MATCH REPORTS

Newcastle United 0 Blackpool 2

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By Dan King

Newcastle United's long unbeaten home record was ended by fellow Barclays Premier League new boys Blackpool thanks to goals at the end of each half.

The Tangerines took the lead just before half-time through a Charlie Adam penalty, after Alan Smith was adjudged to have felled striker Luke Varney in the box.

And, after a string of chances went begging for Newcastle, Ian Holloway's side wrapped up the game with a breakaway goal from DJ Campbell, meaning United's 26-game spell in all competitions without defeat in NE1 came to an abrupt end.

Chris Hughton named an unchanged side for the fourth game in a row, meaning Newcastle were the only top flight side to have had the same starting XI in every game this season. But new boys Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheik Tiote and Sol Campbell were named on the bench.

Blackpool, meanwhile, included former United loanee Marlon Harewood and Gateshead-born Keith Southern among their substitutes.

It was the visitors who had the first chances of the game, when striker Campbell - who made his name after his exploits against Newcastle for Hayes and Yeading a few years ago - attempting an overhead kick, which went narrowly wide.

And then he was denied by a superb sprawling save from Steve Harper, who then sprung to his feet to parry Brett Ormerod's follow-up behind to complete what was a stunning double-save.

That was the wake-up call Newcastle needed, and on 24 minutes, they came agonisingly close to taking the lead when Mike Williamson headed Joey Barton's free-kick goalwards, only for it to bounce back off the inside of the post.

Then, just after the half-hour mark, Nolan had a great chance after Andy Carroll's flick-on, but goalkeeper Matt Gilks made the first of several splendid saves. The Blackpool keeper was always going to stand out in a lurid fluorescent green kit, but shone for all the right reasons in this game.

But on the stroke of half-time, Varney - who scored against United for Sheffield Wednesday last season - embarked on a solo run through the defence which was ended when Alan Smith was adjudged by referee Lee Mason to have fouled the forward. He appeared to go down easily but there was contact, and playmaker Adam converted coolly.

Newcastle had strong claims for a penalty themselves within moments of the restart, as Carroll went down under an outstretched Gilks, but replays showed that the keeper had claimed the ball. But United struggled to create anything else of note until the arrival of Peter Lovenkrands from the bench.

He replaced Alan Smith and the home side began to pile on the pressure. Gilks made a magnificent save to deny Joey Barton and Nolan's volley was comfortably kept out by the increasingly busy goalkeeper.

Then came Hatem Ben Arfa, on for Gutierrez, and the Frenchman did enough in his brief outing to suggest he will be a big player for United. He tried to make things happen for Chris Hughton's side and his introduction coincided with Newcastle's most sustained spell of pressure.

First, Carroll slipped in Lovenkrands, but the Dane was unable to squeeze his effort past Gilks at his near post from a narrow angle, and then the same pair combined, Carroll slipping in Lovenkrands but Gilks getting a strong hand to his fizzing shot.

When Routledge had a shot cleared off the line and Carroll saw a stinging drive saved from close range , it started to become apparent that it was not to be The Magpies' day.

And that was confirmed with a couple of minutes left on the clock when Ben Arfa's shot was blocked by Ian Evatt and Blackpool broke through Campbell, who was able to jink into the box and shoot across a helpess Harper.

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