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Season 2010-11
Wolves (h) Premier League

In association with

Date: Saturday 2nd April 2011, 3pm.
 St. James' Park



Newcastle United


4 - 1



22 mins Mike Williamson's through ball from the right hand side of his own half was flicked forwards down the middle of the pitch for Kevin Nolan to run on to and calmly steer through the legs of Wayne Hennessey at the Leazes End. 1-0

45 mins
An attempted clearance from Richard Stearman fell to the lurking Jonas Gutierrez in centre field and he slipped the ball out to Peter Lovenkrands on the United left. The Dane crossed to the far post and Shola Ameobi headed home from close range, climbing over George Elokobi for his eighth of the season 2-0.

Half time: Newcastle 2 Wolves 0

50 mins
Joey Barton combined with Fabricio Coloccini down the United right, the defender's trickery taking him over the halfway line before supplying a slide rule return pass to Barton. His low centre was then swept home from eight yards by Peter Lovenkrands - who had just made it back from an offside position 3-0.

58 mins
A mirror image of Everton's opening goal in the last home game gave the visitors a glimmer of hope; Matt Jarvis enacting the Arteta role by finding space down the left and pulling the ball back for Ebanks-Blake, who beat Harper in the Leazes End goal with a shot strikingly similar to Leon Osman's 3-1.

93 mins
Steven Taylor broke out of his own box and raced down the left flank. Combining on halfway with Jonas Gutierrez, the winger looked set to take the ball into the Strawberry corner but instead headed goalwards, before clipping a bouncing, curling, low right-footed shot beyond Hennessey. 

Netting his second Premier League goal and first at SJP, Jonas took the congratulations of the home bench - principally Shefki Kuqi - while over on the other flank, Taylor staged his own individual celebrations

Full time: Newcastle 4 Wolves 1

We Said

Alan Pardew said:

"We are not safe, we are safer. We still have some work to do, but the win has significantly improved our position. For teams fighting for their lives at the bottom, to gain seven points is not going to be easy.

"Our goal difference is strong so we sit tonight, we can enjoy our Coke and our half a lager and look forward to work on Tuesday.

The last thing we said before we went out was, 'Whatever it takes, let's win this' and we did. Shola Ameobi, Stephen Harper, Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and even Alan Smith, who didn't play, all played their part. For a big game like this you need big voices in the dressing room and we got that.

"There's a resolve in there that harks back to the year they were relegated. That got mentioned a bit and I can understand that. A big club like this, going down - don't think it's lost on players. That has fired a few in their bellies.

"Football's a religion in this part of the world and we got reminded wherever you went - petrol station, cafe, supermarket, wherever you went - that this was a massive game. You have to wear that as a Newcastle person who works at the football club.

"You could feel the pressure in the dressing room but we've got great characters in there and we've got some great goals in the end today - deserved winners, I thought.

It was worth the wait because it was a great victory for us. Wolves are in tremendous form, coming into this game. We worked very hard not just the staff but the medical staff as well to make sure we had a team out there that was worthy of Newcastle United.

“There was one or two that were really struggling and we managed to get a good 11 out on the pitch. The atmosphere in the stadium was terrific. We put Wolves under pressure and that constant pressure told.

“I think any level of football it’s important to get the first goal. It was a good goal, Shola was magnificent all day and dominated the two centred halves, created it and Kev as you would expect finished it.

"It gave us the platform to go on, but you know when you have a young boy like Ferguson making his debut you need all the ingredients and we had that today.

“The rest of the players were on form, the stadium was positive, and we’re going to be a very difficult team to beat when we’re like that.

"You need characters to absorb that and as I say, I mentioned Fergie this boy, it’s before his time really, he shouldn’t be playing in a game of that magnitude.

“We didn’t have that many bodies today he’s come in and was absolutely brilliant. The good work the academy and the development squad have done, Peter Beardsley and Willie Donachie saw him through today because he hasn’t done much work with us. I really enjoyed his performance.

"Joey was outstanding today. I had said to him, 'I'm going to give you the armband and lead by example', but when Kev came back I thought he
(Barton) might have wished he was captain. But he played like a captain today.

"Joey had a slight calf strain but a bit of me wanted the fans to show him their appreciation. I think Joey's happy and I want him to stay but doing a deal with a player in the form he's in is not simple. He's had a career that's been difficult - and sometimes he's made it difficult for himself - but he's been outstanding.

