NEWCASTLE UNITED 2
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Craig Hope reports from St.James' Park ...
FABRICE Pancrate smashed a late stunner to cap a spirited 2-0 victory for ten-man Newcastle United as they extended their winning run to six matches.
The Geordies saw Kevin Nolan given his marching orders shortly after half-time for a second bookable offence and it looked like a nervy finale was in store for the hosts.
But United's rearguard stood strong amid heavy Hornets pressure and Pancrate put the result beyond doubt when he spun in the penalty are before rattling an unstoppable drive into the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar.
That was after Peter Lovenkrands, with his second in as many matches, slotted Chris Hughton's men into a 20th-minute lead following good work from Marlon Harewood.
The win sets up a 10-point lead over third-placed Nottm Forest with Coventry City next up on Wednesday.
SECOND-HALF UPDATES (click refresh for latest)
Full-time, 2-0 United!
88min - Harper has to scramble to palm clear Henderson's header and the clean sheet is preserved.
83min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (2-0): What a goal! Fabrice Pancrate holds off two yellow shirts before spinning and smashing into the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar from 10 yards out - it's the Frenchman's first for the club and wins an almighty roar from the Toon Army!
80min Lansbury works an opening for Cowie but the midfielder slices high into the Gallowgate End from 20 yards.
78min - Enrique stands up a far-post cross and Andy Carrol does well to soar above Cathcart but his downward header bounces up into the arms of a well-placed Loach.
77min - Nathan Ellington is coming on for Watford with Danny Graham the man headed for the dugout.
73min - Danny Graham beats the offside trap but is denied a leveller by the instinctive boot of Steve Harper who stands strong to block - great save.
71min - The Magpies' final change sees Fabrice Pancrate replace Danny Guthrie.
70min - Still United cling to their slender lead - this could be backs-to-the-wall stuff during the final 20 minutes.
66min - Cleverley is proving a real handful and his clever feint steals a yard for a shot inside the area but Harper is equal to the low drive and palms behind for a corner. Steven Taylor heads clear the flag-kick and United breathe a sigh of relief.
65min - Nicky Butt is coming on with Peter Lovenkrands making way - Guthrie has reverted to the right flank and Butt will anchor the midfield.
63min - Henri Lansbury is booked for what you can only assume is ungentlemanly conduct as he waves in the face of Enrique as the Spaniard prepared to take a throw-in.
62min - A high pump into the United penalty area falls invitingly for Cleverley and the young midfielder dispatches a first-time volley just inches wide of Steve Harper's far post - that was close.
57min - Carroll is in the thick of the action and is upended by Cathcart on halfway with the Man Utd youngster seeing yellow.
56min - And the Geordie forward wins a loud roar from the Toon Army as his first involvement is to power clear a header from Eustace's corner.
55min - Chris Hughton is furiously plotting how to reshuffle his 10-man Magpies and decides to introduce Andy Carroll with Marlon Harewood making way - United are 4-5-1 with Carroll the lone frontman.
52min - Guthrie is felled on the edge of the area and is unlucky not to double United's advanatge when, from the resulting free-kick, Scott Loach leaps to first clear the midfielder's goal-bound bender.
49min - NEWCASTLE RED CARD: Kevin Nolan is harshly shown a second yellow card by referee Jonathan Moss; the Liverpudlian having already commited himself to a sliding challenge to retrieve possession when Lansbury nicked in to steal before tumbling over the midfielder's out-stretched leg - Nolan is furious and rightly so.
46min - Enrique and Gutierrez swap passes on the left and the Argentine is away in behind Hodson. He swings a cross to the near post where a fast-arriving Peter Lovenkrands turns a sharp side-footer into the side-netting - that was a good move and maybe deserved better.
There's no changes for either side during the break as Watford reconvene for the second period.
And half-time arrives with United leading thanks to Peter Lovenkrands' 20th-minute effort.
There will be two minutes added time.
