Magpies send Spurs packing
Defensive mistakes prove costly as Magpies triumph
By James Pearson. Last Updated: October 23, 2007 11:45am
Dawson: Costly mistakes
Newcastle United heaped more misery on Tottenham with a 3-1 success over the struggling North Londoners at St James' Park.
Spurs really needed a win to lift the pressure on under-fire manager Martin Jol, but defensive mistakes proved costly as The Magpies claimed the points.
The game changed on the stroke of half-time when Obafemi Martins got the better of Michael Dawson from Jose Enrique's long-ball before lashing home past Radek Cerny.
Things failed to improve for Spurs after the break when Claudio Cacapa headed home Emre's corner at the near post, although Robbie Keane's close-range finish gave the visitors brief hope.
However, Newcastle sealed the victory when substitute James Milner volleyed home from just inside the area to keep Spurs third from bottom in the table.
Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce had little choice but to pair England international Michael Owen and the similarly diminutive Martins in attack with Mark Viduka still nursing a calf injury and Shola Ameobi only fit enough for a seat on the bench.
However, despite some less than intelligent service at times, their pace and movement was simply too much for Younes Kaboul and Dawson.
PostThat said, it was defender Abdoulaye Faye who came within inches of opening the scoring on 13 minutes when he thumped a header against the post from Charles N'Zogbia's corner.
The visitors, who started with £16.5million signing Darren Bent on the pitch and Dimitar Berbatov on the bench, might have gone ahead seconds after Faye had rattled the woodwork.
Jermaine Jenas' free-kick found Keane, but the Republic of Ireland skipper's shot was hacked off the line by Cacapa to the relief of Allardyce's defence.
Owen was left criminally unmarked on 27 minutes to run on to Geremi's pass and curl a shot towards the bottom corner, which is exactly where it would have ended up had Paul Robinson's replacement Radek Cerny not managed to get his fingertips to it.
The goalkeeper distinguished himself once again two minutes before the break when, after Martins had brushed off the towering Kaboul to reach Jose Enrique's long ball, he blocked the striker's shot with his legs.
But Spurs did not learn the lesson and when the Spaniard launched the ball upfield two minutes later, Martins ran away from Dawson to control and fire through the goalkeeper for his fifth goal of the season.
Tottenham emerged after half-time in determined fashion with Keane, as ever, at the forefront, but their hopes were severely dented within six minutes when the Magpies increased their lead.
Dawson blocked a flicked header from Owen out for a corner, but when Emre delivered the ball to the near post, Cacapa ran in unopposed to power a header into the back of the net.
LifelineBut as the home side sensed blood, the visitors grabbed a lifeline when Bent headed a Pascal Chimbonda cross against the post and saw the rebound sit up nicely for Keane to reduce the deficit.
Jol responded by sending on Berbatov in place of Steed Malbranque as St James' descended into a nervous hush, and the anxiety increased by the minute both on and off the pitch as the visitors took control.
The mood did not improve on 70 minutes when referee Steve Bennett waved away Nicky Butt's claims for a foul by Didier Zokora deep in the Spurs half, and the visitors raced away for Bent to blast over.
Allardyce decided the time was right for Joey Barton to make his competitive bow, and within two minutes of his arrival, his side restored their two-goal lead.
Kaboul was unable to clear his lines and although Milner miskicked his first effort, the ball fell nicely for him to blast a left-foot volley into the bottom corner and end Spurs' hopes of another comeback.
|Newcastle United||Team Statistics||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||3|
|9||Shots off Target||6|
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|