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Newcastle United 2010

It was a dull Wednesday morning in Newcastle when 27 faithful members of the Toon Army turned up at St James' Park, but with the Magpies looking certain to return to the top flight of English football and knowing that they were about to pull on that famous Black and White jersey to play on the hallowed turf, the weather could do nothing to hide the excitement of the players.

Wednesday 5th May 2010
Newcastle United Home vs. Newcastle United Away
Kick Off: 11:00am
Legends: Peter Beardsley, Mick Martin and Joe Allon
Match Officials: George Courtney, Daniel Coleman-Cooke, Paul Mosley and Robin Raymond 

Former World Cup referee George Courtney blew the whistle for the Home team to get the game underway, keen to make an early impression they pushed forward and within a minute had won a corner kick. The kick was taken by centre midfielder Andrew Blocksage and was cleared only as far as Home centre-half Jim Rae at the edge of the area however his low effort sailed just wide of the mark.

7 mins later and the Home team were on the attack again when a free-kick taken by the Away team deep inside their own half was intercepted by Dave Taylor. A well executed pass by Taylor found Michael Bell but his shot was well saved by the Away keeper Richard Marsh.

The Away team were eager to stamp their authority on the match and with 10 mins on the clock a long punt from Marsh found Jamie Cutler who touched the ball to Paul Robinson, his pass forward allowed Steven Thompson to fire a testing long range shot but Steve Miller between the sticks matched it with a fine save.

The first clear cut chance came for the Home team when Andrew Blocksage picked up the ball in the centre circle, his forward pass found Bell who began to close in on goal, finding himself one-on-one with Marsh however his effort floated wide as Bell looked on in disbelief.

With just under 20 mins on the clock a Dave Buglass pass found Robinson who laid the ball through for Matthew Clark. Clark tried to power his volley towards goal but Miller again made a lovely save and parried his shot behind for a corner.

Both teams continued to battle it out in the middle of the park in search for that crucial opening goal. A play initiated by Beardsley saw Rae send a looping long ball over the top of the Away defenders allowing George Lloyd to close in on goal. However Lloyd's first time effort wasn't enough to beat Richard Marsh and the goalkeeper watched it zoom by his left post.

Straight from that goal kick we saw an almost identical chance for the Away team when Steven Thompson's long ball allowed Captain Jamie Cutler to find himself through on the keeper but similar to Lloyd it sailed by the post to the keepers left.

This game was beginning to heat up and when Peter Beardsley collected the ball inside his opponents half and slid the ball to Dave Taylor the onlookers nearly witnessed a moment of magic. Taylor launched a ferocious right footed rising strike which rocketed over the head of the helpless keeper only to be denied by the crossbar. A wonderful effort from Taylor but not close enough to break the deadlock.

4 mins later and we saw another fantastic chance for the Home team when Shaun Drage's free-kick from the corner of the 16 yard box forced an outstanding save from the outstretched arm of on form keeper Richard Marsh. The corner which followed saw Drage come close again, when Rae's in-swinging corner caused a scramble in the six yard box with Drage's effort denied this time by the post.

Half Time: Newcastle United Home 0-0 Newcastle United Away

The 2nd half was started at quick pace by the Away team who looked on the ball after the half-time team talk. However it was Beardsley and his boys in the Home team who were first to break the deadlock after just 3 mins when the ex England international played a world class ball to Dave Taylor who let the ball bounce in front of him before driving a right footed volley past Richard Marsh (1-0).

Minutes later Taylor found himself with another chance to double his goal tally. George Lloyd's ball forward found Craig Bowes who played the through ball to Taylor, the offside flag stayed down despite claims from the Away team; Taylor closed in on goal and shot but due to the slightest of touches by Marsh, saw his shot trickle by the post.

About 10mins after the Home team had taken the lead, the Away team were quick to find the leveller. After some lovely link up play, the Away team played a ball forward to Jamie Cutler. The Captain then spotted super-sub Mark Dawson's darting run from left midfield and pinged a perfect diagonal ball, which resulted in Dawson hitting the back of the net from the edge of the box before rushing to the corner in celebration (1-1).

This game was turning into something spectacular with both teams really giving it their all, but within minutes of equalising the Away team went ahead for the first time in the match. Richard Johnson played a first time ball to Clark who forwarded the move to Steven Thompson at the edge of the box, Thompson continued his run with the ball, Miller came out to make the angle tighter but the No 10 showed excellent composure and tucked the ball past Miller with his left foot (1-2).

The Home team kept fighting, creating chance after chance to get themselves back into the game. They came close midway through the 2nd half when a long ball from Rae found Bell one on one with Marsh but the keeper did well to get himself down low and block the shot.

The equaliser did come for the Home not long from the end when James Green brought Taylor down with a push from behind inside the penalty area. Despite Green's protest George Courtney pointed to the spot and Jim Rae buried the spot kick (2-2).

It looked like this game was going to finish with the teams tied but just in the nick of time the Away team got the last goal of the game in what was a dramatic finish. Clark's vision was outstanding and he picked out Jamie Cutler whose first time effort was inch perfect and rolled along the ground, inches past Millers right glove and into the back of the net. Cutler was the hero as his team rushed to join in the celebrations (2-3).

This was an excellent battle at St James' in which the Away team only just stole the show, that said credit has to be shown to both teams' efforts in a match which really could have gone either way.

Full Time: Newcastle United Home 2-3 Newcastle United Away 

Man of the Match Home: Jim Rae
Man of the Match Away:
Richard Marsh
Moment of the Match:
Steven Thompson

Home Team: Steve Miller, Josh Tindell, Peter Beardsley, Jim Rae, Darrah Lydon, Craig Bowes, George Lloyd, Shaun Drage, Michael Bell, Andrew Blocksage, Dave Taylor, Dave Buglass, James Stewart

Mascot: Haydn Drage

Away Team: Richard Marsh, Dave Buglass, Mick Martins, Joe Allon, John Anderson, James Green, Nicholas Medlicott, Richard Johnson, Paul Robinson, Jamie Cutler, Steven Thompson, Matthew Clark, Gary Pollock, Malcolm Forster, John Kennelly, Mark Dawson

Mascot: Elliot Dawson