Four-midable Magpies Move Closer To Title

Jonas Gutierrez celebrates as Spiderman after scoring

Coca-Cola Championship
St..James' Park
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Kick off 3pm

Craig Hope reports from St.James' Park ...


NEWCASTLE United moved one step closer to the Championship title after cruising to a convincing 4-1 victory over Blackpool.

The Magpies now require just four points from their final four matches to crown their promotion campaign as champions.

This latest success was achieved in relatively comfortable fashion and United were ahead inside 12 minutes when Jonas Gutierrez got the better of two orange jerseys before racing into the area and firing beyond Matt Gilks.

Andy Carroll then added a second on 36 minutes when he leapt to flash home from Danny Guthrie's whipped free-kick.

Gutierrez, though, was in scintillating form and was denied a goal-of-the-season contender by Gilks after the break having danced by a string of visiting defenders before sliding a low effort towards the bottom corner.

The South American then turned provider for Kevin Nolan just after the hour mark as the skipper collected his pass before rounding the visiting stopper and rolling into the empty net for his 16th of the season.

And the home scoring was complete 13 minutes from time when Wayne Routledge lashed into the far corner having ghosted by two defenders inside the area.

There was time, however, for Brett Ormerod to grab a late consolation with a close-range finish after Steve Harper had saved well from David Vaughan.

SECOND-HALF UPDATES (click refresh for latest)

Full-time: United cruise to a 4-1 victory.

90+1min - Steve Harper is forced to race from his line and block Bannan's low drill after Ryan Taylor had squandered possession allowing the substitute a strike on goal from just inside the area.

There will be three minutes added time.

89min - Ormerod lashes left-footed to the near post where DJ Campbell arrives at pace to flash a glancing header just inches wide of the base of the post - that was close.

85min - BLACKPOOL GOAL (4-1): Steve Harper does brilliantly to repel Stephen Dobie's vicious strike only for Brett Ormerod to stab home the rebound from close range.

83min - United are in firm control and look hungry for more - can Lovenkrands change his fortunes in front of goal?

77min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (4-0): Wayne Routledge gets in on the act as he drifts by two Blackpool shirts inside the area before lashing into the far corner leaving Matt Gilks no chance - super strike from the United winger.

75min - Danny Simpson makes way to warm applause to be replaced by Shola Ameobi.

72min - Carroll again lays on a chance for Peter Lovenkrands, this time squaring across goal only for the Dane to lash wildly over the crossbar from 12 yards - it's just not been his day!

71min - Andy Carroll towers to meet Ryan Taylor's right-wing centre and is unlucky when a looping header drops the wrong side of the crossbar.

69min - Joey Barton replaces Kevin Nolan.

62min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (3-0): Jonas Gutierrez turns provider for skipper Kevin Nolan as he collects the Argentine's pass on the edge of the area before dashing through Evatt and Baptiste and skipping around the grounded Matt Gilks and slotting into the empty net for his 16th of the season.

59min - What does Peter Lovenkrands have to do to score? Again Carroll drops a pinpoint cross on his brow but again Gilks is equal to the Dane's powerful 12-yard header.

57min - Danny Guthrie is booked for a foul on David Vaughan.

55min - Jonas Gutierrez is terrifying this Blackpool defence and again he dances between a succession of orange jerseys. Stepping inside Baptiste he strikes on target from 12 yards only to be denied a goal-of-the-season contender by Gilks who dives to save. The ball spins loose but somehow the stopper manages to scramble and force wide from Peter Lovenkrands after he had stormed in to turn the rebound on goal. Nothing comes of the flag-kick.

52min - Carroll, collecting possession on the left flank, lifts an inch-perfect cross onto the forehead of strike partner Peter Lovenkrands on the penalty spot. The Dane steers a controlled header beyond the reaches of Matt Gilks but the ball bounces off the upright and Blackpool clear.

48min - Gutierrez glides by two orange shirts before his progress is curtailed 25 yards out by a desperate Coleman challenge. Ryan Taylor whips the free-kick around the visiting wall and only a flying Matt Gilks denies the substitute a goal as he palms around the upright - good save. Guthrie's corner is turned goalwards by the head of Carroll but the striker's effort bounces narrowly wide.

No further changes during the break and it's Blackpool who restart.


Half-time: United lead 2-0.

45+1min - Carroll and Lovenkrands combine midway inside the Blackpool half as the Geordie clips a pass over the visiting backline for the Dane to chase. Lovenkrands accelerates away from Evatt and is unlucky when a first-time strike bends away from Gilks' far post with the keeper beaten.

