IPSWICH TOWN 0
NEWCASTLE UNITED 4
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Craig Hope reports from Portman Road ...
KEVIN Nolan's hat-trick sent Newcastle United back to the summit of the Championship as Chris Hughton's men cruised to a 4-0 victory at Ipswich Town.
The destination of the points was all but assured following a six-minute, first-half goal glut in which the Magpies netted three times.
Nolan bagged his first on the half-hour mark, flashing an angled header beyond the flailing fingertips of Richard Wright from Ryan Taylor's whipped free-kick.
And the Scouse midfielder had a second within two minutes, this time latching onto Andy Carroll's forward chip before stepping inside the challenge of a grounded Alex Bruce and rolling underneath Wright from six yards out.
Ipswich, already on the ropes, were well and truly floored two minutes later when Ryan Taylor levered a 20-yard free-kick into the top corner to set up an unassailable three-goal cushion.
But United, and treble-chasing Kevin Nolan in particular, weren't finished there and the 27-year-old made sure of the matchball when he stooped to nod home Nile Ranger's headed knockdown after good work from debutant Zurab Khizanishvili on 51 minutes.
SECOND-HALF UPDATES (click refresh for latest)
89min - Walters is booked for a dangerous lunge on Zurab - that could have been red.
85min - Harewood's brute strength paves the way for a strike on goal from the edge of the area and the debutant stings the palms of Wright with a ferocious effort which the Town stopper does well to beat clear.
80min - Zurab denies Walters space for the cross on the right and stabs behind for a corner. Leadbitter centres but Harper steps out to fist clear. Trotter recycles possession to prolong the danger but, when his cross is met by the head of Counago, the Spaniard loops well clear of the United frame.
78min - Ryan Taylor is replaced by Ryan Donaldson.
76min - Kevin Nolan is denied a fourth as his measured lob over Wright is comfortably headed clear by the recovering Tommy Smith on the edge of the six-yard area.
75min - An ironic cheer goes up from the Portman Road crowd as Balkestein whistles a 30-yard shot wide of Harper's goal.
74min - United are cruising here and are contuing to stroke passes around to the frustration of the home crowd.
68min - Fabricio Coloccini looks to have injured his groin and hobbles out of the action with Peter Lovenkrands his replacement.
64min - Marlon Harewood is stripped and is coming on for his United bow with Nile Ranger making way - the teenager has been tremendous tonight.
61min - And Town's final substitution sees Pablo Counago coming on in place of Tamas Priskin.
60min - Another change sees Jaime Peters replace Damien Delaney.
57min - Ryan Taylor, stepping inside challenges 30 yards from goal, is felled by his blue-shirted opponents. The Liverpudlian picks himself up but cannons the resulting free-kick into the Town blockade and Ipswich clear.
51min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (0-4): And Kevin Nolan gets his treble! The goal owes much to the industry of Zurab who roars down the right flank past two blue shirts before drawing a ball back into the path of Ryan Taylor who levers a cross to the far post. Nile Ranger, unmarked, heads back across goal where Nolan stoops to nod home from point-blank range.
48min - Ranger's willingness to hassle Smith almost paves the way for hat-trick-chasing Kevin Nolan to burst in on goal but the Town defender manages to poke clear the danger in the nick of time.
No changes during the break as United get the game restarted.
What a half! United lead 3-0!
45+2min - Jose Enrique is alert to the danger as he covers in-behind his centre-havlves to toe from Leadbitter who had raced onto Walters' slick throughball - great work from the Spaniard.
There will be three minutes added time.
43min - Nile Ranger is denied a maiden Toon goal by Richard Wright as Zurab lands a right-wing cross on his head eight yards out. The Londoner guides back across goal but Wright throws his body to divert the effort clear of the target - great save.
40min - Ipswich make a change as Alex Bruce makes way for Tommy Smith.
37min - Alex Bruce is booked as he drags Andy Carroll to the floor 25 yards from goal. Ryan Taylor looks to repeat his scoring trick but this time curls wide of Wright's goal.
