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NUFC 1908/09 - Match Details

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Stewart and new centre-forward Blanthorne make their debuts. Bradford are in their first season in the premier division having won Division 2 last season. Blanthorne suffers a double leg fracture on his debut but a couple of minutes later Veitch puts United ahead and they hang on to win even though they play the last five minutes with nine men after Carr limps off too.

Bradford City - SJP - 26,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Carr, Gardner, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Blanthorne, Stewart, Wilson.

Scorers: Veitch

Newcastle have the advantage of a strong westerly breeze in the first-half but their kicking is somewhat wild.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Bradford 0

71m - United's new centre-forward Blanthorne collides with Campbell and breaks both the bones in his lower right leg. He is carried from the field in an ambulance.

75m - The awful accident seems to instil United with a new vigour and Rutherford finds VEITCH who is right in front of goal and coolly slots the ball out of Spendiff's reach (1-0).

The visitors search valiantly for an equaliser and their cause is helped when Carr limps off leaving United with nine men for the last five minutes.

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Bradford 0

Position: 5th

It is the Fossils first visit to St. James' for a League game. Allan makes his debut; replacing broken leg victim Blanthorne and Whitson replaces Carr who is also injured. It is a mildly interesting game in which United's disjointed performance and lack of finishing lets them down, two goals in the last fifteen minutes secures both points.

Leicester Fosse (8th) - SJP - 32,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Gardner, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Allan, Stewart, Wilson.

Scorers: Veitch, Howie

It is cold and wet and the heavy rain has made the pitch soft and yielding.

Fosse are the better side but are unsteady in their finishing.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0

Play continues to be relatively uneventful but United's combination gradually starts to click.

75m - Rutherford sets up VEITCH to score with a fine shot (1-0).

77m - Rutherford is again the provider with HOWIE netting from close range (2-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Leicester 0

Position: 3rd

United have started the season with three home games and three unconvincing victories. They are outplayed for significant periods of the game and trail at half-time. Howie scores twice after the break; the second in the last minute to secure both points. The Magpies top the table.

Bristol City (16th) - SJP - 22,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Gardner, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Allan, Stewart, Wilson.

Scorers: Howie (2) - Gilligan

24m - The Bristolians have the benefit of the wind and slope and it is no surprise when GILLIGAN gives them the lead (0-1). City continue to dominate the play.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Bristol City 1

With United now having topographical and metrological advantage, they pen the visitors back.

53m - HOWIE scores a soft goal (1-1) and United now have most of the play. Allan misses an open goal.

90m - HOWIE wriggles through and with custodian Clay being deceived by the bad light scores from almost under the bar (2-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Bristol City 1

Position: 1st

A much improved performance brings a deserved victory at Plumstead although they are helped by the fact that Arsenal have to play with ten men for half the game.

W. Arsenal (14th) - Manor Field - 20,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Gardner, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Stewart, Wilson, Anderson.

Scorers: Rutherford, Stewart - Greenaway

Allan is unwell so Anderson makes his debut and Stewart and Wilson shuffle over.

Though Newcastle have to face a fierce sun,they start impressively and a superb forward pass from Howie finds RUTHERFORD running at full tilt - who hits a swift shot of the daisy cutter type that no keeper could have stopped (1-0).

Although Arsenal are doing most of the attacking it is United who come closest when Stewart hits the bar.

30m - Ducat has to retire injured with a twisted ankle.

Half-time: Arsenal 0 Newcastle 1

The Reds play with a desperate energy and are a trifle unlucky not to score. Neave is limping and Lee is temporarily knocked out.

A bewildering attacking move ends with Anderson finding the net but he is judged offside.

Howie lays the ball off to STEWART who bursts pass three defenders; his first shot is parried by McDonald, but he converts the rebound (2-0).

Right at the end GREENAWAY pulls one back with a beauty (2-1).

Full-time: Arsenal 1 Newcastle 2

Position: 1st

County travelled up on Friday and stayed at picturesque Whitley Bay. The day is gloriously fine, rather too sultry for a strenuous game with the leather. Wilson scores an early goal, but despite playing against ten men for an hour United's play inexplicably deteriorates after the first fifteen minutes. The performance is once again spasmodic as the forward line continues to struggle. Campaigning for the Newcastle By-election is in full swing and Emily Pankhurst and some of her most gifted disciples hold a demonstration on the Town Moor. However, their speeches have to compete with the exuberant cheering emanating from St. James'.

