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There’s No Top Four for Toon

Derby CFC 1 – 0 Newcastle United
Derby: Kenny Miller (38)

Newcastle United making one change from the winning team that beat Wigan two weeks ago. Shola Ameobi makes the starting line-up to replace the hamstring injured Mark Viduka.

Oba Martins once again sitting on the bench together with the latest Toon boys Habib Beye and Abdoulaye Faye. Big Sam also keeps the faith with Steve Harper’s ability in goal, while Steven Taylor which is will have new contract negotiation talk in next Wednesday playing at right back.

Milner and Charles N’Zogbia both making their 50th Premiership start for the United. Very disappointing to trail by a goal to nil at first half against the bottom rock club like Derby.

The field was fill in with muds, as our midfield failed to create some real chances for both Owen and Ameobi in front. N’Zogbia who was playing effectively recently now seems to have tons of steel on his feet.

In 36min we have a good chance of taking the lead when Smith and Owen exchange passes 25 yards from goal and the Magpies midfielder is body-checked as he nicked the ball by Davis. Free-kick in a dangerous position.

Geremi steps up and curls right-footed over the wall, the ball looks destined for the bottom corner but Bywater is at full-stretch to divert around the post. Geremi takes the flag-kick and the ball drops amid a crowd of bodies, Smith hooks goalwards but it’s always rising and clears the crossbar.

Toon real chances came in 41st minutes when Smith slips a pass infield to Milner 20 yards from goal, his clever first time throughball frees Ameobi.

He has Davis challenging from behind and stupidly elects to shoot early but his right-footed strike goes wide of Bywater’s near post. I can’t believe he decide to shoot it too early, it was much better if he runs it for a while to create room for shooting.

Obafemi Martins takes on the field in 55 minutes to replaced Michael Owen. Another surprise, I only hope that Owen is not injured.

For the first time this season we have seen Allardyce looks desperate and clueless. Abdoulaye Faye comes on for Geremi in 59 minutes to make his United debut with Smith taking over the armband from the Cameroon star.

The changes made United revert to a 4-3-3 formation with Faye in front of the back four, Butt and Smith in midfield, with Milner on the left, Martins on the right and Ameobi through the middle.

Team Line-Up:

DCFC: Stephen Bywater, Tyrone Mears, Dean Leacock, Claude Davis, Andy Griffin, Gary Teale, Stephen Pearson, Eddie Lewis, Kenny Miller, Steve Howard, Matt Oakley
Subs: Jay McEveley, David Jones, Robert Earnshaw, Andy Todd, Benny Feilhaber

NUFC: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor (Habib Beye – 76min), Cacapa, David Rozehnal, Charles N'Zogbia, Alan Smith, Nicky Butt, Geremi (Abdoulaye Faye – 59min), James Milner, Shola Ameobi, Michael Owen (Oba Martins – 55min)
Subs: Matty Pattison, Shay Given

Referee: Peter Walton

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