"Shola was magnificent- he was brilliant in the air and he's got such fast feet. He's as good a striker as I've ever worked with and I've coached a few good ones, including Carlos Tevez, Teddy Sheringham and Bobby Zamora. There's no reason why Shola cannot have a fantastic end to his career."

They Said

Mick Mcmackem drawled:

"I still believe we’ll get out of trouble. We’ve got four home games left and it’s still about how many points we get. We were disappointed on Saturday but we’re back in today preparing for Everton and we’ll be better.

“It was a bad day at the office and we’re smarting but we’ve got to get ready for the next one. The performances prior to Saturday were very good and I prefer to take the positives out of those.

"The first goal was ‘Keystone Cops’ stuff. We know Kevin Nolan runs on and it was a good finish, but if that happened on a Sunday when you were watching your kids you wouldn’t be happy about it. But they’ve been brilliant recently.

"It wasn’t working so sometimes you have to change it. It was great to see Fletcher and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake play well together- they were terrific.

"Matt Jarvis got his first England cap, Kevin Foley played two games for Ireland having not played all year and Nenad Milijas played 90 minutes on Tuesday. I don’t think that did us any favours.”

"Nolan’s foul was the worst on the pitch and the most cynical, professional and pre-meditated, but it was never a sending off.”


Wolves in Toon - last 10:

won 4-1 Nolan, Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Gutierrez
drew 1-1 Bowyer
won 2-1 Kelly 2
lost 1-2 og
drew 0-0
lost 1-4 Brock
drew 1-1 Wharton
drew 1-1 Withe (FAC)
won 4-0 T.Craig, Mitchell, Cassidy, Nattrass
won 5-1 Gowling 3, Tudor, Cassidy

Full record against Wolves:

  P W D L F A
SJP 40 23 9 8 94 50
M 40 5 10 25 38 80
League 80 28 19 33 132 130
SJP(FA) 2 0 2 0 3 3
M/H/LR 7 1 1 5 7 13
SJP(LC) 0 0 0 0 0 0
M 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cup 9 1 3 5 10 16
Tot 89 29 22 38 142 146

Newcastle have now scored 36 goals in home league games so far this season - a total that's second only to the 40 that Manchester United have managed. With three games still to play, that total is already equals our highest total in the last eight top-flight seasons.

Shola Ameobi's 69th senior goal for the club puts him a clear tenth in the post-war all-time goalscorers list for the club, now one clear of Andy Cole

2008/09: NUFC after 31 games: 
29 points, 18th position (scored 36, conceded 51)
2008/09: NUFC after 38 games:
34 points, 18th position (scored 40, conceded 59)

2010/11: NUFC after 31 games: 
39 points, 9th position (scored 48, conceded 46)

2010/11: NUFC after 38 games: 

And finally, a Saturday 3pm Premier League home win - at the 15th attempt (August 2008):

Aug 2008 Bolton Wanderers won 1-0
Sep 2008
Hull City lost 1-2
Sep 2008
Blackburn Rovers lost 0-1
Nov 2008
Wigan Athletic drew 2-2
Dec 2008
Stoke City drew 2-2
Jan 2009
West Ham United drew 2-2
Apr 2009
Chelsea lost 0-2
May 2009
Fulham lost 0-1
Sep 2010
Blackpool lost 0-2
Oct 2010
Wigan Athletic drew 2-2
Nov 2010
Fulham drew 0-0
Jan 2011
Spurs drew 1-1
Feb 2011
Arsenal drew 4-4
Mar 2011 Bolton drew 1-1
Mar 2011 Everton lost 1-2
Apr 2011 Wolves 4-1





Having endured a fortnight of navel-gazing since shipping four goals at Stoke, United roused themselves sufficiently to steer HMS Newcastle into calmer waters - and leave Mick Mcmackem's men all at sea.

And at about the time that a mutiny below decks had started to give us that sinking feeling in 2009, the much-mentioned tight ship that we now run came through this particular test with flying colours, easing many of the anxieties that a run of just one victory in nine attempts had prompted.

Leading the way was captain Kevin Nolan, recovered from a bout of sickness that had seen him sent home from training on Friday and opening the scoring midway through the first half with his 12th of the season. Another trio of senior players then found the net to give the final score an emphatic air - although at 3-1 with Wolves just inches away from netting another, things weren't quite so clear cut.