Notts County (14th) - SJP - 25,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Gardner, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Stewart, Wilson, Anderson.

Scorers: Wilson

04m - The Lacemen attack from the whistle, but a brilliant sweeping move right across the forward line is finished off by WILSON who's shot appears to be going wide but curls in off the post with Iremonger left bemused (1-0).

For the first fifteen minutes The Magpies are excellent but after that their play begins to deteriorate and County are now doing most of the attacking; Walker hits the bar and Lawrence has to make some excellent saves.

30m - County player Harper twists his knee and is off the field for ten minutes. He returns but collapses again; it appears he has torn ligaments.

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Notts County 0

Harper does not re-appear and Notts County are happy to concentrate on defence. Despite monopolising the play, United lack the power and enterprise to make it count.

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Notts County 0

Position: 1st

The match is played to mark the royal visit and to raise funds for the Cumberland Infirmary Extension Fund. Allan scores a hat-trick and still ends up on the losing side. Both sides finish with ten men due to injuries. Princess Louise (the royalty in question) lays the foundation stone.


Sinclair, Thompson, Pudan, Gardner, Veitch, Willis, Rutherford J, Rutherford G, Allan, Soye, Gosnell.

Scorers: Allan (3) - Sanderson (2), Baxter (2)

SANDERSON opens the scoring (0-1) and BAXTER adds a second soon after (0-2).

Jock Rutherford centres for ALLAN (1-2)

SANDERSON and BAXTER both score again (1-4)

Half-time: Carlisle 4 Newcastle 1

Rutherford sets up ALLAN again for a fine goal (2-4) and the same pair combine again (3-4).

Full-time: Carlisle 4 Newcastle 3

Despite being the better side and playing their best match so far, United suffer their first reverse as they concede twice in five minutes in a rousing game on a rather treacherous pitch.

Sheff. Wed. (5th) - Hillsborough - 31,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Gardner, Veitch, Liddell, Rutherford, Howie, Stewart, Wilson, Anderson.

Scorers: Bradshaw (2)

McWilliam has caught a cold and is replaced by Liddell.

Despite the rather treacherous Owlerton pitch, which causes a number of players to lose their footing, play is fast and interesting. Both sides have chances and Lawrence makes some good saves. United come closest when Rutherford hits the underside of the bar.

Half-time: Sheff. Wed. 0 Newcastle 0

End-to-end attacking prevails as the game hots up.

68m - Brittleton hits a long free-kick from the half-way line and although Lawrence rushes out BRADSHAW cleverly jumps up and heads the ball over the stranded custodian (0-1).

73m - BRADSHAW hits home a beautiful shot after a fine run (0-2).

Full-time: Sheff. Wed. 2 Newcastle 0

Position: 2nd

The first match in a double header to raise funds for the unemployed of both cities. This match is in aid of the Newcastle Distress Fund which is raising money for the unemployed of the City. The crowd is disappointing but with both sides agreeing to pay their own expenses and a little help from club funds about £200 is raised. Higgins scores all four of United's goals.

30/09 - Fr: Glasgow Rangers - SJP - 5,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Pudan, Gardner, Veitch, Willis, Rutherford, Howie, Higgins, Wilson, Anderson.

Scorers: Higgins (4) - Pudan og

It is a hot afternoon and although both sides are playing fine football they are not exerting themselves too much.

HIGGINS scores twice for United (2-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Glasgow Rangers 0

PUDAN puts into his own net (2-1) but Newcastle are by far the better side and HIGGINS scores twice more (4-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 4 Glasgow Rangers 1

Newcastle have never won at Ashton Gate. Luck is on their side for the first two goals but after playing with ten men for all but ten minutes they deserved their share of the spoils in a thrilling game.

D1: Bristol City (9th) - Ashton Gate - 18,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Gardner, Veitch, Willis, Rutherford, Howie, Higgins, Stewart, Wilson

Scorers: Veitch (2 - 1 pen), Higgins - Gilligan (2), Burton

The weather is glorious. Higgins is rewarded for his four-goal performance against Rangers and is the fourth player tried at centre. Willis replaces Liddell.

