Football League Championship
DERBY COUNTY 3
NEWCASTLE UNITED 0
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Kick off 7.45pm
Craig Hope reports from Pride Park ...
ON the back of their most comprehensive victory of the season against Cardiff City, Newcastle United slipped to their biggest defeat of the current campaign as Derby County fired three without reply to knock Chris Hughton's men off top spot in the Championship.
It was a night to forget for the Geordies at Pride Park as the hosts seized the lead five minutes before the break; Rob Hulse climbing on the edge of the six-yard area to guide home after Kris Commons had landed a right-wing cross on his forehead.
Commons was a constant threat for Nigel Clough's side and it was the former Nottingham Forest man who doubled the advantage from the penalty spot on 58 minutes after Jonas Gutierrez was somewhat adjudged to have tripped Michael Tonge.
And within five minutes the scoring was complete when Shaun Barker swept through a crowded goalmouth from 12 yards after United had failed to clear from a corner.
SECOND-HALF UPDATES (click refresh for latest)
Full-time, 3-0 Derby.
90+3min - This game is meandering towards a sorry conclusion for The Magpies.
There will be five minutes added time.
89min - Double change for The Rams sees Rob Hulse and Robbie Savage replaced by David Martin and Russell Anderson.
87min - Danny Guthrie tests Bywater with a dipping free-kick from 20 yards but the former West Ham is equal to it as he shuffles across his goal to fist clear.
85min - Stephen Pearson races onto Michael Tongue's right-wing free-kick and is unlucky when his eight-yard header flashes inches above the crossbar.
81min - Kris Commons has been the game's outstanding player and he receives a standing ovation before being replaced by debutant Javan Vidal.
78min - Wayne Routledge has half chance to spark a comeback when Smith's far-post delivery falls at his feet 12 yards from goal but, with just a split second to release a snap shot, the winger can only swipe into the stand behind the goal under pressure from a closing Buxton.
76min - A boisterous home crowd will Kris Commons to shoot 25 yards from goal and, with ball dropping from the sky, the Scot unleashes a first-time volley which zips well wide of Steve Harper's target.
72min - United have a corner but, despite Guthrie's centre causing momentary panic when it drops amid a crowded six-yard area, it's a home boot which emerges from a pack of bodies to swipe clear.
69min - Routledge, in full flight, is chopped down by Jake Buxton 35 yards from goal and United have a free-kick. Guthrie lifts onto the head of Williamson but the defender is at full stretch and can only nod wide from a difficult angle.
67min - Drastic times call for drastic measures and a treble change for United sees Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi and Alan Smith enter the fray with Leon Best, Patrick van Aanholt and Andy Carroll headed for the dugout.
63min - DERBY GOAL (3-0): The Rams continue to swarm forward and win a corner on the right when Gutierrez pokes from the toe of Tonge. Commons' swirling centre is headed clear by Carroll but only as far as Paul Green, just outside the area, who wastes no time in hooking back into the danger zone. Centre-back Shaun Barker, lurking on the penalty spot, is first to the ball and he swivels before lashing through bodies and beyond a helpless Steve Harper.
58min - DERBY GOAL (2-0): A swift County breakaway culminates in Michael Tonge, having been played in on goal by Hulse, toppling to the turf under presssure from Gutierrez and, although referee Anthony Taylor waves play on, his linesman is flagging furiously for a penalty kick which the man in black duly awards. Kris Commons steps up and tucks neatly into the bottom corner with Steve Harper diving the wrong way. Kevin Nolan was booked for his protests.
56min - Best does well to latch onto Carroll's headed flick before hooking overhead for Nolan, in space on the edge of the area. The lofted nature of the pass allows Buxton and Barker time to recover and they arrive to crowd out the United skipper before forcing clear.
53min - Gutierrez's miscued cross almost inadvertently runs for Wayne Routledge but Jay McEveley arrives to usher away for a goal kick.
47min - The Magpies have spent the early part of this second period camped in Rams territory and a chance falls the way of Kevin Nolan from Danny Guthrie's right-wing cross. The skipper swivels at the far post but the ball won't drop in time and, by the time he unleashes a half volley, Buxton has closed to block and Derby smuggle clear.
46min - United are livid after Andy Carroll heads home from Wayne Routledge's centre only for play to be brought back for a tug on the shirt of the Magpie provider by Jay McEveley - the whistle had clearly gone but why not allow the attack to continue?
Both teams return unchanged for the start of the second period - United need to be much improved if they are to find a way back into this.
Half-time, a frustrating opening period for United as County lead thanks to Rob Hulse's 40th-minute header. Elsewhere, West Brom are 1-0 up at home to Scunthorpe United and Nottingham Forest are 1-0 down at Coventry City.
44min - Nolan hooks on goal at the near post from Carroll's short dig but Bywater manages to palm the ball around the upright and, from the corner, United are penalised for a foul.
43min - United hunt a reply and Kevin Nolan rolls a low pass the wrong side of McEveley for Routledge to chase. The United winger has a march on the full-back and bursts onto the ball before firing on target from just inside the area. It's a well-struck effort but keeper Bywater stands firm to glove clear before Buxton completes the clearance.
