Newcastle maintain unbeaten run

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Updated: October 23, 2011

Newcastle maintained their unbeaten run with a 1-0 win over a struggling Wigan side at St James’ Park, courtesy of Yohan Cabaye’s late winner.

Roberto Martinez’s side were far from a pushover however and started the game brightly and could’ve been in the lead within the first five minutes.

Hugo Rodallega had a shot blocked by Fabricio Coloccini and in the 5th minute, the returning Colombian striker set up Victor Moses whose volley was saved brilliantly by Toon ‘keeper Tim Crul.

Rodallega was causing Newcastle all kinds of problems and should have been on the score sheet in the 15th minute when he was played through on goal by David Jones but turned his shot wide.
The Wigan defence was resolute in the face of the Newcastle attack as Leon Best and was twice denied by both Antolin Alcaraz and then Wigan ‘keeper Ali Al-Habsi, after a cross from Jonas Gutierrez was headed down by Best only to be blocked by the Latics ‘keeper.

Former Wigan player Ryan Taylor came close after Gutierrez was taken down just outside the box and the Newcastle full back pulled his free kick just wide of the goal.

Leon Best took his frustrations out on Maynor Figueroa just before half time and was booked for his troubles; the Ireland striker was lucky he didn’t see red and was subsequently taken off at half time for French winger Hatem Ben-Arfa.
Newcastle were better in the second half but still lacked the cutting edge up front to hurt Wigan as the visitors began to defend and sit on the possibility of a point; an away point looked more and more appealing to the Latics as the game went on, having lost their previous five games.

In the 67th minute Gutierrez’s cross into the box appeared to strike Alcaraz on the hand but the referee gave Newcastle nothing.

Alan Pardew played his hand from the bench, first introducing last week’s goalscoring hero Shola Ameobi in the 68th minute for Demba Ba, and then bringing on French midfielder Sylvain Marveaux for Gabriel Obertan.

The latter sub proved to be inspired, when Marveaux’s cut-back from inside the Wigan box found Cabaye who curled in a shot from the edge of the area to leave Al-Habsi helpless and Newcastle with the winning goal.

Wigan’s performance at St James Park was a marked improvement on their display at home against Bolton the previous week but unfortunately for Roberto Martinez and his players, they still suffered their sixth straight league defeat while Newcastle go level on points with Chelsea in third place at the other end of the Premier League table.

www.victorchandler.com

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