I’m concerned. He’s top class.
"You wonder how Newcastle are struggling with the players they’ve got
- if anyone had said at the start of the season that we’d be fourth and
they’d be where they are, I’d have told them they were off their heads.
"We had a few players missing, but
we didn't play like we can.
"We didn't get hold of the ball in midfield. We didn't get hold of it
anywhere. We didn't create anything worth talking about.
"I was disappointed with the way we played. We tried to get at
Newcastle but we didn't get the ball.
"'We gave the ball away and never got control of the game. We turned
the ball over far too easily and didn't pass it like we can.
"Then we lost the ball and got hit on the break for their winner. We
didn't play football.
"'We're not kidding ourselves on who we are and what we are. We're
fourth in the league, which is incredible, really. I think we've
over-achieved a bit.
"We're fourth. We've got 23 points, which is a fantastic start. Despite
that performance at Newcastle, the lads have been brilliant."
Only our third Premiership
win of the season in fourteen attempts but we're now unbeaten
in our last five games in all competitions.
Antoine Sibierski's first league goal for us,
making it five goals in 13 games - six of those from the bench.
NUFC vs Pompey @ SJP - last 11:
Won 1-0 Sibierski
None of Pompey's contingent of old
boys played - Andy O'Brien the closest to doing so as an unused
sub. Andy Cole was injured, Lomana LuaLua also afflicted and
slightly out of favour, while Andy Griffin is on loan at Stoke.
2006/07 Won 3-0 Rossi, Solano 2 (CC)
2005/06 Won 2-0 N'Zogbia, Shearer
2004/05 Drew 1-1 Bowyer
2003/04 Won 3-0 Speed, Shearer, Ameobi
1992/93 Won 3-1 Quinn 2, Kelly
1991/92 Won 1-0 Kelly
1990/91 Won 2-0 Quinn 2
1989/90 Won 1-0 Thorn
1987/88 Drew 1-1 Mirandinha
1983/84 Won 4-2 Waddle 2, Keegan, Wharton
First time that Kieron Dyer has played 90 minutes back to back
since January 2005 (Arsenal away & Coventry at home in the FA Cup).
It's a shade over
six months since SJP was last bedecked in monochrome to this extent.
But with due deference to wee Gordon's Bhoys and our former number nine,
this was a rather more meaningful occasion than the Shearer Testimonial.
Cup form is one thing, but the real deal remains the league - and providing
satisfaction for the 45,000 or so who forked out for this last May, but had
seen precious little payback since.
Capturing and preserving that Geordie feel-good factor is what continuing
employment here ultimately depends on - be it in the dressing room or
And today everyone was happy - be they buyers or sellers.
No nasty chants directed at the director's box, at least one £10m striker
looking as if he gave a toss and some great feel-good photo opportunities of
people waving their buckshee black and white favours. All win-win for those
with their eyes on the plc prize.
Oh aye and three points, accompanied by a performance that got its deserved
Of course it all comes at a price, with half of our midfield having limped
off before the end of the first half.
Roeder's remodelled side served up a display that
only dodgy officiating and the brilliantine -barneted James stopped from
resulting in a resounding success, but his initial selection was dictated by
availability and required further adjustment as injuries continued to blight
And when the second half saw Dyer and N'Zogbia also in the wars, one
wondered whether splints and bandages might not have been a more appropriate
handout than scarves.
But the momentum (in Dyer's case perpetual motion) that we built up
ultimately saw us score the vital goal and even before that point, look as
if we were in the mood.
Martins undoubtedly benefited from having Dyer in the vicinity and from at
last receiving some passes along the ground as we played towards his alleged
Elsewhere, a left winger with a turn of pace will doubtless embarrass Solano,
but for a second time in four days he controlled our defence and influenced
our attack from the right back position, reminding people of his proven
And alongside him Bramble had one of his "on" days, with a couple
of blockbuster tackles that delighted the natives and his usual miskick rick
coming in the first half but falling neatly for Given.
And in the middle of the park, Butt slotted in neatly when required and
worked tirelessly to prevent Pompey linking up and driving forward to
pressurise us. Warm applause for him again also, as finally the Cardiff
misadventure seems to be forgiven.
Across the park there were good shifts being put in, with a special mention
for Charlie Zog, who belatedly rediscovered the form that seemed to have
deserted him this season and was still involved enough in the final moments
of the second half to be stopped in his tracks on the edge of the opposition
All of this cheered up the crowd no end, who even ended up doing a bit of
that old "twelfth man" routine - some contrast from the previous
league game, when bellyaching and catcalls culminated in a display of
discontent outside the main entrance. Today though was pure relief and
And while it's as well to point out that Portsmouth were shabby in the
extreme, our performance today was light years ahead of the inept and
gutless embarrassment of the Charlton and Sheffield United games, when we
looked on the verge of imploding.
So a welcome
outbreak of positivity on and off the field, fed by deeds not words for a
However let's only allow ourselves the bare minimum of self-congratulation,
as the Premiership continues in our absence and the pressure down at the
bottom remains unrelenting.
Losing today would have seen clear daylight between ourselves and the sides
above us - and once that gap becomes unbridgeable by one victory then the
jitters often start to set it.
By the time we face Reading here though on Wednesday week we could be right
back in the proverbial, with the cold comfort of a game in hand at Stamford
Cue that adage about marathons and sprints - but in Martins and Dyer
especially we have two players adept at the latter that can crucially
unsettle sides, not to mention our unexpected plan B (baldy).