Lilywhites 0 Magpies 0
59 mins Matt Ritchie's
diagonal forward ball from the United left caught out defender Greg
Cunningham, whose failed header helped it on and left him helpleslly sprawled on
The onside Aleksandar Mitrovic calmly collected the ball before firing a
low right-footed effort beyond Chris Maxwell and into the far side of the goal.
Mayhem then ensued.
71 mins The lead was doubled
when DeAndre Yedlin's centre was met by Mitrovic. His initial header was parried by Chris Maxwell but the Serbian
reacted quickest to stab the rebound home in front of the exuberantly
celebrating away support
90 mins Paul
Gallagher's forward pass allowed Cunningham space behind Yedlin down the
Preston left and his low pull back from the byline deflected off Jamaal
Lascelles to beat Karl Darlow at his near post. Jermaine Beckford was
adjacent to Lascelles but didn't look to get any touch.
time: Lilywhites 1 Magpies 2
A delighted Rafa Benitez said:
"We can see the team spirit growing and that is the main thing if you want
to be strong.
"I am really pleased with the team because we are doing so well away from
"We showed great character, we made mistakes, but in the whole game we
defended well and played the counter-attack we wanted to play.
"We knew that it would be a tough game, they have beaten some good teams. So
we were ready for that and we've been working hard on defence.
"In the first half they were pushing and we couldn’t stop the
defenders getting it across the box and challenging for the first and second
"In the second half we were much better. We had more space, more
possibilities to counter attack and I think we did well until the end, when
we had the extra 15 minutes or whatever it was!
"They were pushing and pushing and we were defending and, in the end, the
main thing was to get three points and we did it.
"We did well to withstand their pressure and we used our quality to make the
"I am really pleased with the team because we are doing well away -
the players showed character and in the whole game we did well
tweeted after the game:
fought battle today.. good to come away with another 3 points.. thanks to
the fans for the incredible support
and to whoever threw the coin at me... thanks
for the 20 pence."
(The police said they'd be "reviewing CCTV images and any
culprits will be dealt with accordingly.")
PNE manager Simon Grayson said:
disappointed with the outcome because we deserved so much more.
It could have been one or three more points to the total we have collected from
a tough schedule of games.
“There were a lot of encouraging signs,
with good work off the ball and a lot of good stuff with the ball. It was a
totally different game to when we lost 6-0 at Newcastle in the cup last week.
“Playing Newcastle with 10 men, as was the
case at their place, would be a very difficult job for anyone. (Here) we
were brave, we went 4-4-2 against a strong team.
“We knew we had to have an intensity with
and without the ball and we had that. Although we should have taken something
out of the game, we can take heart from that performance.
"You look at Newcastle’s two goals,
they only came from half mistakes from us but they have the players to punish
“I thought our back four was outstanding
in the way they contained some good players. The midfield stopped Jonjo Shelvey
from playing, all over the pitch you could not fault anyone.
"I’m just disappointed that the
players did not get the rewards they deserved.”
"The referee said to me at the end if he's got it wrong he will apologise.
Well that's no good to us now! I understand it's a tough role to do, but that's a clear penalty there in
the last minute.
wouldn't go down if he's got an opportunity like that. It's cost
us from getting anything out the game.
"It was 100% a penalty - Jermaine
got on the wrong side of Hanley and he has gone to kick it without knowing
Jermaine is there.
"Hanley kicked his backside and put him
on the deck. Callum Robinson’s was a penalty as well, he has been pushed in
We didn't get the breaks with the opportunity for two penalties. You get
those breaks when you're at the top of the division."
About the coin incident:
"You don't like to see anything like that in any football match. Hopefully we can deal with it in the manner it deserves to be dealt with."
A seventh successive United win in all competitions is their best run of
form since they managed eight on the bounce during February/March 2005. It
matches the seven recorded between October and December 2009.
