Thanks to a late goal from new loan signing Marlon Harewood, Newcastle United managed to avoid defeat, and with it, go three points clear at the top of the Championship.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though and QPR proved they were no pushovers. They went in front on the 7th minute after a mistake from Jose Enrique allowed Ben Watson to slide the ball past Steve Harper. After 19 minutes Newcastle were gifted a chance to equalise from the penalty spot. Steven Taylor took a shot which hit the arm of Damion Stewart and the ref had no choice but to give Newcastle a penalty. Up stepped Danny Guthrie to put the ball home only for his weak shot to be easily palmed away by ‘Keeper Radek Cerny.
This gave the Toon the impetus to push forward and once more Guthrie was involved as he chose to shoot wide rather than play in striker Andy Carroll. The big striker then almost had one for himself as his shot was cleared off the line. However, Newcastle’s efforts went unrewarded as they went in one goal down at half-time.
The second half brought to life the Toon’s glaring lack of pace. Gutierrez came on to replace Butt to give us some width but failed to make much of an impact. It was either a stroke of genius or touch of desperation when Harewood was brought on to replace Nile Ranger in the 61st minute. The new signing made a great impact after getting on the end of a cross to put the ball home.
After the emphatic 4-0 victory over Ipswich, this was always going to be a tougher test as the R’s came prepared to have a go at Newcastle. Fortunately, even though the lads didn’t play particularly well, we managed to to maintain our unbeaten home run, extend our lead to three points, and we currently have the best goal difference in the league. Crisis? What crisis?