By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United 1 (Sh. Ameobi 81)
Queens Park Rangers 0
SECOND HALF UPDATES
90+5mins: Taarabt curls a free-kick too close to Krul and as the keeper kicks the ball upfield, Friend's whistle goes. Newcastle have three big points thanks to Shola Ameobi's late goal.
90+3mins: Ba takes a quick free-kick to Ameobi, who skips away from Ryan Nelson before going to ground just outside the box but referee Friend feels he dived and so books the United man.
90+1mins: Ameobi shows great skill and strength to get away from Mbia before curling a shot too close to Green.
90mins: There will be five minutes of stoppage time for United to hang onto their lead.
89mins: Perch is booked for kicking the ball away after QPR are awarded a free-kick, but Krul comes and claims the ball when it's pumped into his area.
88mins: After Ba was fouled one yard outside the box, Marveaux takes the free-kick and it zips agonisingly wide.
86mins: Clint Hill is booked for blocking off Ba as Newcastle broke again.
83mins: United break quickly from a Rangers attack and Marveaux gets to within 20 yards of goal before hitting a stinging shot which Green does well to beat away.
81 mins - NEWCASTLE GOAL: What an impact from Shola Ameobi. A few fans seemed unhappy when he came on in place of Cisse but he's done well since his arrival and has now given United a vital lead. He picked up the ball just outside the box on the right and cut inside, sending a great low shot beyond Green for his first league goal of the season.
80mins: Simpson sees a goalbound drive blocked by Clint Hill before the R's scramble the corner clear at the second attempt.
79mins: Now a final change for the away side - Shaun Derry is on for Alejandro Faurlin.
73mins: Obertan's deflected cross loops up for Ba to get a head to but it lacks the power to beat Green, who smothers it down to his right.
72mins: Ameobi is fouled on the edge of the area and Ba's free-kick hits the wall to take it wide - it may have been going in otherwise.
67mins: Anita receives the ball from Simpson on the right and sends over a wonderful cross for Ameobi to attack. He does just that but sends his downward header wide - that was a great chance for United to break the deadlock and that's what Ameobi has been brought on to do.
64mins: Tiote is booked for a shirt-pull - that's his fifth yellow of the season and therefore a ban - just before QPR introduce Junior Hoilett in place of Djibril Cisse.
63mins: A dangerous left-wing free-kick from Anita almost creeps in - nobody got a touch but it almost beat Green, who had to parry the ball away before Ba's follow-up was blocked.
60mins: Perch sees nothing on so tries a speculative shot from 35 yards which might just have been sneaking in but is held by Green. Then a fine cross from Gutierrez is headed off target by beCisse.
56mins: The first substitution of the afternoon sees Shaun Wright-Phillips replace Esteban Granero for QPR.
48mins: Taarabt drifts past four players before sliding the ball to Djibril Cisse, whose low shot skids off the turf and needs to be pushed around the post by Krul.
46mins: Today's attendance is 50,180 including 922 away fans. There are no changes for either side as United take kick off, attacking towards the Leazes end in this second period.
FIRST HALF UPDATES
45+2mins: At the end of a rain-affected first-half, it's 0-0 and there have been few chances at either end. Both teams need the points and that has been reflected in an edgy affair here on Tyneside, although at least the home side are trying to make something happen even if they're not enjoying much success as yet.
45mins: As the board goes up showing two minutes of stoppage time, Santon sees a powerful 22-yard effort deflected just wide. Then as Anita's corner is half-clared to Tiote, the Ivorian smashes his strike well wide - that just about sums the first half up.
43mins: Cisse goes for goal from 25 yards but the ball trickles into Krul's arms then at the other end, Anita cleverly taps the ball to Perch but his attempted curler goes over the top.
42mins: Anton Ferdinand becomes the first player booked as he throws the ball away to try and delay a Newcastle throw-in. The home crowd take great delight in seeing the ex-Sunderland man yellow-carded.
40mins: Another free-kick, another poor effort from Ba who boots the ball over the bar from 25 yards.
38mins: Finally the referee does award Newcastle a free-kick, but they waste it. Stephane Mbia fouls Anita just outside the box but Ba blazes the ball well over the top and into the Gallowgate.
36mins: Demba Ba's clever touch to strike partner Cisse almost releases the number nine in on goal but he is denied by a vital tackle by Fabio 12 yards from goal - only for Friend to award a goal-kick when a corner looked to be the only outcome.
31mins: Anita's inswinging corner from the left almost swerves straight in and requires a fist away from Robert Green.
28mins: Referee Kevin Friend is making no friends here - he's turned down four or five free-kick appeals for United so far, the latest when Anita seemed to be clipped by Fabio just outside the box and Alan Pardew is not happy.
16mins: Adel Taarabt, who scored twice in his side's win against Fulham last weekend, gets in a shot from a narrow angle but it's gathered by Tim Krul for the first save of the afternoon from either keeper.
9mins: Vurnon Anita's left-wing corner is met powerfully by Mike Williamson, whose looping header is nodded off the line by a defender before James Perch's follow-up is blocked. It's been a decent start from the Magpies.
6mins: Jonas Gutierrez sends over a high, hanging cross which Papiss Cisse meets at the far post but he gave Fabio, the R's right-back, a little shove in the process and so referee Kevin Friend awards a free-kick to the visitors as the striker's header goes wide.
1min: There have been Christmas carols before kick-off but that's as far as the festivities go here at St. James' Park - the rain has been falling for hours and both sides desperately need three points. The visitors are in light blue shirts and navy blue shorts while United are of course in black and white. Newcastle are kicking towards the Gallowgate end in this first period with QPR taking the kick-off.
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; James Perch, Cheick Tiote (Sylvain Marveaux 77), Vurnon Anita; Papiss Cisse (Shola Ameobi 61), Demba Ba, Jonas Gutierrez (Gabriel Obertan 61)
Queens Park Rangers (4-3-3): Robert Green; Fabio da Silva, Anton Ferdinand, Ryan Nelsen, Clint Hill; Esteban Granero (Shaun Wright-Phillips 56), Stephane Mbia, Alejandro Faurlin (Shaun Derry 79); Jamie Mackie, Djibril Cisse (Junior Hoilett 64), Adel Taarabt
Subs not used: Brian Murphy, Armand Traore, Samba Diakite, Nedum Onuoha
Referee: Kevin Friend