They've also now gone nine games without defeat in all competitions,
something not achieved since an eleven game unbeaten run between August and
HT/FT away from home this season:
Fulham 0-1 / 0-1
Bristol C 1-0 / 1-0
Derby C 1-0 / 2-0
QPR 2-0 / 6-0
Villa 1-0 / 1-1
Rotherham 1-0 / 1-0
Barnsley 0-0 / 2-0
PNE 0-0 / 2-1
NUFC in the Championship after 15 games:
2009/10 30 points (W9, D3, L3) F22, A9 1st
2016/17 34 points (W11, D1, L3) F32 A12 1st
Magpies @ Deepdale - Post WW2:
2016/17 won 2-1 Mitrovic 2
2009/10 won 1-0 Nolan
1980/81 won 3-2 Rafferty, Shinton 2
1979/80 lost 0-1
1978/79 drew 0-0
1964/65 lost 0-2
1963/64 lost 0-3
1962/63 lost 1-2 Hale
1961/62 won 1-0 Woods
1960/61 won 3-2 White 3
1959/60 won 2-1 Eastham, OG
1958/59 won 4-3 Franks, White 3
1957/58 lost 1-2 White
1956/57 lost 0-1
1955/56 lost 3-4 Hannah, White 2
1954/55 drew 3-3 Hannah, Milburn, White
1953/54 drew 2-2 Keeble, Milburn
1952/53 lost 1-2 Brander
1951/52 won 2-1 G.Robledo 2
1948/49 lost 1-2 Taylor
Four days on from our 6-0 humping of Preston, eight of the 22 players who
started that cup tie (two for PNE,
six NUFC) reconvened for a rather more engrossing and less predictable league
The post-match celebrations on the field may once again have involved some
Serbian folk dancing, but
second successive brace was the highlight of a winning Newcastle display
that was as much about guts and good fortune as stylish passes and trickery.
most optimistic Tynesider couldn't have expected that the midweek stroll against the
Lilywhites would be repeated here in Lancashire, with the absence of
hamstring victim Dwight Gayle removing the opportunity to test Simon Grayson's
first-choice XI in a different manner.
Like previous away
days at Barnsley, Bristol City and Rotherham, Newcastle
struggled for any fluency in the first half; Jonjo Shelvey particularly wasteful
in possession and the lack of any discernible threat rivaling the
Wolves home game for our least effective 45 minutes this season.
Importantly though, North
End were kept at arm's length for the most part and their tendency of
bombarding our box caused no major panics - save for one stop from Darlow
that saw the ball shoot arrow-straight high up into the air before
plummeting back to earth and being cleared.
Things began to open up in the second half, with Aleksander Mitrovic
seemingly reminded at the interval that his striking attempts needed to be
directed towards the ball not the opposition....
He had already shown some finesse in possession before latching on to Matt
Ritchie's long pass and shoot United into the lead, adding another 12
minutes later at the second attempt and pleasingly tracking back to aid the
collective efforts. We're still to be convinced that he's trustworthy enough
for the top flight, but at least he's now contributing more positively to
our cause - perhaps he'll become the 2017 David Kelly and end up at
The second goal should have sealed victory in relative ease but after Jamaal Lascelles sliced the ball past Darlow
in the dying seconds of normal time, the signaling of six additional minutes
by the fourth official gave renewed hope to home players and fans alike that
a point could be salvaged.
Some obvious time-wasting
(for which Darlow was
booked), a stoppage
missile struck Yedlin
as his head was being
bandaged and the arrivals of Grant Hanley and Christian Atsu
all combined to
take proceedings to a staggering
tenth additional minute.
By then the home side had seen a strong penalty claim rejected, with the
last act of the game a shot from PNE's Belgian defender
Marnick Vermijl that struck the outside of the post and brought waves of
relief from the away fans - an unfamiliar feeling after our recent hot streak.
They all count though and there's satisfaction to be had from grinding out
victories after rearguard actions on a day when we didn't exactly win ugly, but
only fleetingly showed our best side.
Elsewhere the news was good, Norwich and Huddersfield dropping off the pace
after 0-5 losses at Brighton and Huddersfield respectively. That left us three
points up on the Seagulls, six clear of the play-off places and
with a healthy +20 goal difference (third-placed Huddersfield are
Fifteen games in and everything looks to be on track, with the bonus of a cup
adventure that could make January a particularly manic month, especially with
players away on Nations Cup duty. That and whatever else stands in our way this
season has to be coped with, but for the first time in a long time there's a
sense that we have a strategy in place that's fit for purpose.
Playing in a bang-average league also helps, but the commitment that we often
lacked last season is now evident, even when the football is less than
Thanks to Preston-based NUFC.com reader Mark for parking