Newcastle United 1 Birmingham City 0

Last updated : 05 November 2005 By Footymad Previewer
A dreadful error from Maik Taylor, for the second successive week, cost Birmingham dearly at St. James' Park.

The Northern Ireland goalkeeper was to blame at St Andrews last week when his blunder gifted Simon Davies a goal and Everton only their second win of the season.

And he was guilty again after 78 minutes when he allowed Emre's 25-yarder to slip through his grasp for the only goal of the game.

The City shot-stopper was distraught as he left the pitch, having also cost his side earlier in the season against Arsenal.

Newcastle skipper Alan Shearer is to travel to Munich to have a hernia operation on Monday, by the doctor who performed the same surgery on Stephen Carr earlier this week.

Back to the game and quite frankly it was instantly forgettable. City set out their stall with five packed into midfield and Emile Heskey battling it out alone up front.

In fairness to the visitors they fully deserved a point, but luck tends not to go your way when you are languishing second from bottom.

Jiri Jarosik rattled the Newcastle post with a speculative 35-yarder just before the hour mark in a match that was littered by far too many stoppages from referee Mike Dean.

This was a third win in a row for Newcastle and a second in six days over Midlands opposition, following last weekend's 3-0 rout at West Brom, and consolidated their 10th position in the table.

But having hit three goals in each of their previous matches against Sunderland and the Baggies, United never looked like repeating that feat against Steve Bruce's hard-working outfit.

The impression was that one goal would always claim the points. The big question was, who would score that all important goal?

City started off positively, solid at the back and confident in possession. That confidence grew throughout the game to the extent that neither of Newcastle's prolific strikers Shearer or Michael Owen managed a shot on target.

But the all important winner stemmed from Owen's determination. Twice he could have shot at goal, but he eventually squared the ball for Celestine Babayaro who laid the ball into the path of Emre and just as he had done against Sunderland in the last home game, the Turk settled the issue - with a lot of help from Maik Taylor.

Man of the match: Nolberto Solano.

Anything that was creative came from the fans' favourite. The Peruvian worked tirelessly before making way late in the game for Lee Clark.