Rainy Gallowgate at the start of the first half causing a little problem for the players to get good passing movement over the wet surface. But the Lads start the game attacking the visitor’s end.
But once again Newcastle was conceded an early goal in eight minutes while Birmingham plays the ball long from their deep. David Rozehnal is tracking the run of Cameron Jerome but unable to cut out the pass and the Blues striker takes a touch before rounding Given and slotting into an empty net. 0-1.
This is the Toon Army job again to help United team make another chasing game, and they performed another superb backing.
On the other side, Butt tries to get Martins away with a chip into the Blues penalty area, this time Blues player Rafael Schmitz is succeed to head clear the ball before Martins would have been clean through.
Rob Styles waves the Newcastle protests away for a penalty claim in 16 minutes. N’Zogbia and Milner combine on the left. Milner made an ultimate crossing from deep to trouble Ridgewell, the ball skids up off the surface and Smith tries to take advantage.
Ridgewell trying to get the possession from Smithy which resulting United’s versatile player goes down under his challenge, it would’ve been harsh had the penalty been given.Milner wins the Magpies first corner immediately after the accident and takes the flag-kick himself.
His delivery was dangerous and beats everyone inside the penalty area. Rozehnal dives to head against the post but Rob Styles give the visitors a free-kick for an infringement by Roz.
The Geordies are keep searching for a leveller and James Milner is next to test the Blues defensive side. He is skipping another Ridgewell’s challenge efforts on the edge of the six-yards-box before gunning a low drive skid wide of Taylor’s far post.
His terrific effort immediately have been reponded with a roaring chant of “There’s only one James Milner” from the Gallowgate terraces. Unfortunately for Nicky Butt, he looks to be carrying an injury on half hour mark and being replaced by Mark Viduka.
Soon after the first United changes on first-half, if there’s someone who can bring the goal in for United, that is must be Oba Martins.
N’Zogbia’s shot in 37 minutes blocked by a crowd of Blues defenders, but the ball only spinning free for Martins. Matthew Sadler slides in to deny the Nigerian who has a clear strike on goal but he only trips Martins.
This time with no hesitation, Rob Styles points to the spot, and Martins steps up to fire into the net via the diving Taylor and a post for his seventh of the season. 1-1.
Newcastle now dominated the game and should be in front in the near closing minutes of the first half. James Milner who has terrific display today, gets on the end of another wicked N’Zogbia delivery but somehow Maik Taylor manages to push the winger’s close range volley up and over the bar.
N’Zogbia takes the flag-in from the right and the Blues can only half clear as far as Milner lurking 20 yards out, he takes a touch before arrowing a right-footed strike for Taylor’s top corner, again though the Northern Irish stopper denies the England Under-21 star and palms the stinging effort onto the crossbar and the Blues clear the loose ball.
Half-time ends 1-1 for both team in a fantastic United display. Coming up next the second-half match report.
Shay Given, Habib Beye, Charles N’Zogbia, Steven Taylor, David Rozehnal, Nicky Butt Mark Viduka (31″), Joey Barton, Geremi (c), James Milner, Alan Smith, Oba Martins
Subs: Steve Harper, Jose Enrique, David Edgar, Emre
Maik Taylor, Stephen Kelly, Mathew Sadler, Rafael Schmitz, Liam Ridgwell (c), Sebastian Larsson, Cameron Jerome, Gary McSheffrey, Mehdi Nafti, Daniel De Ridder, Fabrice Muamba
Subs: Colin Doyle, Garry O’Connor, Mikael Forssell, Stuart Parnaby, Olivier Kapo
Referee: Rob Styles