By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
At St. James' Park
Newcastle United 2 (Heitinga og 12, R Taylor 29)
Everton 1 (Rodwell 45)
A stunner from Ryan Taylor earned Newcastle a 2-1 victory over Everton at St. James' Park on Saturday, and oved them into second place in the Premier League table - for a couple of hours at least.
The result maintains United's unbeaten start to the league campaign - with 11 games now played - and it is the first time they have occupied second spot in the top flight since January 2003.
The Magpies opened the scoring on 12 minutes when Everton defender John Heitinga stabbed Danny Simpson's cross into his own net, before full-back Taylor fired in an outstanding long-range half volley.
Jack Rodwell headed home right on half-time for the visitors, who applied heavy pressure throughout the second period, but Newcasle held firm to keep their remarkable run going.
United carved out the first opening of the afternoon on seven minutes. Yohan Cabaye's clever corner to the edge of the box was stepped over by Danny Guthrie for Ryan Taylor to strike. And although the full-back's effort was blocked, the ball found its way to Guthrie, who saw a low strike well held by Everton keeper Tim Howard.
The visitors hit back immediately though and Seamus Coleman hooked a half-volley off target after Louis Saha had flicked on Royston Denthe's lofted cross.
But United broke the deadlock on 12 minutes and were given a huge helping hand by their opponents. Guthrie sprayed a pass out to the right flank where Danny Simpson was rampaging forward, and the right-back's subsequent delivery was put right into the danger zone.
With Leon Best lurking behind him, Heitinga had no choice but to try and intercept the cross, but only succeeded in stabbing past Howard and into the back of the net.
Everton were shocked but through the tricky Drenthe they always had an outlet, and the Dutchman created two good chances in the space of a minute. First, his inswinging cross was met by Jack Rodwell, but headed straight into the arms of Tim Krul, before Leon Osman received his pass but fired at the keeper.
On 24 minutes there were chances at either end as Demba Ba blazed over, with the visitors racing straight upfield and Saha suffering the same fate.
However, Newcastle doubled their advantage five minutes later and in spectacular fashion. As Everton failed to clear a throw-in properly, the ball fell to Ryan Taylor 20 yards out, and he hit a stunning half-volley which flew into the far top corner, giving Howard no chance.
The Toffees' response was immediate - Saha drilling a low shot against the woodwork, with Drenthe sending the loose ball into the side netting - but they were still unable to find a way back into the contest.
There was a worrying moment for Newcastle shortly before half-time when Cabaye hobbled off, to be replaced by former Everton man Dan Gosling, who received a less-than-warm welcome from the travelling support.
Everton managed to halve the deficit right on the stroke of half-time as Rodwell rose highest to nod in Drenthe's corner, but Newcastle went in to the interval deservedly ahead.
Guthrie offered the first warning shot of the second half when, with five minutes gone, he placed a 20-yard effort over the top, and Ryan Taylor then forced Howard into a smart save from his free-kick.
Newastle suffered another injury below as Sylvain Marveaux was injured in a challenge with Heitinga, and for the second time in the game manager Alan Pardew was forced into a change, introducing Sammy Ameobi in his place.
Everton introduced Tim Cahill to bolster their attacking threat and on the hour mark the Australian struck a low shot which Krul managed to keep hold of at full stretch down to his left.
In the 68th minute, Demba Ba finished off a neat flowing move, which had Guthrie at its heart, by cutting inside off the left flank and driving a shot at Howard, but by this point chances were suddenly few and far between.
Hatem was introduced in place of Leon Best as Newcastle's final change of the afternoon, with the Frenchman playing a more withdrawn role just off Ba, and he looked very neat and tidy in his work, but t was the visitors who continued to press for an equaliser.
Saha shot just off target as they applied heavy late pressure, but the best defence in the country held firm for another three points and another game unbeaten.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Ryan Taylor; Sylvain Marveaux (Sammy Ameobi 54), Yohan Cabaye (Dan Gosling 37), Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez; Leon Best (Hatem Ben Arfa 73, Demba Ba
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Davide Santon, James Perch, Peter Lovenkrands
Everton (4-4-2): Tim Howard; Tony Hibbert (James McFadden 82), John Heitinga (Tim Cahill 56), Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines; Seamus Coleman, Jack Rodwell, Phil Neville (c) (Sylvain Distin 41), Leon Osman; Royston Drenthe, Louis Saha
Subs not used: Jan Mucha, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Denis Stracqualursi, Apostolos Vellios
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
Attendance: 50,671 (2,061 Everton)