By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United 1 (Cabaye 35)
Reading 2 (Le Fondre 71, 77)
SECOND HALF UPDATES
90+4mins: A big, big defeat for Newcastle United and one which looked highly improbable at half-time, when the Magpies led 1-0 and could have been three or four goals up. Yohan Cabaye's free-kick was all they had to show for their dominance, though, and two second-half goals from Royals sub Adam Le Fondre gave Reading a massive three points in their battle to avoid the drop - while keeping Alan Pardew's side in the mire.
90+3mins: Bigirimana floats the ball in, Ameobi heads it down and Obertan takes a half-volley but sends it straight into Federici's hands. Then Coloccini and Kebe are both booked for squaring up.
90mins: There will be four minutes of stoppage time for Newcastle to salvage something from this match.
89mins: Bigirimana digs out a cross from the right and Ameobi gets his head to it, but can't get it towards goal as time starts to slip away at St. James' Park.
87mins: Debuchy crosses from the right, Perch flicks the ball on to Cisse and the striker blazes over from a good position. It's a bad miss from the number nine, who had a great first half but has faded somewhat in the second.
79mins: Debuchy is booked for a late tackle as frustration threatens to get the better of the Magpies.
77mins - READING GOAL (1-2): That man Le Fondre has done it again. Newcastle are suddenly behind in a game they looked sure to win in the first half as the former Rotherham and Rochdale striker curls home from just inside the box to send the away fans wild with delight and, as things stand, bring Reading to within two points of United in the Barclays Premier League table.
74mins: Cabaye shoots just wide after Ameobi's knockdown and it's the Frenchman's last action as he's replaced by Gael Bigirimana. Again, the fans aren't happy but it's his first start in more than two months so a full game was probably asking too much of the ex-Lille midfielder.
71mins - READING GOAL (1-1): With his very first touch, Le Fondre draws Reading level. Kebe was given too much space on the right and he reached the byline before crossing low. Williamson and Le Fondre went for the ball, with the Royals man getting just enough on the ball to force it past Krul from four yards out. Newcastle, so dominant and in control in the first half, now find themselves back on level terms.
70mins: Here comes Reading's second change - Adam Le Fondre is on for Guthrie, who is given a generous reception from the Newcastle supporters.
67mins: Now Stephen Kelly goes into Andre Marriner's book after jumping into Gutierrez with a very clumsy leap.
65mins: Danny Guthrie is booked on his return to Tyneside for a foul on Cabaye.
64mins: Newcastle bring on James Perch in place of Sylvain Marveaux, a move which doesn't go down too well with some of the home fans. Brian McDermott makes his first substitution too - Hope Akpan replaces Garath McCleary.
62mins: Kebe heads the ball down for Pogrebnyak to volley over in a rare Reading opening - but as it stands, one chance could be all the Royals need to draw level.
56mins: Williamson becomes the first player booked for a foul on Jimmy Kebe - it looked a little harsh on the defender, who has been excellent today, but at least Danny Guthrie's free-kick drops over the bar, although it wasn't far away.
55mins: Cabaye's right-wing corner is met by the head of Williamson but lacks the power to test Federici and a defender clears his lines. United recycle play, however, and get the ball to Cabaye 25 yards from goal but his low effort goes wide.
52mins: Ameobi curls wide from a decent position as Newcastle begin to get up a head of steam once again.
51min: The outstanding Cabaye sets Cisse away down the left and it requires a vital defensive header from the diving Adrian Mariappa to steal the ball away from Marveaux in the middle, with the Frenchman ready to touch the ball home.
47mins: A right-wing free-kick from Ian Harte is almost steered into his own net by Jonas Gutierrez but much to his relief, the ball goes behind for a corner which Tim Krul punches away, with Harte's long-range shot flying wide.
46mins: There are no changes for either side as the Royals take kick-off.
FIRST HALF UPDATES
45+1mins: Newcastle thoroughly deserve their 1-0 half-time lead and if anything it should be even more after an excellent display from the Magpies. As it is, Yohan Cabaye's wonderful free-kick is the difference at the moment as the teams head down the tunnel.
45mins: There will be one minute of stoppage time at the end of the half.
41mins: Today's attendance is 49,411 with 1,068 away fans.
35mins - NEWCASTLE GOAL (1-0): Marveaux races onto Cabaye's clever pass before being brought down by Jobi McAnuff right on the edge of the box - and Cabaye bends the free-kick home! Newcastle needed that after seeing several chances go begging and it's the very least they deserve. It's a superb free-kick from the Frenchman on his first start since November - Federici didn't even move as it nestled in the top corner - and it's his third goal of the season.
30mins: A stunning save from Federici denies Cisse. Debuchy crossed perfectly from the right and Cisse side-footed it from eight yards out but the keeper somehow kept it out. How on earth are Newcastle not at least one goal ahead in this opening first half-an-hour which they have completely bossed?
28mins: A Cabaye free-kick is half-cleared but headed back into the mixer by Sylvain Marveaux and Cisse swivels to hit a powerful strike which is just too close to Federici - either side of the keeper and he would not have stood a chance.
27mins: The Royals break from a Newcastle attack, with Garath McCleary streaking down the left and crossing low for Pavel Pogrebnyak, who sides in but can only stab wide with the visitors' first attempt of the day.
25mins: Ameobi wins another free-kick and Cabaye's delivery is decent, but Ameobi's looping header goes over the bar.
22mins: Debuchy tries his luck from fully 45 yards out on his home debut but it trickles well wide of the goal.
20mins: The snow has started to fall again - it's currently swirling around the stadium but United's start has got the home support warming up their vocal chords - there's a good atmosphere on this bitterly cold afternoon.
16mins: The Newcastle pressure continues as Cabaye's beautiful raking pass finds Papiss Cisse, whose header looks to be going in but for a fine save from Federici, who had crept off his line but managed to get a vital touch to turn the ball behind. Can United make their dominance count?
15mins: A long ball from Mathieu Debuchy completely catches the Reading defence out and allows Cabaye to run into the box but his effort towards the near post is beaten away by Federici.
14mins: Davide Santon makes progress on the left and then plays the ball inside to Cabaye, who lets fly from 25 yards with a low shot which skids off the hard pitch but is saved fairly easily by Adam Federici. Newcastle have started the brighter of the two sides.
4mins: Yohan Cabaye's free-kick from the right, after Shola Ameobi was fouled by Ian Harte, falls for Mike Williamson in the box but he fails to connect properly with the ball as he goes for the volley and so his wait for a first Magpies goal goes on.
1min: The snow has stopped, for the time being at least, as Newcastle take kick-off here at St. James' Park. It's been a fantastic effort from the club's groundstaff and the local council to get this game on and now it's down to the Magpies' players to get three vital points. United will kick towards the Gallowgate end in the first half after Royals skipper Jobi McAnuff won the toss. Reading are in all yellow with Newcastle wearing black and white.
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita (Gabriel Obertan 80), Yohan Cabaye (Gael Bigirimana 74); Shola Ameobi, Sylvain Marveaux (James Perch 64), Jonas Gutierrez; Papiss Cisse
Reading (4-2-3-1): Adam Federici; Stephen Kelly, Alex Pearce, Adrian Mariappa, Ian Harte; Mikele Leigertwood, Danny Guthrie (Adam Le Fodre 70); Jobi McAnuff (c), Garath McCleary (Hope Akpan 64), Jimmy Kebe; Pavel Pogrebnyak
Subs not used: Stuart Taylor, Chris Gunter, Sean Morrison, Jem Karacan, Noel Hunt
Referee: Andre Marriner