MATCH REPORTS

United Sign Off With Victory

Peter Lovenkrands scores against QPR

QUEENS PARK RANGERS 0
NEWCASTLE UNITED 1
Coca-Cola Championship
Loftus Road
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Kick off 1pm

Craig Hope reports from Loftus Road ...

FULL-TIME WHISTLE

NEWCASTLE United signed off from their title-winning season on a victorious note as Peter Lovenkrands scored the only goal at a rain-soaked Loftus Road.

The Magpies also smashed the 100-point barrier for the first time in the club's history as they finished the campaign 11 points clear of second-placed West Brom.

The second-half was barely 60 seconds old when former Magpie defender Peter Ramage was sent off for a trip on Shola Ameobi with the United man clean through on goal.

And that man advantage eventually told in the 70th minute when Joey Barton's through pass was dinked home in nonchalant fashion by Lovenkrands.

Tim Krul, making his first league start for the club, was then called into action at the other end as he saved from Jay Simpson after the QPR man had found himself in on goal.

The full-time whistle was followed by more memorable scenes as the United players and fans enjoyed one last celebration ahead of their return to the Premier League.

SECOND-HALF UPDATES (click refresh for latest)

And the full-time whistle brings the curtain down on a memorable campaign which ends in winning fashion.

90min - The Toon Army are in full voice away to our left as a banner "Proud to be a Geordie. We'll support you evermore" is unfurled in the away end. That's the same banner which was at Villa Park 12 months ago - what a contrast in mood!

88min - Radek Cerny denies Peter Lovenkrands a second as his low sweep, from Ryan Taylor's centre, is kept out by the Czech stopper at his near post.

84min - Ryan Taylor becomes the second United name in Darren Deadman's book as steams in to upend Josh Parker on halfway.

80min - And Vuckic has a chance to mark his outing with a goal when Wayne Routledge slides a low pass to his feet 12 yards out. The Slovenian works the ball onto his favoured left boot and is unlucky when his curler zips narrowly wide of Radek Cerney's far post.

78min - United are making a double change with Andy Carroll and Haris Vuckic replacing Shola Ameobi and Haris Vuckic.

76min - Joey Barton fails to crown a fantastic United move as Wayne Routledge's raking, crossfield ball is cushioned into his path by Danny Guthrie. The Scouser, 12 yards out, has just Radek Cerny to beat but the Czech stopper is equal to his low side-footer and saves with relative ease.

74min - Jay Simpson is sprung clear but Tim Krul dashes from his line to spread his frame and block the striker's attempted chip - that was a big save from the young Dutchman.

71min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (0-1): Joey Barton supplies a slick through ball for Peter Lovenkrands to give chase. The angle is against the Dane but he produces a nonchalant dink to clear the flailing arms of Radek Cerny to give the visitors the lead - that was some finish for his 16th of the season.

67min - The pace with which the second-half started has now relented and we're seeing something more akin to your stereotypical final-day affair.

63min - This game is becoming stretched and you'd be forgiven for thinking there are less than 21 men out there. QPR take advantage of a gaping space in the United midfield and Priskin carries forward from the centre circle. The striker has options to his left but selfishly opts to shoot and his 20-yard effort loops wide.

60min - You would never guess this is an end-of-season affair with both sets of supporters in full voice.

58min - The hosts have been galvanised by Peter Ramage's dismissal and the home crowd are getting right behind their team.

57min - Mike Williamson is booked for a tug on Ephraim on halfway.

56min - Tamas Priskin has the ball in the net as he bursts clear and chips over Tim Krul. Home celebrations are cut short, however, by a linesman's flag which rules the striker offside.

54min - And the Dane will replace the injured Leon Best who looks to have suffered a muscle strain of some description.

52min - The Magpies are preparing a substitute down below us as Peter Lovenkrands unstrips.

47min - Joey Barton takes the resultant free-kick but merely clips the home wall and The R's force clear.

46min - QPR RED CARD - Leon Best turns a smart pass around the back of the QPR backline for Shola Ameobi to latch onto. Former Magpie Peter Ramage slides in an attempt to nick from his one-time team-mate but clips the heels of the United striker who was clean through on goal. Darren Deadman shows no end-of-season mercy and sends a forlorn Ramage to the stands. The Geordie defender is clearly devastated but will hopefully take some comfort from the reception he receives from the Toon Army.

We're off for the second 45 minutes and we're pleased to say the rain has eventually eased off.

