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Season 2008-09
 Middlesbrough (h) Premier League

In association with

Date: Monday 11th May 2009 
Kick-off 3pm

 St.James' Park




Newcastle United


3 - 1



3 mins Some slack work from Gutierrez saw United lose possession on the edge of their area, with Tuncay dribbling forward and shooting on goal. His shot rebounded back off the advancing Steve Harper before Habib Beye inadvertently ran it into the Gallowgate End net from six yards. 0-1

9 mins
Guthrie's corner from the North East corner dropped nicely for Steven Taylor to head for his fourth goal of the season. Closer examination proved that United had at least taken something from their thumping by Liverpool last week - Kevin Nolan blocking an opponent to give Taylor a run at the ball in the same manner as Daniel Agger stopped Habib Beye tracking Dirk Kuyt at Anfield. 1-1

Half time: Newcastle 1 Boro 1

71 mins
Mark Viduka and Kevin Nolan contrived to put the ball in front of Obafemi Martins within seconds of the striker arriving from the bench. Oba took a touch to slip inside a defender before firing right-footed into the net. Pandemonium ensued. 2-1

86 mins
United made progress down the right flank and when Kevin Nolan centred from the edge of the box, Peter Lovenkrands got between two defenders to sweep home a right-footed, first-time shot. 3-1

Full time: Newcastle 3 Boro 1

We Said

After the game, Alan Shearer commented:

"It's a magnificent feeling - it really is. I thought the players were brilliant tonight. I asked them to show courage, determination and the ability that I know they've got. They've done all of that.

"It would have been easy for them to feel sorry for themselves after going 1-0 down but they didn't let it affect them. They went on and still had the belief 
and the ability that they could go and get something.

"There were some big, big performances from big men and I couldn't ask any more from them.

"We asked them to go out and get three points - they've done that and I thought they were magnificent under difficult circumstances. 

"They've got to now go and do all that again on Saturday and enjoy that winning feeling. Hopefully there's another one there on Saturday, but it'll be just as tough, because Fulham are flying themselves.

"We've been in a rut for a little while but I've said before about the importance of confidence. I've just said to them in the dressing room: 'Enjoy the winning feeling, enjoy being out of the bottom three and make sure we don't go back in it'.

"We've won one game - let's enjoy this tonight and then we're back in tomorrow preparing for Saturday. There's still a long way to go.

"I don't want to sound negative but it was one win, we've got to get another two and make it safe. I really don't know what's going to be enough - another performance like that on Saturday will make us confident of getting three points.

"What a great arena to play football in, what a great arena to get a result like that
(in). I thought the fans were brilliant; they stuck with us when we went 1-0 down.

"It would have been easy for them to turn against us as well, but they kept with us and kept cheering us. We gave them something to smile about - it's been a long time."

They said

Gareth Southgate:

"We are in a very difficult situation now. It’s out of our hands. We’ve got two games left. We have to do what we can. But things have conspired against us just when we needed something to go our way.

"The players did everything they could - on another day it could have been different, especially after we took the lead. But it wasn’t our night, in many ways.

"Alves’ injury was symptomatic of what has been happening to us. We always seem to be battling against situations. It was a cynical foul. there was no attempt to play the ball. I think it was a crucial moment in the game, and it was us who paid the price.”



Alan Shearer's first win as Newcastle boss, coming at the sixth time of asking.

Our first home win of 2009 and the first SJP success since Spurs were beaten here in December 2008. Since then, we've lost five and drawn the other four of our games in all competitions @ SJP.

This was our first win in 11 games, since the victory at the Hawthorns 93 days previously.

We've recorded seven victories this season to date as follows: 

Aug: Bolton (h) (Kevin Keegan)
Oct: West Brom (h) (Joe Kinnear)
Nov: Aston Villa (h) (Joe Kinnear)
Dec: Portsmouth (a) (Joe Kinnear)
Dec: Spurs (h) (Joe Kinnear)
Feb: West Brom (a) (Chris Hughton/Colin Calderwood)
May: Middlesbrough (h) (Alan Shearer)

Steven Taylor
netted his ninth goal for the club in all competitions and maintained his record of never having finished on the losing side when scoring. Depending on how you count them (abandoned games etc.) his was our 3,000th top flight league goal at St. James' Park.

United managed to net three times (at the right end) in a home game for the first time since a 3-0 victory here over Reading back in April 2008.

Obafemi Martins scored his 27th Premier League goal for the club and eighth of the season - Michael Owen has also scored eight but leads the goal charts with ten, thanks to his two Carling Cup efforts.

The goal Oba scored was his first in a game against either the mackems or smoggies. It was also the first time in his 12 Premier League appearances as sub that he'd managed to find the net.

He did score when appearing off the bench at SJP in a Carling Cup game back in August 2007, taking three minutes on that occasion to convert against Barnsley.

Last time we took the lead in a game: Peter Lovenkrands, Man U (h) March 2009.

Last time we came from behind to win (anywhere): Spurs (a) 4-1, March 2008.

Last time we came from behind to win (at SJP): Birmingham City (h) 2-1, December 2007. 