40min - DERBY GOAL (1-0): Savage turns a clever ball around the United defence and into the feet of Kris Commons who has peeled away into the right-hand channel. The Scot digs out a wedged centre and it's Rob Hulse who towers to nod into the bottom corner unopposed from six yards out.
37min - Robbie Savage's heavy touch midway inside United's half allows Wayne Routledge a yard to steal and the winger nicks in before being flattened by a reckless lunge from the County skipper - the Toon Army want the Welshman dismissed but referee Anthony Taylor resists and Savage enters the book.
34min - Hunt locates a white shirt with a forward chip - worth a mention given the defender's previously errant distribution.
31min - Nicky Hunt's woes continue and again he proves the source of a United attack when he gifts possession to Gutierrez. The Argentine crosses from the left and Shaun Barker, diving to intercept at the near post, comes within inches of putting through his own net as the ball shaves the base of the post. Guthrie centres from the corner but Buxton climbs to head clear.
28min - There's another lengthy stoppage as Rob Hulse is clattered in the back of the head by a determined Williamson as the pair compete for a high punt downfield. County's top scorer eventually climbs gingerly to his feet and is ok to continue.
23min - Nicky Hunt has endured a torturous start and it is the on-loan defender who is robbed by Gutierrez on halfway at a time when County have bodies committed forward. The Argentine gallops down the left flank but sees a direct path to goal populated by two recovering white shirts. The United man has no alternative but to try and go by his opponents and subsequently roars towards the penalty area. But, after working by the first of those defenders, it is the second, in the form of Jake Buxton, who extends a leg to block and Derby clear.
18min - The game's first corner goes the way of United when Shaun Barker heads away Danny Guthrie's flighted, far-post cross. Guthrie delivers and it's the head of Mike Williamson, stooping on the penalty spot, which connects. The defender manages to turn an awkward effort towards goal but the ball loops harmlessly over the crossbar and away for a goal kick.
14min - Danny Simpson receives treatment from physio Dave Henderson for what looks like a lower leg problem. However, after a brief stoppage, the 23-year-old is ok to continue - one to keep an eye on.
10min - Commons leaves two yellow shirts trailing in his wake on the right-hand touchline with a smart turn before darting infield. Gutierrez manages to recover and snaps possession away from the County man who duly tumbles to the turf in search of a free-kick. Anthony Taylor pauses before awarding the foul in what is a dangerous position. It is Commons who delivers left footed but Andy Carroll is back in attendance to power clear a near-post header - Derby have enjoyed all of the early attacking territory.
6min - Pearson again finds himself with space to measure a cross from the left and duly drops a well-weighted ball onto the forehead of fellow Scot Kris Commons. The former Forest forward climbs to turn on goal but fails to steer either side of Steve Harper from just six yards out and the Toon stopper is a grateful recipient on his goal-line.
3min - Derby immediately counter and, from Savage's pass, Pearson gets away in behind Danny Simpson. The former Celtic man opts for an early cross and slides a low ball through United's six-yard area without any takers.
2min - Leon Best's neat double touch allows him space to spring Routledge clear down the right. The diminutive winger floats a cross in the direction of Andy Carroll but the Geordie frontman, striding purposefully to connect, is soon headed towards the turf following a nudge in the back from Shaun Barker. Referee Anthony Taylor has a good view but waves away the visiting protests for a penalty kick - you've seen them given.
The Magpies will defend the end where their travelling support are housed and it's Derby who get us started.
The sub-zero temperatures are a far cry from our last visit to Pride Park when, in 2007, it was a balmy September night on which Sam Allardyce brought his Magpie side to the East Midlands. Let's hope that the freezing weather isn't the only thing that differs from that night - Kenny Miller scored the only goal for The Rams in what was United's first defeat of the season.
The teams are in the tunnell.
CHRIS Hughton rewards the 11 starters who put three past Cardiff City inside the opening 15 minutes on Friday by naming the same team for tonight's clash with Derby County.
The Magpies went on to record their most emphatic victory of the season against The Bluebirds; Peter Lovenkrands adding a second-half double to an early Andy Carroll brace and Gabor Gyepes own goal before Aaron Wildig stole a late consolation.
Lovenkrands, though, must settle for a place on the bench against The Rams where he is joined by Alan Smith who returns from a thigh injury.
Leon Best, partnered by Carroll in attack, starts his first away game for United.
Fabricio Coloccini (hamstring) and Nicky Butt (thigh) remain sidelined.
DCFC: Stephen Bywater, Jay McEveley, Paul Green, Robbie Savage (c), Rob Hulse, Kris Commons, Shaun Barker, Stephen Pearson, Jake Buxton, Michael Tonge, Nicky Hunt
Subs: Gary Teale, Chris Porter, Saul Deeney, Dean Moxey, David Martin, Russell Anderson, Javan Vidal
NUFC: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Fitz Hall, Mike Williamson, Patrick van Aanholt, Wayne Routledge, Kevin Nolan (c), Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Andy Carroll, Leon Best
Subs: Tim Krul, Tamas Kadar, Fabrice Pancrate, Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi, Ryan Donaldson, Alan Smith
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Attendance: 28, 607