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Sky Bet Championship

St James' Park, Newcastle (ATT 38,813) 31st August 2009 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: N Swarbrick

Newcastle Newcastle United vs Leicester City Leicester

Newcastle 1

D Guthrie (52)

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Guthrie cracker sends Toon top

Leicester undone by Newcastle on soggy Tyneside

Last Updated: 31/08/09 10:02pm

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Guthrie: Fine strike

Guthrie: Fine strike

A thumping strike from Danny Guthrie handed Newcastle United a 1-0 victory over Leicester City to ensure the Magpies climbed to the top of the Championship table.

In a game of few chances, Guthrie fired the winner on 52 minutes at St James' Park to seal a fourth straight league victory for Chris Hughton's charges.

Newcastle had Steve Harper to thank in the first half as the goalkeeper made two smart saves to deny the Foxes, who have impressed this term.

But Nigel Pearson, who has managed the Magpies on a caretaker basis, saw his side suffer a first loss of the season as Guthrie rifled home, assisted by 18-year-old Nile Ranger.

Delight

A crowd of 38,813 left St James' Park delighted with the result, but wondering just how long the run of results will continue with the squad looking thinner by the day.

On a day when the club loaned Spaniard Xisco to Racing Santander for the season, Newcastle were without Fabricio Coloccini after he joined up with the Argentina squad and injured quartet Nicky Butt, Jonas Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi and Andy Carroll, and Hughton decided to pair teenager Ranger with Kevin Nolan in attack.

The Magpies went close with four minutes gone when Geremi and Guthrie broke at pace to set up Nolan, whose right-footed shot was saved comfortably by Chris Weale.

They had appeals for a penalty turned down when Ryan Taylor's 15th-minute cross clipped Paul Gallagher's arm, and Wayne Brown was fortunate to escape after a more blatant handball a few seconds later.

However, it was Harper who had to make the game's first real save six minutes later when Newcastle supporter Steve Howard met Matt Oakley's corner with a bullet header.

Handful

Howard was proving a real handful and Alan Smith's foul on the striker presented Gallagher with a 38th-minute free-kick, Harper once again coming to the rescue with a fine diving save.

Matty Fryatt might have done better in injury time when he made the most of Danny Simpson's misjudgment to home in on goal, but his left-footed effort was well off target.

Ranger whistled a right-footed shot just wide from 25 yards within seconds of the restart, and the youngster played a part in the opening goal with 52 minutes gone.

Nolan laid off Harper's clearance to him and he fed Guthrie to step inside defender Jack Hobbs and smash the ball past Weale.

Geremi might have doubled his side's advantage within three minutes with a swerving drive which just evaded the bottom corner as Newcastle went for the kill.

Smith, Nolan and Joey Barton all went close to a second as Ranger repeatedly carved the City defence open, and despite a rousing finish from Leicester, Newcastle saw out time to claim the points.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 13 26
2 Watford 13 25
3 Middlesbrough 13 23
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 23
5 Norwich City 13 22
6 Nottingham Forest 13 22
7 Charlton Athletic 14 22
8 Bournemouth 13 21
9 Ipswich Town 13 20
10 Cardiff City 13 19
11 Blackburn Rovers 13 19
12 Brentford 13 19
13 Sheffield Wednesday 13 18
14 Rotherham United 13 16
15 Leeds United 13 16
16 Huddersfield Town 13 16
17 Reading 13 15
18 Millwall 13 14
19 Fulham 14 14
20 Wigan Athletic 13 12
21 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 12
22 Birmingham City 13 11
23 Bolton Wanderers 13 8
24 Blackpool 13 6

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