Toon topple Blades to reach summit

02 November 2009 10:01
Morgan inadvertently deflected Ryan Taylor's low 25-yard shot past stranded Blades goalkeeper Ian Bennett in the 54th minute to hand manager Chris Hughton a telling win in his first game since being given the job on a permanent basis.[LNB]On another night Leicestershire referee Kevin Friend might have penalised Newcastle's Kevin Nolan for his full-blooded tackle on Kyle Walker before Taylor pounced on the loose ball.[LNB]But it was another miserable result for opposite number Kevin Blackwell, whose injury-hit side were denied by Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper's world class save in the closing stages and have now lost their last four league matches.[LNB]The Blades slipped to 15th place, leapfrogged by arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, and the former Leeds and Luton manager will now fear renewed pressure from the impatient Blades faithful.[LNB]Blades defenders Jordan Stewart and Andrew Davies returned to the starting line-up, while Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Simpson and Alan Smith were back for Newcastle.[LNB]Darius Henderson should have fired the Blades ahead in the third minute when springing the offside trap, but pulled his left-footed effort wide.[LNB]At the other end Newcastle striker Andy Carroll's shot was superbly blocked by Walker, but the home side set the early pace.[LNB]A sweeping Blades move ended with Henderson teeing up Keith Treacy, but the Irish winger's snapshot whistled over the crossbar.[LNB]Henderson then crossed for Stephen Quinn to shoot first time off target as Blackwell's side built up some momentum.[LNB]Newcastle midfielder Taylor later curled a right-footed free-kick high and wide and another last-ditch challenge from Walker denied Coloccini.[LNB]Blades striker Ched Evans was inches wide with his angled shot after bustling on to Bennett's long clearance as a highly-combative first period - Morgan and Newcastle pair Carroll and Taylor were all booked for fouls - ended goalless.[LNB]A more purposeful Newcastle twice went close to breaking the deadlock within eight minutes of the restart.[LNB]Nolan's curling shot was pushed away at full stretch by Bennett and Carroll's hanging header from Taylor's cross hit the woodwork.[LNB]But then Newcastle took the lead in fortuitous circumstances in the 54th minute.[LNB]Referee Friend adjudged Nolan's thumping challenge on Walker to be fair and with the defender prostrate, Taylor pounced on to the ball in space 25 yards from goal and unleashed a low right-footed shot that took a big deflection off Morgan to wrong-foot Bennett and nestle into the goalkeeper's bottom left-hand corner.[LNB]Walker limped off five minutes later and was replaced by Ryan France.[LNB]Treacy's quality cross was headed over by Stewart in the 61st minute as the Blades, roared on by most in a crowd of 26,536, battled gamely in search of an equaliser.[LNB]Evans' low free-kick was hoofed clear by Butt and visiting goalkeeper Harper blocked Henderson close-range effort.[LNB]Harper finished strongly - smothering Treacy's shot in injury time and then brilliantly denying Henderson's point-blank header as Newcastle held on.[LNB][LNB]

Source: Team_Talk