IV) Newcastle v. West Ham

Coming into this match, the Newcastle faithful were just starting to get over the hangover that was Chris Hughton’s dismissal.
Alan Pardew had arrived and managed to get some good results however was still lacking conviction that he was any better than Hughton.
Confidence amongst the Toon fans was diminished somewhat by the news that Shola Ameobi would miss the tie, and an even bigger groan was exerted when it was announced Leon Best would win his first start in the Premier League.

The team started brightly with Leon Best throwing himself around in the air and holding the ball up nicely.
However he missed a good chance early on when Barton crossed in and the debutant placed a free header off target.
On 18 minutes he made amends, as an Enrique long ball landed at Lovenkrands feet, the Dane lobbing over for Best to run onto. He judged the flight of the ball well and sent a classy volley past Robert Green.
Earlier, former Magpie Scott Parker ad tested Harper with a long range effort, but the Toon grabbed the vital second goal on 34 minutes.
A quick freekick from Barton set Lovenkrands free, and his centre across the 6-yard box was porrly cleared by West Ham, leaving Best to grab his second with a powerful finish.
A third was added on the stroke of halftime, Gutierrez making his first meaningful contribution with a run to the byline, crossing near post. Tomkins managed to get a foot to the ball, but his clearance was por and fell to Nolan, who calmly slotted the ball into the right hand corner.
Cue the infamous Chicken Dance celebration. Taylor was forced off at halftime, Williamson adequately replacing him for the remainder of the match.
West Ham introduced Behrami and Obinna for Piquionne and Kovac and looked livelier. However Best put them to the sword once again to complete his hat trick on 60 minutes. Finding himself free in the centre of the box when receiving a Nolan pass, he only had Green to beat and finished emphatically.
Lovenkrands added the fifth when his clever near post run was expertly picked out by Barton and the Dane got a well-deserved goal.
Ranger managed to miss an absolute sitter late on in the game after arriving as a substitute, the youngster still looking to register his first Premier League goal.

It was an astonishing result for the Toon, as well as an astonishing performance from Leon Best.
All three of his goals were well-taken but it was also his commitment and work ethic which shone through in his game.
Cheick Tiote was a beast in the midfield aa always while the only blotch on the paper was Ranger’s failure to register his first Premier League goal.
Otherwise a brilliant result and on which matches incredible six and five goal victories over Aston Villa and Sunderland this season.


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