West Bromwich Albion (h) Premiership
30 minsHaving earlier crashed a fine volley off the crossbar, Nobby Solano got the scoring underway with his sixth league goal this season.
Shola Ameobi's infield ball gave Matty Pattison a sight on goal, but the youngster opted to play in Michael Chopra to his left, who cut inside before trying his luck from inside the area. Neil Clement made a block, but the ball fell nicely in the six yard box for the Peruvian to knock it in. 1-0
40 mins Chopra was fouled on the edge of the box by Clement as they challenged for Solano's floated forward pass and for the second Saturday in succession, the linesman on the Milburn Stand side put his flag across his chest and referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot for our fourth spot kick in the last five games.
With the SJP crowd humorously shouting "Shearer,
Shearer", Solano and Shola initially seemed unsure who would take
over spot-kick duties.
Half time: Newcastle 2 West Bromwich 0
90 mins Pattison
was warmly applauded as he made way for Lee Clark and Charles N'Zogbia moved across
to a wide role. Shola Ameobi strode on to the Frenchman's pass
to fire past Kuszczak. That's four in his last four games now for Shola,
who is now just 167* goals away from beating Shearer's record....3-0
Full time: Newcastle 3 West Bromwich 0
Glenn Roeder commented:
"The win keeps us in there, the win keeps us in with a chance. I said to the players yesterday when we discussed West Brom, they would come here today with what I would describe as a 'do-or-die' approach.
"But then I also said 'but don't forget, it's do or die for us. If we don't win, we will probably go out of the European race'.
"It was do or die for both teams - thankfully, we did the doing.
"I always believe the best policy is to
be truthful, and I'd probably say Kieron (Dyer) won't be fit for the last
"That would be unfair to Kieron. We need to solve why his hamstrings after playing games tighten up and become strains.
"But as we showed today, if we have to go to war without some of our first-choice players, we have young players who want to come in a fight for the club and wear the shirt, and that's what we will do in the last two games.
"Kieron has probably now finished for
the season and it's all about getting to the root of the problem and getting him
back for pre-season fit and ready to train."
Bryan Robson slurred:
"I've been praising the lads a lot of
the way they've been playing in games recently, I think their performances have
been good and they've been a bit unfortunate not to get more out of games. But
today I didn't think we deserved anything.
"It was no disrespect to bring three on because the whole team was poor.
"I don't know whether today was the effect from not beating Bolton in the last game because the lads knew how important that was. They showed disappointment and no energy in this game.
"The only thing we did in the second half when we made the substitutions was we played with a bit more pride and played a bit more football.
"I mentioned to the lads that Newcastle had got a good squad. It was good to see all the players they'd got out but I said we should underestimate them whatever team they played.
"Their confidence was high after a good run and I said we'd have to be really up for it and compete, but Newcastle came out really well, they got balls up to Ameobi and he caused us problems.
"We didn't compete it was a really poor performance in the first half. The way the other results have gone has more or less put us down. Mathematically it is still possible for us to stay up and as far as I'm concerned we will prepare well for the game against West Ham on Monday.
"We have to make sure we win our last two games and hope the other games go for us on Saturday."
"We've put ourselves in a very difficult position in the league - but we'll keep going.
"All we can do is keep our fingers crossed on Saturday and try to get back to winning ways on Monday against West Ham.
"Whatever happens on Saturday, we have to go into the game on Monday and look to get three points. We have to get that bad performance out of our system and put on a good display.
"We don't want to let the fans down again. We were bang out of order in the first half. We've got a lot to make up for."
scheduled to be the last match of Glenn Roeder's interim stewardship of the club
brought win number ten from fifteen league and cup games and a points tally of
31 from a possible 39.
Compared to the
side that won 3-0 at the Hawthorns less than six months ago, Roeder had to
fashion a side without Owen, Shearer, Taylor, Parker, Emre and
circumstances Roeder could have been forgiven for turning to Robbie Elliott to
reprise the midfield role he once starred in (eg Norwich away, Jan 1994).
Although primarily a central midfielder Pattison started against Albion on the left flank, as Roeder moved N'Zogbia infield to his preferred position and chose to ignore reserve left winger Alan O'Brien - who had briefly featured in the first team just before Souness departed.
Luque of course was also left to languish on the bench despite notching his first goal in England on his last appearance. Whether the Spaniard would have started had Shola taken his gob doctor's advice isn't known, but the message was clear enough to the former Deportivo man, who had been reputedly less than wonderful in training.
However, it has
to be said that our mood might have been less sanguine, had our depleted forces
not been opposed by a side even more forlorn than the red and white shambles
who succumbed in such comedy fashion on Easter Monday.
after a couple of misadventures in front of goal, Shola got the crowd back on
his side again in the dying seconds with his second of the game to send most
folks home happy.