FIRST-HALF UPDATES

And the actual half-time whistle is met with a comic cheer from the away fans!

45min - A phantom whistle from the Toon Army brings a premature end to the first half as Danny Simpson picks up the ball! Common sense, though, prevails and referee Darren Deadman restarts play with a drop ball.

44min - Ryan Taylor takes Joey Barton's crossfield ball in his stride and burns clear of Tosic in the left-back position. The Scouser attacks the by-line and wedges a cross to the near post. Leon Best is making a big effort to get on the end of the centre but fails to out-muscle Kaspars Gorkss and the defender heads clear.

39min - Radek Cerny's fist is first to meet Danny Guthrie's whipped free-kick as the Czech stopper thumps away for a corner. It is Guthrie who again delivers but Leon Best, sandwiched between two home shirts, can only turn a near-post header wide of goal.

37min - The home crowd will Akos Buzsaky to strike on goal as he receives a crisp pass from Faurlin 25 yards out. The Hungarian obliges but will be wishing he hadn't as a low effort drags well wide of Tim Krul's target.

33min - Mike Williamson slides to execute an excellent goalmouth block from Jay Simpson after the forward had been slipped in on goal by Faurlin - that was some challenge from the United defender and had to be made with Simpson clear. Alan Smith heads clear from Lee Cook's corner.

27min - Alan Smith's deft through chip in the direction of a front-running Ryan Taylor is intercepted by Tosic at the expense of a corner. Danny Guthrie delivers an out-swinging centre to the penalty spot but it's Peter Ramage who climbs amid bodies to head clear.

23min - A pedestrian game has come alive during the past five minutes and Dusko Tosic goes close for the Londoners when he slides in from the left before seeing a measured curler from the edge of the area kept out by a diving Tim Krul.

18min - The hosts have come back into this during the past ten minutes or so and Alejandro Faurlin slams 20-yard strike down the throat of Tim Krul with the Dutch stopper forced to gather at the second attempt.

11min - QPR win their first corner kick to be taken by Lee Cook. The Spurs loan midfielder sweeps to the penalty spot where Mike Williamson clears to the edge of the area. Leigertwood runs onto the loose ball but his strike clips off the heel of Leon Best and spirals away for another flag-kick. Cook again centres but this time Tim Krul comes to pluck the ball to safety.

8min - Wayne Routledge spins 30 yards from goal and finds himself in oceans of space with not a home shirt in sight. The diminutive wideman accepts the invitation to shoot but is denied an opener when his low strike zips over the surface and into the arms of a stooping Radek Cerny.

6min - Danny Guthrie looks to thread a ball through for Shola Ameobi but the pass skips up off the greasy surface and carries through to Radek Cerny.

1min - United are quickly on the offensive and former R Wayne Routledge ignores the boos to stand up a decent cross to the far post where Mikele Leigertwood takes no chances in heading behind. Guthrie delivers but it's a home shirt which clears at the near post - promising start from the visitors,

The players gather around the centre circle for a minute's applause in memory of QPR record appearance holder Tony Ingham who passed away last week.

Alan Smith leads United from the tunnel down beneath us amid sheeting rain in Shepherd's Bush.

Well it's not exactly stereotypical end-of-season conditions here in West London as leaden skies continue to disptach heavy rainfall over Loftus Road.

TEAM NEWS

HEAVY rainfall overnight had seen an earlier pitch inspection but the good news from referee Darren Deadman is that today's game goes ahead.

Chris Hughton makes several changes for the West London curtain call with Tim Krul, Ryan Taylor, Alan Smith, Joey Barton, Shola Ameobi and Leon Best all handed starts.

Ryan Taylor comes in for Jose Enrique at the back, while Smith and Barton replace Kevin Nolan and Jonas Gutierrez in midfield.

Best and Ameobi replace Peter Lovenkrands and 19-goal top marksman Andy Carroll in attack.

TEAMS

QPR: Radek Cerny, Akos Buzsaky, Kaspars Gorkss, Jay Simpson, Mikele Leigertwood, Peter Ramage, Dusko Tosic, Alejandro Faurlin, Hogan Ephraim, Lee Cook, Tamas Priskin
Subs: Josh Parker, Antonio German, Elvijs Putnins, Joe Oastler, Angelo Balanta, Lee Brown, Romone Rose

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

Attendance: 16, 819
Referee: Darren Deadman

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