I enjoyed the â€˜as liveâ€™ blogging that I did for the QPR game, so today will be much of the same with a half time match report posted and then a full time second half report uploaded when the game is over.
Tough game at Villa Park today. I know they are no great shakes, but our recent record down there is poor. They have a lot of pace in attack which is something that we struggled to cope with at Loftus Road on Monday night â€“ lets hope we can keep a clean sheet again today as we did then.
Shola apparently has a slight knock so is downgraded to the bench.
Newcastle legend Shay Given keeps goal for the home team. Nâ€™Zogbia starts too.
Krul, Simpson, R Taylor, Colo Â©, S Taylor, Tiote, Cabaye, Jonas, Obertan, Best Ba
First observation â€“ empty seats. Very poor fans these. There canâ€™t be more than little over 30,000 in the ground.
5 â€“ Quiet start from both. Newcastle look quite settled and the first chance of the game is a lash from Cabaye that looked like it might sneak in, but it snuck wide of Givenâ€™s post.
8 â€“ Best fouled by Nâ€™Zogbia. Ryan Taylor has a lash but this time fails to get it over the wall!
13 â€“ GOAL: 1 v 0 to Villa. The ball comes off Colo and falls perfectly for Agbonlahor who finished well. Krul had no chance. Against the run of play. Colo could probably have been tighter to the Villa man and certainly should have been stronger. Agbonlahorâ€™s third of the season.
15 â€“ Bannan takes a lash with his left foot and it is not far away at all.
23 â€“ Through ball to Ba who was flagged off side. He caught Given on the wrist in the incident. Given seems OK, but one to watch.
24 â€“ Newcastle look short on ideas again as Tiote and Simpson repeatedly knock the ball between each other leading to the inevitable hoof. Best mis-controlled, Villa broke and Darren Bent misses an absolutely brilliant chance to make it two.
26 â€“ Corner â€“ Cabaye swings the ball outwards, Taylor does very well to get a shot on target saved by Given. Comes back out to Taylor but thereâ€™s little he can do with it. Goal kick.
28 â€“ Cabaye slips a ball through to Leon Best. Heâ€™s off side â€“ the first of many Iâ€™m sure.
29 â€“ Petrov takes a pot shot from about 35 yards. Not too far away.
30 â€“ Ball into the box from Simpson, flicked on from Best and falls to Jonas who lashes wildly high and wide.
So far this is panning out as I fear many games might this season. We have played well, but there is an obvious lack of cutting edge in the final third.
32 â€“ Steve Taylor clears with a header and Obertan breaks. Ball is played into Ba who swivels and shoots. Deflected for a corner. Not a lot achieved from the resulting corner.
33 â€“ Ryan Taylor beats his man and whips it in left footed. Corner off Petrov. Cabaye takes a great corner right across the area but Obertan puts it wide with no conviction at all. Again â€“ no cutting edge.
Despite trailing it is the away fans generating all of the noise â€“ as you would expect. Theyâ€™d have a lot more to sing about if we had a striker.
40 â€“ Fifth corner of the half for us. Cabaye crosses, headed clear.
We are dominating possession and a lot of it is in dangerous areas. Villa, true to the McLeish way of football, are relying on long hoofs in the direction of Bent aiming to get in behind.
Half time and we trail 1 v 0. We have been by far the better team and as much as I hate to repeat myself, if we had a goal scorer in the team it could be very different.
It will be interesting to see how we come out in the second half. It will be difficult for Pardew to keep the lads heads up as it is frustrating enough watching, let alone playing. If we can maintain this performance we should sneak a goal, somehow.
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