06m - Hilton's excellent placed corner allows an unmarked BURTON to head in from under the bar (0-1).

10m - Gardner twists the ligaments in his left knee and has to be carried off; United play a 2-3-4 formation.

City are very aggressive but United defend well and Lawrence is excellent.

Half-time: Bristol City 1 Newcastle 0

50m - GILLIGAN dashes between the backs and shoots past Lawrence's despairing dive (0-2). Soon after Whitson shoots against the angle.

65m - A doubtful handball decision allows VEITCH to score from the spot (1-2). Newcastle change to a more adventurous 1-3-5 formation which seems to unsettle the homesters.

75m - Another lucky break for the Magpies as a loose ball rebounds off the referee's head to HIGGINS who is left with an open goal (2-2).

76m - GILLIGAN hits a ferocious shot from distance and although Lawrence gets his hands to it the ball spins into the net (2-3). Marr has to go off so it's 10-a-side now.

87m - VEITCH equalises (3-3).

Full-time: Bristol City 3 Newcastle 3

Position: 2nd

The return match is more popular and £230 is raised for the "unfortunates" of present-day society. Neither side is at full-strength but United outclass their Scottish opponents.

Fr: Glasgow Rangers - 8,000

Lawrence, McCombie, Whitson, Willis, Veitch, Liddell, Duncan, Howie, Stewart, Anderson.

Scorers: Duncan, Veitch, Higgins, Howie - McPherson, Livingstone

10m - DUNCAN scores with a fast, high shot (1-0).

MCPHERSON equalises (1-1) but Rangers' right-full-back Law has to retire.

VEITCH restores United's lead with a long shot (2-1).

Half-time: Glasgow Rangers 1 Newcastle 2

75m - Following a great run HIGGINS scores (3-1).

HOWIE nets from 25-yards following an excellent combined run (4-1).

LIVINGSTONE pulls one back from a corner (4-2).

Full-time: Glasgow Rangers 2 Newcastle 4

The visitors are the better side for the first twenty minutes until United gradually take control and score at the end of each half. United still lack dash and thrusting power in their forward play.

D1: Preston (10th) - SJP - 26,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Willis Veitch, McWilliam, Duncan, Howie, Higgins, Stewart, Wilson

Scorers: Stewart, Higgins

Rutherford (replaced by Duncan) and Gardner (replaced by McWilliam) are both out injured.

The weather is fine although there is a fairly strong wind which is in United's favour in the first-half.

Preston outside-right Bond has an altercation with a section of the crowd and the referee has to temporarily stop the game.

43m - Higgins' shot is splendidly saved by McBride but STEWART takes the clearance and hits a terrific drive (1-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Preston 0

Newcastle attack spiritedly and Preston defend well.

HIGGINS adds a second towards the end (2-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Preston 0

Position: 2nd

Despite being goalless it is a game brimful of exciting incidents; cleanly contested and sparkling with admirable play. There are plenty of exciting incidents and both custodians are kept busy.

D1: Middlesbrough (18th) - Ayresome Park - 20,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Willis Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Higgins, Stewart, Wilson

lt is a dull and cheerless afternoon in Middlesbrough.

The homesters come closest when Willis' fast, flying shot hits the underside of the bar and rebounds into play before it is shot wide.

Half-time: Middlesbrough 0 Newcastle 0

Middlesbrough are markedly on top but the Magpies defend expertly. ln one frenzied assault the home side hit five on-target shots with defenders blocking four of them and Lawrence saving the other.

Full-time: Middlesbrough 0 Newcastle 0

Position: 2nd

The match has been designated as a benefit for Howie (after five years good and faithful service) and he gets a tremendous reception when he takes to the field in brilliant sunshine. Fittingly he scores both goals.

D1: Man. City (12th) - SJP - 33,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Jobey, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Higgins, Stewart, Wilson

Scorers: Howie (2)

The visitors have been in poor form recently; Jobey returns from injury and replaces Willis.

Newcastle are well on top and are unlucky to see shots from both Rutherford and Stewart striking the post.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Man. City 0

Stewart hits the bar for City.

