Newcastle United continued their impressive start to the season and went joint top of the Championship with a well earned victory over Crystal Palace.
Regardless of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the club, the Toon players are showing they are more than up for the fight with goals from Kevin Nolan and a cracker from Ryan Taylor. Neil Warnock, constantly harassing the linesman and fourth official, as well as his players was always going to have his team motivated to play against us – the question that needed to be answered was, were Newcastle up for the scrap?
We attacked from the off and were rewarded with a goal just a few minutes in as Gutierrez crossed for Nolan who finished first time. The Palace defence seemed vulnerable and it looked like every time we went forward we could get something. Who said this league was going to be tough? Freddie Sears did look a livewire though and was probably Palace’s main threat throughout making Steve Harper pull off a couple of fine saves.
Ryan Taylor, who Newcastle fans will remember for scoring against us, finally showed what he’s capable of by scoring a screamer into the top corner. Palace continued to push and there were a few dodgy moments by our defenders, but blocks by Coloccini (yes you read that right) meant that Newcastle left Selhurst Park with a clean sheet and a decent performance.
A poignant moment at the end of the game where skippers Alan Smith and Nicky Butt both embraced stand-in manager Chris Hughton. Could this be the last game under Hughton’s leadership? If body language is anything to go by it certainly looked like it.
Here’s to Monday and hopefully getting rid of Mike Ashley once and for all. We can only hope.