35min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (0-3): This is incredible - three in six minutes for United! Ryan Taylor is the scorer as his free-kick, from 20 yards out, glides beyond the out-stretched fingertips of a despairing Richard Wright.
32min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (0-2): It's two in three minutes for Kevin Nolan! This time the midfielder latches onto Carroll's forward chip into the area before checking inside the sliding challenge of Alex Bruce and sliding the ball under Richard Wright from six yards out - great finish!
30min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (0-1): Jon Walters concedes a needless free-kick on the right-hand touchline as barges into the back of Ryan Taylor. The United midfielder picks himself up to whip the resulting deadball onto the head of Kevin Nolan who flashes a terrific effort beyond the flailing fingertips of Richard Wright from the edge of the six-yard area.
25min - Zurab checks inside Delaney on the right and makes strides into the area, the Georgian attempts to stand up a cross for Andy Carroll to attack but it's the head of Bruce which snuffs out the danger on the penalty spot.
23min - Kevin Nolan, seeing Liam Trotter gallop away from him on halfway, clips the heels of the Town midfielder and is duly flashed the game's first yellow card.
20min - Still United dominate the possession stakes but are struggling to create any real openings.
16min - Enrique clips downfield with Carroll giving chase in the inside left channel. Town keeper Wright decides to come and try to intercept but is beaten to the ball by the Geordie striker. The angle is as narrow as they come and Carroll is unlucky to see his effort slide into the side-netting - what was Wright thinking?
15min - Zurab's first defensive task sees him slide to rob a marauding Colback with the on-loan Sunderland youngster looking to burst on on goal - good work from the Georgian.
11min - This has been an encouraging start from United - they look like a different team with two up front and Carroll and Ranger are proving a real handful for the Town backline.
7min - United have another corner, this time of the left flank, but again Ryan Taylor's delivery is cleared at the near post.
4min - Nolan is dispossessed 20 yards from goal but the ball rolls in the direction of Nile Ranger on the edge of the area. The striker siezes possession before rolling the challenge of Alex Bruce, that show of strength is followed by a cute turn inside Liam Rosenior to open the angle for a shot. The Londoner goes for placement over power but Richard Wright reads his intentions and dives to palm around the post - great effort from the youngster. Town clear from the flag-kick.
3min - Carlos Edwards launches a long throw to the near post but it's Alan Smith who leaps to head clear from inside the six-yard area.
Ipswich, attacking the new Sir Bobby Robson Stand, get us started.
United's players are arm-in-arm as Portman Road rises to sound a minute's applause for the clubs' former manager Sir Bobby Robson.
The last few rays of sunshine are beginning to creep away over the stand where the Toon Army are housed as the teams enter the arena - it's a balmy evening in Suffolk.
GEORGIAN defender Zurab Khizanishvili comes in for his full debut and will operate in the right-back position in the absence of Danny Simpson (ankle).
Fellow loan signing Marlon Harewood is named among the substitutes for the first time following his move from Aston Villa on Friday.
Geremi (illness) misses out, meaning Ryan Taylor starts on the right-hand side of midfield with skipper Nicky Butt, Alan Smith and Kevin Nolan completing the engine-room quartet.
Nile Ranger and Andy Carroll are paired together in attack for the first time from the start of a game.
ITFC: Richard Wright, Liam Rosenior, Alex Bruce, Pim Balkestein, Damien Delaney, Carlos Edwards, Grant Leadbitter, Liam Trotter, Jack Colback, Tamas Priskin, Jon Walters
Subs: Arran Lee-Barrett, Lee Martin, Jaime Peters, Alan Quinn, Tommy Smith, Jon Stead, Pablo Counago
NUFC: Steve Harper, Zurab Khizanishvili, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Ryan Taylor, Nicky Butt (c), Alan Smith, Kevin Nolan, Nile Ranger, Andy Carroll
Subs: Tim Krul, Peter Lovenkrands, Ryan Donaldson, Wesley Ngo Baheng, Marlon Harewood, Ben Tozer, Haris Vuckic
Referee: Mike Jones
Attendance: 27, 059