58m - With the visitors vainly appealing for offside Rutherford sets off on a run and from his centre HOWIE gives Smith no chance (1-0).

Man. City fight back and pass over a number of chances to equalise.

83m - They pay for their profligacy when (despite calling for offside again) Rutherford is once more the provider for HOWIE (2-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Man. City 0

Position: 2nd

Despite an excellent performance from Lawrence the Magpies are always second-best and deservedly beaten.

D1: Liverpool (8th) - Anfield - 28,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Jobey, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Higgins, Stewart, Wilson

Scorers: Wilson - Orr, Cox

02m - Liverpool start strongly and a tremendously hard shot from former United favourite Orr hits the underside of the bar before Lawrence clears. The home side dominate the attacking.

Just before half-time ORR opens the scoring after a scrimmage (0-1).

Half-time: Liverpool 1 Newcastle 0

Soon after the restart COX makes it two with a low shot which Lawrence allows to squirm out of his grasp (0-2).

Rutherford races away and finds the unmarked WILSON who converts easily (1-2).

Full-time: Liverpool 2 Newcastle 1

Position: 2nd

United coast into a three-goal lead in just over thirty minutes with some rather soft goals before their play falls off remarkably in the tamest match of the season so far. The Magpies continue to attack but there is no great urgency about their play.

Bury (18th) - SJP - 30,000

Lawrence, Carr, Whitson, Jobey, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Higgins, Wilson, Ridley

Scorers: Rutherford, Ridley, Veitch - Hughes

Carr replaces the injured McCracken and Ridley comes in for Stewart. It is fine but cold and the ground appears quite soft with some sprinklings of sand.

11m - Raeside misjudges Higgins' centre allowing RUTHERFORD to run in and touch the ball home on the volley (1-0).

14m - The custodian is at fault again when RIDLEY's ball in from the touchline flies over his head and into the net (2-0).

34m - Newcastle are totally dominant and VEITCH hits a long-range effort which Raeside does not seem to react to until the ball is in the back of the net (3-0). Another very soft goal.

Half-time: Newcastle 3 Bury 0

Just on time HUGHES grabs a consolation (3-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Bury 1

Position: 2nd

An interesting rather than exciting game in which there are few real chances, United once again guilty of failing to get their shots in. The goals come within three minutes of each other; Veitch equalising from a penalty.

Sheff. Utd. (17th) - Bramall Lane - 18,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Jobey, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Higgins, Stewart, Ridley

Scorers: Veitch (pen) - Featherstone

McCracken returns after injury and Stewart is recalled in place of Wilson.

Lawrence attempts to fists out a Hardinge shot but the ball skims off his hands leaving (a decidedly offside looking) FEATHERSTONE to bundle the ball into the net (0-1).

A dangerous rush ends when Higgins is tripped by Needham and VEITCH hits the resultant penalty with force and accuracy (1-1).

Just before the break Ridley misses a great chance when he rounds the stranded keeper but misses the target.

Half-time: Sheff. Utd. 1 Newcastle 1

The game becomes faster and more exciting and Rutherford misses an open goal.

Hardinge's shot hits the underside of the bar and despite protests from the Cutlers the referee rules that the ball did not cross the line.

Full-time: Sheff. Utd. 1 Newcastle 1

Position: 2nd

A disappointing crowd attends a charity match to raise funds for the Newcastle Royal Infirmary. The Magpies are by far the cleverer team and Stewart scores a hat-trick in a comfortable win.

Middlesbrough - SJP - 3,000

Lawrence, McCombie, Whitson, Jobey, Liddell, Willis, Rutherford, Higgins, Stewart, Wilson, Gosnell

Scorers: Stewart (3), Higgins, Wilson - Commons

The Magpies are by far the cleverer team and STEWART scores twice from Rutherford centres (2-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Middlesbrough

United continue to dominate and HIGGINS shakes of two defenders before netting with a lengthy drive (3-0).

STEWART completes his hat-trick (4-0).

COMMONS pulls one back (4-1) and Bloomer almost breaks the bar with a rasping drive.

WILSON wriggles through just before time (5-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 5 Middlesbrough 1

The Villains are superior all round, exhibiting far more speed and cleverness and Lawrence has to be on his best form. The Magpies play some decent football though the forwards are absolutely feeble. With the rain falling incessantly during the game the pitch becomes a quagmire and the ball is like a lead weight.