41min - What seems like a harmless chip forward has sprung Heidar Helguson clear. The Icelandic forward strides towards goal before attempting to guide a low side-footer beyond Steve Harper. The Toon stopper has retreated to the edge of his six-yard area rather than come to challenge and that decision proves justified as he shoes the effort wide of the target - great save.
38min - A stray arm leaves Kevin Nolan flattened on the United penalty spot and there is a break for the midfield man to receive treatment from physio Dave Henderson.
35min - Nolan has a go with a free-kick from range but the Liverpudlian fails to beat the yellow-shirted wall.
31min - Enrique goes by Hodosn with ease and the angle opens up for the shot. It may be on the Spaniard's weaker right foot but still he manages to pack his effort with enough power for a desperate Cathcart to dive and divert a header away for a corner. Loach comes to fist Guthrie's delivery clear of the penalty area.
28min - Kevin Nolan is flashed yellow by referee Jonathan Moss as he leaves John Eustace in a heap on halfway with the Watford man clutching his ankle.
24min - Smith is penalised for a climb on the shoulders of Lansbury right on the fringe of the United penalty area. Cleverley lines up the resulting free-kick and is unlucky when his bender brushes the roof of Steve Harper's goal.
20min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (1-0): It's Peter Lovenkrands who nets the opener but the goal owes everything to Marlon Harewood; the Toon frontman chasing down a lost cause before sliding to block Scott Loach's attemped clearance with the ball squirming into the path of the Dane who is left with the simplest of tasks in tapping home from six yards.
19min - And the Argentine is again at it as he burns down that East Stand touchline before seeing his cross headed high into the Gallowgate End by Cathcart. United waste the corner as, after Guthrie works short to Enrique, the Spaniard hoists his cross high and away for a goal kick.
16min - Gutierrez wins United's first corner as he outsmarts Hodson on the right flank. Guthrie whips to the near post but it's the shaven head of Lansbury which towers to glance clear.
14min - Watford have come right back into this and United have been chasing shadows for the past five minutes or so.
10min - Danny Graham bursts into the area and knocks by Steve Harper. The Geordie forward is forced wide but manages to direct a shot on goal only for Steven Taylor to recover and stab from the line - great work from the United man.
8min - Enrique tears down the left flank and serves up an inviting centre for Lovenkrands 12 yards from goal. The Dane connects but the first-time volley bounces into the turf before travelling wide.
7min - Guthrie hooks a pass inside full-back Doyley allowing Simpson to cross. The loan full-back opts for speed rather than precision but his low, zipped delivery is blocked by the instep of Cathcart and Watford clear.
4min - Harewood's clever flick frees Kevin Nolan inside the area but the Scouse is unable to add to his nine-goal tally and shoots straight at Scott Loach.
3min - The opening exchanges have been played out entirely in the Watford half and Marlon Harewood wins a loud cheer from the home crowd as he slides to block Cathcart's attempted clearance.
United get us started attacking the Gallowgate End.
NEWCASTLE United are unchanged from the side which won 3-0 against Swansea City here at St.James' Park seven days ago.
That means the continuation of strike partnership Marlon Harewood and Peter Lovenkrands who were both on target against The Swans.
Steve Harper has recovered from the back injury which forced him off in that game and takes his place between the posts.
Andy Carroll (illness) and Nicky Butt (calf) return to the bench, but there is no place for Shola Ameobi who must now look to Wednesday's trip to Coventry City as his possible return date.
NUFC: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Jose Enrique, Danny Guthrie, Alan Smith (c), Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Marlon Harewood, Peter Lovenkrands
Subs: Tim Krul, Zurab Khizanishvili, Ryan Taylor, Andy Carroll, Nicky Butt, Nile Ranger, Fabrice Pancrate
WFC: Scott Loach, Adrian Marippa (c), Henri Lansbury, Don Cowie, Danny Graham, Heidar Helguson, Lloyd Doyley, Tom Cleverley, Craig Cathcart, John Eustace, Lee Hodson
Subs: Scott Severin, Jon Harley, Richard Lee, Dale Bennett, Liam Henderson, Nathan Ellington, Jay Demerit
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Attendance: 43, 050