Goals from substitute Shola Ameobi and full-back Jose Enrique saw Newcastle increase their lead at the top of the table and further stamp their authority on the Championship.
In a tight game with chances for both sides, it was Nottingham Forest’s goalkeeper Lee Camp who was the busier of the two ‘keepers. Andy Carroll’s volley in the first half showed just why Fabio Capello is showing an interest in the centre-forward, but Camp was equal to the effort, diving smartly to pull off a reflex save. The Newcastle defence didn’t have it all their own way though as Forest came forward with increasing confidence. It was difficult to judge on this performance why they haven’t won away from home in seven successive appearances.
After injuring his ankle in the first-half, Andy Carroll came off to be replaced by Shola Ameobi. The watching Alan Shearer would have been proud of Shola’s strike. After being played in by Nolan, Ameobi turned his marker and hit a low let foot shot across the Forest keeper which went in off the post.
Shola’s goal wasn’t his only contribution for the night as his smart back-heel played in fan favourite Jose Enrique who shot right-footed beyond the keeper. That saw Enrique mobbed by his teammates and it was plain to see the bond that the Newcastle players share – a far cry from the players who represented Newcastle when they were relegated.
This victory means that Newcastle can finish no lower than fourth, and a defeat for Nottingham Forest accompanied by a Newcastle win this weekend will see the Toon promoted. Chris Hughton’s name was once again chanted from the terraces and he deserves every accolade – this is a Newcastle side who are truly United.