There will be one minute added time.

43min - United build down the right and when Routledge digs out a cross it's headed away for a corner by Evatt guarding the near post. Guthrie hoists towards the penalty spot where Andy Carroll climbs to turn a header narrowly wide of Matt Gilks' frame - good effort.

39min - And Taylor almost lays on a goal for Guthrie as his whipped near-post centre is met by the head of the midfielder only for the ball to somehow fly wide of the target - he should have scored.

37min - Before play restarts Ryan Taylor replaces the injured Tamas Kadar.

36min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (2-0): Danny Guthrie is felled by Taylor-Fletcher stupidly shoving his opponent in the back on the left-hand fringe of the area. Guthrie picks himself up to deliver a pacey free-kick which is helped home by the brow of Andy Carroll as the ball flashes beyond a static Matt Gilks.

33min - You have to say Blackpool are on top and Mike Williamson is again forced into some last-ditch defending as he arrives at the near post to cut out Adam's teasing centre with Burgess lurking just yards from goal.

30min - Charlie Adam is pulling the strings for the visitors from the middle of the park and he works room for a shot dragging inside Nolan 30 yards out. The Scot fires goalwards right-footed only for the effort to deflect up off the outstretched leg of Mike Williamson and land safely in the palms of Steve Harper.

26min - Steve Harper is incensed as he appears to keep the ball in play only for a linesman's flag to award the corner. Charlie Adam delivers out-swinging but Southern, arriving at the near post, merely succeeds in stabbing well wide.

24min - Geordie midfielder Keith Southern takes aim 25 yards from goal but drags a low effort across the turf and again Steve Harper is able to save with comfort.

20min - Stephen Crainey is booked as he climbs on the back of Routledge after the United man had given him the slip on the East Stand touchline.

18min - DJ Campbell is sprung clear and has just Steve Harper to beat. The on-loan striker gets away his shot with Williamson making strides to recover but the effort is scuffed and Harper falls to save with ease.

15min - Mike Williamson does well to arrive on the penalty spot and snuff out the danger after Stephen Crainey had forced his way into the area.

12min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (1-0): Tamas Kadar rolls a ball down the left touchline for Jonas Gutierrez to chase and the Argentine gets the better of two Blackpool defenders as he emerges with possession from a three-man tangle. The winger bursts into the area before firing beyond Matt Gilks via the leg of Ian Evatt from the angle of the six-yard area - cue Spiderman celebration!

10min - Routledge burns by Coleman down the right but fails to pick out either Carroll or Lovenkrands who had arrived in anticipation in the area.

7min - Gutierrez is chopped down by David Vaughan 25 yards out after galloping infield from the left. Guthrie lays to Coloccini who juggles before trying to play in Routledge with a cheeky lob. It's certainly inventive but sadly the pass is read by Burgess who arrives to head clear from the United winger.

5min - An angled wedge from Charlie Adam catches United flat footed at the back. Taylor-Fletcher steams onto the pass but fails to find the target with a first-time volley which whistles across the face of goal and away for a goal-kick.

2min - Andy Carroll gets an early sight of goal 20 yards out but his strike smashes into the backside of Jonas Gutierrez and Blackpool clear.

The Magpies get us started attacking the Leazes End.

It's a glorious day here on Tyneside as the teams emerge onto a sun-kissed playing surface.


CHRIS Hughton is forced into one change from the side which beat Sheffield United on Monday with bug victim Jose Enrique replaced by Tamas Kadar.

The Hungarian comes in for his ninth start of the season and will occupy the left-back slot vacated by the Spaniard.

Other than that it's a case of as you were with Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson completing the back four.

Wayne Routledge, skipper Kevin Nolan, Danny Guthrie and Jonas Gutierrez line up across the midfield, while Andy Carroll and Peter Lovenkrands are again paired in attack.


NUFC: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Tamas Kadar, Wayne Routledge, Danny Guthrie, Kevin Nolan (c), Andy Carroll, Peter Lovenkrands
Subs: Tim Krul, Ryan Taylor, Alan Smith, Leon Best, Fabrice Pancrate, Shola Ameobi, Joey Barton

BFC: Matt Gilks, Stephen Crainey, Keith Southern, Ian Evatt, Ben Burgess, David Vaughan, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Alex Baptiste, DJ Campbell, Charlie Adam (c), Seamus Coleman
Subs: Billy Clarke, Brett Ormerod, Mark Halstead, Jason Euell, Rob Edwards, Barry Bannan, Stephen Dobbie

Referee: Mike Russell
Attendance: 47, 010

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