Aston Villa (5th) - SJP - 35,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Jobey, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Higgins, Stewart, Wilson

Scorers: Wallace, Reeves

Wilson replaces Ridley. The turf is quite treacherous.

44m - United's custodian is finally beaten when WALLACE hits a grounder and Lawrence is unsighted by Whitson - the ball brushing the back's leg before going in (0-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Aston Villa 1

United are in control but they are hanging onto the ball for too long.

69m - Following a swift counter, REEVES drives the leather into the net for a glorious goal (0-2).

80m - McWilliam departs injured.

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Aston Villa 2

Position: 3rd

Although they are in mid-table the Foresters have lost four times at Trent Bridge this season. The directorate make wholesale changes to the side. New signing Shepherd makes his debut, McWilliam and McCracken are injured and Jobey, Rutherford and Stewart are all dropped. Shepherd scores as United's experimental side coasts to an easy win over a very poor Foresters side. A large crowd gathers at Central Station to see the players return; but the man they have turned up to see (Shepherd) has gone to Bolton.

Nottm. Forest (10th) - City Ground - 8,000

Lawrence, Whitson, Pudan, Liddell, Veitch, Willis, Duncan, Higgins, Shepherd, Wilson, Gosnell

Scorers: Liddell, Shepherd, Higgins, Wilson

10m - LIDDELL puts United ahead from a corner (1-0). This seems to knock the homesters confidence and United start to dominate;

30m - SHEPHERD gets a clear run on goal and scores the second (2-0).

31m - Straight from the restart HIGGINS dribbles his way through a crowd of players (3-0).

Half-time: Nottm. Forest 0 Newcastle 3

54m - The Magpies are taking it easy now, WILSON notches a fourth after a melee (4-0).

Full-time: Nottm. Forest 0 Newcastle 4

Position: 2nd

The directors decide to stick with the same eleven for the Tyne-Wear derby; sending five internationals to play for the reserves at Darlington. It turns into a complete disaster as United suffer their heaviest ever home defeat. Incredibly it is 1-1 at half-time. Hogg and Holley both register hat-tricks.

Sunderland (6th) - SJP - 56,000

Lawrence, Whitson, Pudan, Liddell, Veitch, Willis, Duncan, Higgins, Shepherd, Wilson, Gosnell

Scorers: Shepherd (pen) - Hogg (3), Holley (3), Bridgett (2), Mordue

07m - Mordue beats Pudan and centres fo HOGG to drive the ball past the advancing Lawrence.

44m - Thomson is harshly judged to have handled and SHEPHERD converts confidently (1-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Sunderland 1

47m - Sunderland break away and HOLLEY scores with a great long drive (1-2)

55m - Whitson is badly hurt then Holley hits the post.

58m - Mordue beats Pudan and centres for HOGG (1-3).

62m - HOLLEY races between the backs to score from close-range (1-4).

63m - Mordue is the provider again for HOLLEY (1-5).

69m - BRIDGETT ghosts past Whitson and scores (1-6).

Whitson hobbles off.

71m - BRIDGETT hits a cracking shot from long distance (1-7).

73m - MORDUE once again gets the better of Pudan and scores himself (1-8).

79m - HOGG nets number nine (1-9).

In the closing minutes Duncan is knocked out and carried off.

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Sunderland 9

Position: 2nd

The Pensioners have lost their last three games and have not won at home for a couple of months. Half the United side is changed again. The turf (which is liberally sanded) is heavy and holding. Chelsea lead at the break but Allan equalises and a penalty from star-man Veitch secures victory five minutes from time.

Chelsea (10th) - Stamford Bridge - 30,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Carr, Jobey, Veitch, Willis, Duncan, Higgins, Allan, Stewart, Gosnell

Scorers: Allan, Veitch pen - Humphreys

The game starts at a slow pace and the defences of both sides are in control.

28m - HUMPHREYS scores from close range (0-1).

Half-time: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0

53m - Play improves considerably and ALLAN is put through by a fine pass from Veitch (1-1).

85m - Gosnell is clearly pushed and a penalty is given. Whitley repels VEITCH's first attempt but United's star man scores from the rebound.