Already without the suspended Cheick Tiote, Alan Pardew deemed that Jose Enrique wasn't fit enough to play and drafted in Shane Ferguson for a maiden Premier League start. Leon Best also missed out due to an ankle problem expected to require surgery, while claims that Stephen Ireland would take up a place on the bench again proved to be spurious.

Poor travellers this season - this was their 12th defeat in 16 away games - Wolves hadn't settled when Nolan netted and only troubled Harper once when Ameobi sent his side in for their half time cuppa with the job in hand well on the way to completion.  

United then once again left their opponents waiting on the pitch before making a storming start to the second half, Barton's fierce effort blocked and Lovenkrands shot against a post from a narrowing angle. However that only delayed the inevitable and the Dane duly collected a fifth of the season.   

Next to score were Wolves, which led to a bout of anxiety on and off the field, Nolan conceding a free kick that the unmarked Steven Fletcher headed wide - although TV replays suggested that Shola was fortunate to avoid sanction for a push on another opponent in the area, as the ball was delivered.

Shane Ferguson was forced off before the restart after the Wolves goal and replaced by James Perch, while Nile Ranger was introduced for Lovenkrands and managed to shank one long-range effort before picking up a booking for the stupidest of time-wasting ploys. 

United's third replacement of the game then proceeded to make it a grandstand finish, Steven Taylor linking up with Jonas Gutierrez for the latter to seal the victory with a well-taken individual goal. No mask this time though - left in the dressing room (as had been the case when he netted at Eastlands last October). Our initial thoughts were that the rubber must have perished after spending so much time in his shorts.... 

The club man of the match award went to Joey Barton -our choice after again failing to react to the intentional treatment that was only slightly less obvious than at Molineux.  

By the way, this new innovation intrigues us, as it's based on in-game text voting. Now, even if we wanted to, the continued lack of a mobile phone signal within the ground would preclude us from participating. And if others have the same problem, it then follows that only those watching the game on dodgy TV broadcasts or following it via radio were able to register their choice. Either that, or nobody voted....

While praising Barton, the manager also talked up the performance of Shola Ameobi - a lead that several newspapers were only too anxious to follow. Following the departure of Carroll, unavailability of Best and variable contributions of Lovenkrands and Ranger, it's a case of last man standing and he deserves credit after opting once again to put team before self - this time playing in a protective face mask, rather than struggling on with a damaged hip to bail out previous managers.

Forgive us however if we don't deem that his performance was quite as earth-shattering as claimed, and Fabio Capello will make a last-gasp effort to prevent our number 23 from playing for Nigeria. A good first half saw him claim one goal and one assist, while proving to be a general menace to a faltering pair of visiting centre backs who at times were as rough and ready as the man who coaches them once was.

After the break however, the powers of Ameobi and Lovenkrands rapidly waned to the point where both were confined to the centre circle and it was a toss up as to which would be withdrawn. The Dane duly departed, presumably on the premise that an almost stationary Shola would be a better target man and possessing of more nuisance value. 

The complicating factor may have been a desire to protect the fledgling Ferguson, who in the event lasted just under an hour before departing with cramp. What eventuality Shefki Kuqi therefore covers is open to question, if not a final 15 minutes of holding the ball up and tussling with tiring defenders. Snowplough? 

Our inability to last 90 minutes has become something noticeable this season and certainly isn't confined solely to Shola. Lacking access to (and any interest in) the relevant data about heart rates and lactic acid levels, that's an anecdotal observation on our part and those who disagree may advance a DVD of the Arsenal 4-4 as Exhibit A. However there does seem to be a recurring "dipping point", when we collectively - and worryingly - look out on our feet after about 75 minutes.

So at last, St. James' Park witnessed a Saturday 3pm Premier League win. Regardless of the kick-off time though, ending the run of five winless home games was of paramount importance. We should be able to breathe easier now, with the goal difference column an added boost and now almost worth an extra point.

Injury and suspension mean that we're not quite over the line yet with some unpredictable opponents to face with weakened lineups in our remaining seven games. But as a confidence booster to the players after the Stoke debacle this was immeasurable, not to mention victory-starved home fans. Four goals were a (slightly unexpected) bonus. 


Page last updated 22 March, 2017