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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)

ft

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 18 35
2 Bournemouth 18 32
3 Middlesbrough 18 32
4 Ipswich Town 18 31
5 Brentford 18 31
6 Blackburn Rovers 18 30
7 Watford 18 29
8 Nottingham Forest 18 28
9 Charlton Athletic 18 28
10 Norwich City 18 27
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 27
12 Cardiff City 18 26
13 Sheffield Wednesday 18 22
14 Huddersfield Town 18 21
15 Reading 18 21
16 Leeds United 18 20
17 Fulham 18 19
18 Millwall 18 19
19 Birmingham City 18 19
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 18 18
21 Bolton Wanderers 18 18
22 Rotherham United 18 18
23 Wigan Athletic 18 17
24 Blackpool 18 8

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