Tigers increase Toon trauma
King adds to post-Keegan depression on Tyneside
By Peter Fraser. Last Updated: 14/09/08 12:01pm
King celebrates his opener
Hull City multiplied mourning for Kevin Keegan at St James' Park as they defeated Newcastle United 2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday.
Tyneside is still reeling after Keegan sensationally walked away from his second managerial spell last week following a disagreement with club owner Mike Ashley and technical director Dennis Wise over transfer policy.
And a first half penalty from Marlon King simply served to increase the ache for heartbroken Newcastle supporters, before the Hull striker doubled his side's advantage after the interval.
The Toon Army protested against Ashley and Wise before kick-off, despite the duo failing to attend the match, and the home spectators had only summer signing Xisco's 82nd minute goal to cheer as Danny Guthrie was dismissed in the dying stages to increase the post-Keegan depression in the North East.
The plot thickened on Friday night as the League Managers' Association confirmed Ashley had held discussions with Keegan, who is continually being linked with a return to the Magpies hot-seat, but the London meeting is said to have failed to reach 'a satisfactory conclusion'.
And on the pitch, Newcastle were equally unsuccessful as top-flight new boys Hull and manager Phil Brown proved they were not prepared to offer a shoulder to cry.
Caretaker boss Chris Hughton named Spanish striker Xisco in the starting line-up, and he might have made a name for himself with his career on Tyneside just minutes old.
However, the Spaniard, one of only two deadline day arrivals as Keegan finally lost patience with the club's recruitment policy, could not make the most of his chance.
He headed a 13th-minute Charles N'Zogbia corner over the bar when he should have done better, and then failed to get in a shot after being picked out by Geremi inside the box.
Xisco was not the only culprit, and Guthrie will know he really should have hit the target after Geremi once again worked an opening with 19 minutes gone.
Skipper Michael Owen, playing behind a front two of Xisco and Shola Ameobi, was seeing plenty of the ball, and it was he who almost broke the deadlock 14 minutes before the break.
The England international timed his run to perfection to meet Geremi's free-kick, but keeper Boaz Myhill produced a fine reaction save to keep out his deft header.
Newcastle did not have it all their own way and Given had earlier been forced to make a smart 14th-minute save from King's snapshot.
However, the Irishman was finally beaten with 11 minutes of the half remaining after Butt slid in to try to block Halmosi's cross and his momentum carried him into the Hull man.
Referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot and although Given got his hand to King's penalty, he could not keep it out of the bottom corner.
With four minutes of the second half gone, Owen turned smartly on the edge of the box and headed towards goal, but he saw his long-range shot blocked.
But the mood turned ugly once again five minutes later when City attacked on the counter and found the home defence in tatters.
King ran on to Halmosi's through-ball and after cutting inside the recovering N'Zogbia, curled a left-foot shot past Given to make it 2-0.
Ameobi slashed a shot wildly across goal on the hour and was promptly hauled off as Hughton introduced midfielder Ignacio Gonzalez and asked Owen to partner Xisco in attack.
But the home side were in complete disarray and Fagan sent a 66th-minute free header wide.
Newcastle's efforts to get themselves back into the game were laboured, but they pulled a goal back eight minutes from time when N'Zogbia's shot came back off the post and Xisco converted the rebound.But the fightback fizzled out and Guthrie's misery was complete when he was sent off for a late challenge on Fagan.
|Newcastle United||Team Statistics||Hull City|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|3||Shots on Target||4|
|10||Shots off Target||5|
Barclays Premier League
|9||West Ham United||30||42|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||30||33|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||30||22|