Full-time: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 2

Position: 2nd

A return charity match with Middlesbrough with the proceeds going to the home town's Distress Fund on this occasion. It is cold and damp and there are only about 1,000 spectators.

Middlesbrough - Ayresome Park - 1,000

Scorers: Stewart, Liddell - Common

The first-half is tamely contested; STEWART scoring the only goal with a good shot from a corner (1-0).

Half-time: Middlesbrough 0 Newcastle 1

LIDDELL converts a penalty (2-0).

80m - COMMONS shot is very weak but Lawrence lets it slip through his hands (2-1).

Full-time: Middlesbrough 1 Newcastle 2

Despite the win in London the directorate - for the third League game in a row - change half the side. Although Rovers are unbeaten away from home they put in a poor performance and United are smarter, cleverer and more energetic in a relatively comfortable victory. For once their fiddling short-passing game is discarded in favour of long swinging passes.

Blackburn (7th) - SJP - 22,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Willis, Veitch, McWilliam, Duncan, Higgins, Shepherd, Wilson, Anderson

Scorers: Duncan, Anderson

Shepherd soon has the ball in the net but it is disallowed for offside. Garbutt hits an upright for Rovers.

36m - DUNCAN's polished shot goes in just by the post (1-0).

41m - Shepherds shot is blocked but it comes out to ANDERSON who strikes an accurate grounder from a difficult angle (2-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Blackburn 0

United are dominant but gradually the game becomes very tame and flat.

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Blackburn 0

Position: 2nd

Reigning Champions Manchester United won 6-1 on Tyneside last season and in an excellent performance Newcastle have more brain and far more energy than in recent games. After the game the teams travel to the Cottonopolis together on a specially chartered train. It costs them £39 plus fares but both teams regard it a sound investment.

Man. Utd. (3rd) - SJP - 40,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Willis, Veitch, McWilliam, Duncan, Higgins, Shepherd, Wilson, Anderson

Scorers: Wilson, Shepherd - Turnbull

The visitors press first but from a counter WILSON beats the unsighted Moger (1-0).

TURNBULL equalises from a melee (1-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Man. Utd. 1

The Magpies are very much on top now and Higgins sets up SHEPHERD (2-1).

United keep attacking but there are no more goals.

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Man. Utd. 1

Position: 2nd

Five thousand United fans travel to Lancashire. With only five minutes played McCracken has to retire after suffering a bad head cut on the frost bound pitch. United concede a penalty soon after and need Lawrence and Veitch to be at their best to stay in the game. The conditions are so bad that at one time the referee calls the captains together and asks if they want to continue.

Man. Utd. (3rd) - Bank Street - 45,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Willis, Veitch, McWilliam, Duncan, Higgins, Shepherd, Wilson, Anderson

Scorers: Halse (pen)

05m - The players are having trouble keeping their feet on the frozen ground and McCracken cuts the back of his head so badly that he has to retire. Veitch takes his place and Higgins is asked to play centre-half.

12m - McWilliam charges Meredith in the back and HALSE confidently dispatches the spot kick (0-1).

The home side overwhelm the understrength Magpies who are further hampered when Wilson has to have treatment too.

Half-time: Man. Utd. 1 Newcastle 0

The plucky Magpies defend superbly and they are unlucky not to equalise in a concerted attacking spell in the last ten minutes.

Full-time: Man. Utd. 1 Newcastle 0

Gardner returns from his ligament injury and with McCombie, Howie and Rutherford all recalled the team has a more familiar look about it. United pull off a great victory against the leaders despite having to withstand great pressure for much of the game.

D1: Everton (1st) - Goodson Park - 40,000

Lawrence, McCombie, Whitson, Gardner, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Shepherd, Wilson, Anderson

Scorers: Howie

It is cold and misty and the stadium has had to be cleared of snow. The turf is very soft and soon becomes a sea of mud.

03m - HOWIE heads past Scott from a Rutherford corner (1-0). United are on top for twenty minutes but their shooting is somewhat wild. Everton work their way into the game after that.

Half-time: Everton 0 Newcastle 1

Everton are on top and have several good shots. Barlow is unlucky to hit the bar. The homesters continue to strive for an equaliser and there is great excitement until the very end.

