QPR hold Newcastle to draw at St James Park

Newcastle increased their lead at the top of the table, but only by one point after fighting back against a determined Queens Park Rangers who took the lead in the seventh minute when a long range effort from Ben Watson took a deflection off Steven Taylor.

Newcastle had an early chance to equalise when they were awarded a penalty following a hand ball by Damion Stewart, but Danny Guthrie’s soft spot kick was easily saved by the Rangers keeper Radek Cerny.

Wayne Routelege and  Ben Watson were particularly impressive as QPR threatened to add to their one goal advantage, but Newcastle fought their way back into the game during the second half and Marlon Harewood, on loan from Aston Villa, levelled the score with twenty minutes remaining.

The Newcastle striker had a chance to steal the points minutes later but could not quite direct Jonas Gutierrez’s cross goalwards.

Both managers spoke after the game about the strength and quality of the Championship this season and seemed content with a share of the points.

In last nights other Championship game Nottingham Forest beat Scunthorpe 2-0 in a hard fought battle, their first back to back wins this season. Luke Chambers and Dexter Blackstock scoring the goals.

Championship round up

200px-football_league_championshipBarnsley sprung the surprise of the last night’s Championship games by beating West Bromwich Albion 3-1 and denying Roberto di Matteo’s team the chance to go back to the top of the table.

It is the second defeat on the trot in the Championship and third in a week including the Carling Cup loss at Arsenal for the Baggies and has put a temporary dent in their attempt at marching straight back to the Premiership.

Barnsley, who are at the other end of the Championship table, were much the better team and deserved the win with a performance that belies their position in the league.

Michael Chopra scored four in Cardiff’s mauling of Derby County as the Welsh team found their early season form and thrashed Nigel Clough’s side 6-1.

Promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough and Preston were both beaten, the latter by lowly strugglers Reading who won away 1-2 and lifted themselves up the table but will need to build on this result to avoid a relegation battle later in the season.

Gareth Southgate was booed by the home crowd following the 0-1 defeat by Leicester who are now just one point behind Middlesbrough after an indifferent start to the campaign.

Roy Keane’s Ipswich were robbed yet again as Sheffield United scored an equalising goal in injury time to make the score 3-3. Ipswich had led 3-1 and will be disappointed at letting the game slip away, although one point is better than none.

Ipswich Town’s Simon Clegg was quick to dispel any rumours that Keane’s time at the club was coming to an end by issuing a statement to say there is no pressure on the Irishman.

Coventry staged a late comeback to take all the points from their visit to Watford, trailing 2-1 the Sky Blues scored twice in the last ten minutes or so to seal the win 2-3.

Bristol City beat Blackpool 2-0 who are now both on 16 points just outside the play off places which is becoming very congested with five teams on the same points.

Crystal Palace were held to a 0-0 against visitors Sheffield Wednesday, the same result as at Doncaster who entertained Swansea. The bottom of the table clash between Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough and Plymouth was won by the south west team 1-2, their first win of the season.

Newcastle have the chance to stretch their lead to five points at the top of the league when they take on QPR tonight, while Nottingham Forest will host Scunthorpe in the other game.

Roy Keane ‘furious’ but former Ipswich coach says QPR ‘have raised the bar’

sir bobby robson stand portman road
sir bobby robson stand portman road

A hat trick from Kevin Nolan helped Newcastle United to beat Ipswich Town at Portman Road and move two points clear of West Bromwich Albion at the top of the Championship.

It was an emotionally charged afternoon at Portman Road where both Ipswich and Newcastle paid generous tributes to Sir Bobby Robson before the game and also at half time, when the North Stand was officially renamed the Sir Bobby Robson Stand by his widow Elsie.

But there was no sentimentality shown on the pitch where three goals in four minutes on the half hour mark, effectively wrapped up the game for Newcastle. A fourth goal just after the break sealed the win  and left Ipswich with their worst home defeat in six years.

Roy Keane’s patience was visibly deserting him in the dug out where he looked furious for the best part of the game. The disappointed manager said after the game;

“Clearly we are disappointed. We started alright but the first goal knocked our confidence. You have to persevere and encourage players. We have given teams a helping hand and we can’t keep doing it. I’m sure Kevin Nolan thought it was Christmas with the first goal and before we knew it we were three down. We certainly have to defend better.

I don’t like losing football matches, the expectations are high but we have got to deal with it and get on with it.”

Meanwhile the coach that Keane replaced at Ipswich, Jim Magilton, now at Queens Park Rangers saw his team secure their first home win of the season, beating lowly Barnsley 5-2.

Rangers had led the game 3-0 at half time, but a spirited fightback by Barnsley in the second half reduced the deficit to just one goal. However looking for the equaliser left the Barnsley defence exposed to the counter attack and QPR took full advantage snatching two more goals for a comfortable win.

Magilton saw his team move into eighth place in the league, nine points behind leaders Newcastle, and insisted that his QPR team have ‘raised the bar’ in their Championship campaign.

Marlon Harewood joins Newcastle on loan from Aston Villa

200px-marlon_harewoodNewcastle United have agreed a loan deal with Aston Villa that will take 30 year old striker Marlon Harewood to the Championship club for the next three months.

Harewood last appeared for Villa in February when he played in the clubs UEFA cup tie against CSK Moscow, but he is likely to feature in Newcastle’s squad for this weekend’s fixture against Roy Keane’s struggling Ipswich Town.

Harewood signed for Villa in 2007 from West Ham for £4million, but has played very few games for the midlands club during his time there as the form of strikers  Gabriel Agbonlahor,  Emile Heskey and John Carew have seen him drop well down the pecking order.

Newcastle have been hit by injuries and departures particularly in the striking department this season, but none the less and against the odds, sit in second place in the Championship and just one point behind the leaders West Bromwich Albion.

Newcastle are anxious to stop the rot quickly after defeat in the Carling Cup to Peterborough which followed their first defeat of the season to Blackpool in the Championship last weekend.