Toon Go Joint Second As They Take Three Points The Hard Way!

Last updated : 24 August 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor
NEWCASTLE UTD: Given, Beye, Taylor, Coloccini, N'Zogbia, Milner,Butt, Guthrie, Gutierrez, Martins (Owen 53), Duff (Geremi 46).

Subs Not Used: Harper, Jose Enrique, Bassong, Smith, Edgar.

BOLTON: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Andrew O'Brien,Samuel, Joey O'Brien (Mustapha 85), Nolan, Muamba,Taylor (Gardner 65), Davies, Elmander (McCann 15).

Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Hunt, Dzemaili, Shittu.

Att: 47,711

And how right he was. We reported last week the situation was like a tennis match - if you break serve - it only counts if you hold serve yourself.

As it happens ... Newcastle 'held serve' ... thanks to the luck of the Irish and a super save from Shay Given, and Supersub Michael Owen.

Owen sent a timely reminder to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley as Kevin Keegn continues to get the 28-year-old to commit himself to the Toon for another four years.

Owen missed all of pre-season as he recovered from a bout of mumps and a calf injury, but he made the difference on a day when Newcastle huffed and puffed but rarely looked like winning it until his inclusion.

On as a substitute for the injured Obafemi Martins, he glanced a deft header past Jussi Jaaskelainen from Geremi's cross in the 71st minute to snatch victory.

However, if Owen's contribution was decisive, goalkeeper Shay Given was also hugely influential.

He had earlier kept out Kevin Nolan's penalty with Bolton threatening to spoil the party in front of a crowd of just 47,711.

Bolton have a track record on Tyneside, having spoiled Keegan's arrival by scrapping their way to a goalless draw on his return to the club in January.

As the teams left the pitch at the break, the scoreline was exactly the same, as was the sense of frustration among the home fans.

There was muted applause from the home fans as their side left the pitch, but Keegan had fresh problems at the break when Duff, who had been hurt in a collision with Andy O'Brien shortly before the break, failed to re-appear.
Geremi was drafted in on the right wing as Milner pushed up alongside Martins.

Things might have got even worse when, with 59 minutes gone, Gretar Steinsson's cross flicked off Joey O'Brien's head and hit Taylor's arm, and referee Steve Bennet pointed to the spot.

Nolan drilled the ball low to Given's left, and the Irishman pulled off a fine save to spare his side further punishment.


Fulham held on for a famous 1-0 victory over Arsenal in Saturday which was secured by big defender Brede Hangeland's first goal for the club.
Arsenal's Robin van Persie missed a golden chance before Norwegian Hangeland turned in a corner from Jimmy Bullard in the 21st minute.
Emmanuel Adebayor hit the right post with a header for Arsenal soon afterwards, but that was as close as the Gunners came to an equaliser.

Meanwhile Tottenham's woeful start to the season continued as they lost 2-1 at home to Sunderland - with wantaway striker Dimitar Berbatov left out completely by boss Juande Ramos.
Spurs, who lost at Middlesbrough last week, dominated first-half possession and chances at White Hart Lane but lost due to debutant Djibril Cisse's 83rd-minute header.
But Sunderland started the second half like a different team after a spell of pressure Kieran Richardson scored a brilliant long-range effort, bending home a powerful right-footed shot from 20 yards in the 55th minute.
Jermaine Jenas equalised with a scrappy strike on the rebound but Sunderland showed their spirit as debutant Cisse, on as a substitute, rose to head Daryl Murphy's cross home to secure the win.

Fernando Torres and Robbie Keane's fledgling partnership was frustrated as Liverpool needed an injury-time winner from Steven Gerrard to beat Middlesbrough 2-1.
The opener went to Boro as Mido collected the ball deep and took Liverpool by surprise with a delightful left-footed long-range strike.
But the home side levelled at Anfield as Jamie Carragher's drive from the corner of the area deflected off Austrian defender Emanuel Pogatetz four minutes from time, with Gerrard drilling home the winner.

Stoke enjoyed a winning start to life at home in the top flight as Mamady Sidibe scored a last-gasp winner to beat Aston Villa 3-2.
Liam Lawrence's first-half penalty had been cancelled out by John Carew.
Ricardo Fuller's world class solo effort had looked like giving Tony Pulis' side the win, only for Martin Laursen to spoil the party with an equaliser from a goalmouth scramble.
However, Sidibe rose to somehow head beyond Friedel deep into injury-time and secure the win.

Hull striker Richard Garcia provided a brilliant headed equaliser to earn his side a 1-1 draw at Blackburn.
Rovers dominated much of the first-half and Jason Roberts coolly fired them ahead seven minutes before the break.
However, Australian Garcia levelled soon after when he found space at the far post to arc a header beyond Paul Robinson.

Leon Osman and Ayegbeni Yakubu's second half strikes helped Everton to a hard-fought 2-1 win at West Brom.
Osman scored in the second after good work by Mikel Arteta - just moments after youngster Jack Rodwell had a goal disallowed for a push.
Ayegbeni Yakubu made it 2-0 with a header 11 minutes later and while Roman Bednar pulled one back from the penalty spot with a minute remaining, it proved immaterial.