Smog on the Tyne - Premier League era:

2008/09: Won 3-1 Taylor, Martins, Lovenkrands
2007/08: Drew 1-1 Owen

2006/07: Drew 0-0
2005/06: Drew 2-2 Solano, Clark
Drew 0-0
Won 2-1 Bellamy, Shearer
Won 2-0 Ameobi, S.Caldwell
Won 3-0 Speed, Shearer, Bernard
Lost 1-2 Cort
1999/00: Won 2-1 Shearer 2
1998/99: Drew 1-1 Shearer
1996/97: Won 3-1 Beardsley 2, Lee
1995/96: Won 1-0 Ferdinand

Full record against Boro:
  P W D L F A
SJP 57 30 16 11 97 57
AP/R 57 14 19 24 67 82
League 114 44 35 35 164 139
SJP(FA)* 2 1 0 1 6 4
AP* 2 1 0 1 3 3
SJP(LC) 2 1 1 0 1 0
AP/R 3 1 0 2 4 6
Cup 9 4 1 4 14 13
Tot 123 48 36 39 178 152

* includes qualifying games in 1896 & 1898


At the sixth time of asking, Alan Shearer finally came upon a team capable of getting him three points. Unfortunately for Gareth Southgate, that team was Middlesbrough.

Our previous Monday home gate had been a hyped but ultimately muted affair, when we failed to round off an encouraging weekend of results elsewhere by beating Portsmouth - missing chances before collectively running out of steam on and off the field in the closing stages.

There were to be no such problems tonight though, after Saturday's scorelines set this one up nicely - Stoke's win at Hull giving the incentive to Teesside and Tyneside alike of a victory lifting their side out of the bottom three.

And a fevered SJP boosted a larger and noisier than usual smoggie support was
in full cry by the time the teams earlier entered the field of play. The tumultuous reception lacked the fat bloke with 
the microphone (heaven knows what he'd have said to the away fans this time round) and instead of one big flag, there were thousands of them - provided by the club.
Despite taking the lead in farcical circumstances that gave rise to thoughts that we were indeed destined to be demoted, the atmosphere remained good - home support unwavering and positive.
And that faith was soon rewarded after a frantic opening period when Mark Viduka shot against the frame of the Leazes goal, before Steven Taylor drove narrowly over within seconds.

The fit-again Taylor had better luck after nine minutes however, when he escaped his marker to head home Danny Guthrie's corner and bring early relief to his colleagues and supporters alike.

Both sides then managed to tighten up but United took the initiative from then on and came closest to another goal when Viduka found Owen, whose flicked header brought the best out of visiting goalkeeper Brad Jones.

At the other end however Newcastle had a let-off, when Marvin Emnes dragged his shot wide when well-placed, after his first effort had rebounded back off Harper. Gareth Southgate was forced into a change when Afonso Alves was unable to continue soon after being caught by Butt, with Marlon King appearing on the ground where he'd scored twice for Hull City earlier in the season.  

Half time came and went with no further changes for either side and Newcastle continuing to press - both Michael Owen and Viduka sending shots across the face of goal but failing to force Jones into action. 

While the introduction of Peter Lovenkrands from the bench was to prove profitable though, the appearance of Obafemi Martins was instantly rewarded as the striker shot home within a minute to provoke wild celebrations.

After the continual disappointments and self-inflicted blows this season, that moment of good fortune may prove to be pivotal - an inspired substitution of a player whose listing as a substitute had caused some surprise, after more dark murmurings of groin-associated woe.

Given our long-standing defensive failings though and a season-long ability to turn winning positions into drawing ones, a third goal was essential - if only for the collective health of Tyneside in general and SJP in particular.

And although the visitors threatened an equaliser during some hectic moments on the edge of our area, that clincher from Lovenkrands duly arrived, knocking the stuffing out of the smoggies and send their fans towards the exits.

Third substitute Andy Carroll then twice came close to grabbing a fourth only for Jones to block both shots, as the visitors were caught on the counter attack.

The final whistle saw the United side celebrating on the field and joining Shearer in acknowledging the great support from the stands, as we banished a winless run that had extended to three months and ten matches.

Amid all the excitement and relief however, the man dubbed a messiah by some hasn't led us out of the wilderness yet - a fact he was quick to point out.

It's to our credit that this victory wasn't solely down to the performance of our opponents - who began with an alien formation that had their own fans scratching their heads, gave a player his first start in England (Emnes), suffered an injury setback and looked as disorganised and devoid of spirit as we have for vast tracts of this campaign.

However, while we rediscovered confidence and momentum and entertained our long-suffering home crowd by remembering how to score goals, more crucially we finally managed to come out on top in one of our "must win" fixtures. Forget the style, the result was everything as we succeeded in putting our fate back in our own hands. Anything but three points tonight would have been fatal

A repeat performance on the field and in the stands against poor away travellers Fulham is now required to find three more points that will enhance our chances of retaining top-flight status, regardless of results elsewhere. Tickets are still on sale for Saturday - if you can get here, get one. 

Your club needs you - this isn't over yet.




Page last updated 09 February, 2017