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Season 2016-17
Derby County (h) Championship

In association 

Saturday 4th February 2017, 3.00pm

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Uplifting


Newcastle United

Derby County

1 - 0




27 mins Matt Ritchie advanced down the United right and played a pass infield that Aleksandar Mitrovic chested down and laid off to Mo Diame. He returned the ball to Mitro and his lay-off saw Ritchie thump a left-footed shot from the edge of the box, deflecting off Bradley Johnson and looping past Carson in the Leazes End goal. 1-0

Half time: Magpies 1 Rams 0

Full time: Magpies 1 Rams 0

We Said



Rafa said:


"The fans have been amazing for me all year and I'm happy if they continue singing my name, but also supporting the players. If the players win I win, and if the players win the fans win.

"It was important they realised that they can make the difference in a game like this. From the start they were ready to back the team and cheer the players.

"The players responded to it. We started the game well and the fans were happy with that. You could feel the atmosphere when we scored the goal and the fans know the players will run a little bit more if they can feel this support and this atmosphere.

"We played good football for a while and every three points is important. It doesn't matter how you get them. 

"In the end we had to defend really well against a really good team to get the points that we deserved."

On Mitrovic:

"He was turning and itís not easy. You canít say the goal was open and there were no players around. He was turning and itís not easy to know exactly. 

"The main thing was we created chances - we had players there and we are creating, if we are creating chances eventually we will take them.Ē

On Diame:

"He was making a difference, he was doing really well. After (Isaac Hayden went off injured), we lost a bit of this control, because in these areas he was a threat. 

"We needed to manage
(it). It was a decision we had to make during the game. We had to do it."

On Hayden:

"Itís his ankle - he tried to be fit. We knew that we had one less day to recover and we would maybe have some problems with players, but he did really well. 

"He was the only one before the game that he could be a risk with his fitness and also his ankle."

On Lascelles:

"Heís fine, heís just had a little bit of discomfort in his groin. We also wanted to protect him and Grant
(Hanley) was training well. 

"Weíre happy, because in the end we gave an opportunity to Hanley and rested Jamaal."

They Said

County boss Steve McClaren said:

"It's a great club, with great supporters; the staff have always been good, and the same with the majority of the players.

"So it was always going to be a difficult afternoon. But I was just focused and concentrated on the game. We go away with nothing and move on.

"I'll have a glass of wine and a good conversation and it will be very interesting, but it's private - very private."


Matt Ritchie made it 12 club goals so far this season (eight in the Championship) and six in his last four league and cup starts.

Newcastle completed a third league double of the season to date, Derby County joining Brentford and Rotherham United as teams beaten home and away.

The Rams haven't won at SJP since January 1989 - of 12 league and cup visits since then, seven have ended in home wins and the other five resulted in draws.

United enjoyed a 1-0 interval lead for the thirteenth time in 36 league and cup games this season. They've gone on to win 11 of those, drawn one (1-1 Villa away) and lost one (1-2 Forest away). 

Following selection as back-up to Matz Sels for the FA Cup ties against Birmingham City (h) and Oxford United (a), Rob Elliot was preferred to the Belgian as bench cover for Karl Darlow - his first involvement in a league match squad since March 2016 (mackems h).

Rams in Toon - last ten:

Won 1-0 Ritchie
2008/09 Drew 0-0
2007/08 Drew 2-2 Viduka 2
2001/02 Won 1-0 Shearer (pen)
2000/01 Won 3-2 Cort, Cordone, Glass
1999/00 Won 2-0 og(Eranio), Shearer
1998/99 Won 2-1 Dabizas, Glass
1997/98 Drew 0-0
1996/97 Won 3-1 og(Hoult), Ferdinand, Shearer
1992/93 Drew 1-1 O'Brien
1991/92 Drew 2-2 Hunt, Quinn




Star in stripes

Matt Ritchie's deflected shot put Newcastle back on top of the Championship but once again it was a nervy final few minutes at St. James' Park on Saturday.

Conceding in the final seconds of Wednesday's home game against QPR cost United victory and former manager Steve McClaren almost saw his Rams side snatch a point following a frantic final five minutes. 

DeAndre Yedlin was the hero with a goal line header to deny ex-mackem Darren Bent deep into added time, seconds after the Rams had claimed a penalty when Jamaal Lascelles tangled in his own area with visiting 'keeper Scott Carson.

TV replays showed that Carson - who had avoided punishment after rushing from his box to upend Ayoze Perez moments earlier - actually wrestled Lascelles to the ground rather than vice versa, and thankfully another bumbling oaf of a referee called it correctly.

Following a tumultuous week, a sold-out SJP roared the team on to the field and continued vocal backing of players and their manager throughout a first half that Newcastle totally dominated.

Newcastle made three changes; Lascelles, Perez and Daryl Murphy dropping down to the bench in favour of Grant Hanley, Mo Diame and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Responding to the backing from the stands and given every encouragement by a circumspect Derby side, United attacked almost at will, but their shots were either lacking power, direction - or both. 

That changed on 27 minutes though, as Ritchie advanced down the right and played a pass infield that Mitrovic chested down and laid off to Diame.

Making his first start since returning from African Nations Cup duty, Diame returned the ball to Mitro and his lay-off saw Ritchie thump a left-footed shot from the edge of the box, deflecting off Bradley Johnson and looping past Carson in the Leazes End goal.

A second goal should have followed soon after when Jonjo Shelvey picked out Isaac Hayden's run and his pullback for Diame saw him volley powerfully towards Carson from 12 yards.

Into the second period and the Magpies soon missed a further opportunity to put daylight between themselves and the visitors; Mitrovic screwing his 48th minute shot wide from close range after Ritchie had nodded Paul Dummett's left wing centre into the Serb's path.

Hayden's enforced replacement soon after - and a lack of central midfield options on the bench - would affect United's forward flow though and they clearly lost the initiative as Perez arrived and Diame dropped back.

Perez almost made amends for his wastefulness in midweek when latching to a quickly-taken Shelvey free kick just after the hour mark - only for Richard Keogh to intervene and block his goalbound shot.

McClaren's side had barely tested Karl Darlow, but the closing stages saw them enjoy their best period - Tom Ince somehow slicing his 80th minute effort wide of the target when an equaliser seemed inevitable. Ikechi Anya then almost reached a cross from fellow substitute Abdoul Camara, Darlow relieved to see his attempted block hit Anya and bounce out of play.

Crucially the home fans stuck with their team and were almost rewarded with a breakaway second goal in the third minute of added time; Perez set away by Shelvey and galloping forward before shooting from 40 yards as Carson rushed upfield to deliberately collide with him.

With no assistance from his assistant, referee Darren Bond gave United a corner for the deflection off a recovering defender that sent Perez's effort wide - totally ignoring the blatant foul by Carson. Incredible.

Then came the late drama in Newcastle's area, with a chorus of The Blaydon Races echoing around before the final whistle sounded amid great jubilation.

Benitez took to the field to congratulate his players, acknowledge the crowd and berate the officials - seemingly for Carson's attempt at winning a penalty rather than the fact he was still on the pitch at all.

A long way from the greatest 90 minutes we'll play this season, sharper opponents could well have brought this Geordie love-fest crashing around our ears. This was a victory by the narrowest of margins.    

But none of that mattered at full time, with a joint effort from those on and off the field seeing us over the line on what was a hugely enjoyable afternoon. 

A demanding away schedule in the coming weeks will provide a thorough examination of our character and resolve, but today was a day of positives - not least the encouraging news about Dwight Gayle's fitness.


Page last updated 09 February, 2021