Full-time: Everton 0 Newcastle 1

Position: 2nd

The Fossils have been struggling of late and have only won one game in the last two months. Newcastle brush them aside in a very one-sided game.

D1: Leicester F. (20th) - Filbert Street - 15,000

Lawrence, Veitch, Whitson, Gardner, Willis, McWilliam, Duncan, Higgins, Shepherd, Stewart, Anderson

Scorers: Shepherd, Higgins (2), Stewart

Higgins and Willis replace the injured Wilson and McCombie.

09m - A grand individual burst by SHEPHERD is polished off with a 20-yard drive (1-0).

27m - Duncan centres for HIGGINS who scores despite looking suspiciously offside (2-0).

36m - Nine minutes later HIGGINS gets his second with a splendid grounder (3-0).

Half-time: Leicester F. 0 Newcastle 3

The Magpies get a penalty for hands but Starbuck saves Shepherd's effort and pluckily clears when the centre tries to rush him. Barrister retires injured.

STEWART dribbles through and nets at close-quarters (4-0)

Full-time: Leicester F. 0 Newcastle 4

Position: 2nd

Many tonnes of sea sand has been spread on the turf but it has been quickly swallowed up by the sodden ground and the deplorable state of the pitch has a hand in three of the four goals. A game of extraordinary contrast as Arsenal are brilliant in the first period and poor after the break and the reverse is true of United. The Gunners are hampered by the loss of Hoare after Newcastle's second.

W. Arsenal (15th) - SJP - 30,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Gardner, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Shepherd, Higgins, Anderson

Scorers: Veitch (pen), Anderson, Shepherd - Fitchie

01m - Veitch's attempted clearance hits Whitson and rebounds to the unmarked FITCHIE who drives the ball in (0-1).

The Gunners keep their feet better and Satterthwaite has a goal controversially disallowed.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1

55m - Newcastle start to get their game together and after Howie is pushed VEITCH converts the penalty (1-1).

62m - Soon after ANDERSON lobs the ball into the area; Rutherford and Arsenal custodian McDonald go for the ball, but neither connect and the ball rolls in (2-1).

Arsenal's Hoare - who was injured in the first half - eventually limps off.

United are in control now and SHEPHERD scores a capital goal after Cross misses his kick (3-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Arsenal 1

Position: 2nd

Orient have been at Whitley Bay all week. There is a piercing westerly wind and this combined with a pre-match snowstorm certainly impacts on the gate (although it is still the biggest of the day). The ground is soft and greasy and leads to the ball often coming to a premature halt and lots of ludicrous mistakes. A Wilson hat-trick helps United make short- shrift of the Londoners who are currently bottom of Division 2.

Clapton Orient (D2 - 20th) - SJP - 23,670

Lawrence, McCombie, Whitson, Gardner, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Shepherd, Wilson, Anderson

Scorers: Wilson (3), Anderson, Shepherd

Orient play into the wind in the first-half.

19m - WILSON and Anderson combine well before the first-mentioned hits a swift, oblique, low drive (1-0).

30m - A long ball from McCombie finds WILSON whose rising shot hits the underside of the bar before twisting in (2-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Clapton Orient 0

55m - The strength of the wind has increased but the Magpies stay in control and WILSON completes his hat-trick from a Rutherford cross (3-0).

58m - ANDERSON's fast low shot gives Whittaker no chance (4-0)

SHEPHERD scores from an Anderson centre (5-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 5 Clapton Orient 0

the excellent Lawrence saves a penalty in the first forty-five and after the interval Shepherd scores four before leaving the field before the final whistle (reason unknown).

Notts County (11th) - Trent Bridge - 20,000

Lawrence, Carr, Whitson, Gardner, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Higgins, Shepherd, Wilson, Anderson

Scorers: Shepherd (4)

lt is cold but bright at Trent Bridge.

The home side create numerous chances, but poor finishing and excellent custodianship from Lawrence keeps them out.

10m - Whitson trips Dodds in the area, but Lawrence makes a marvellous save from his spot kick.

Half-time: Notts County 0 Newcastle 0

County start the second period with ten men but the missing Morley appears after a couple of minutes.

46m - SHEPHERD hits Rutherford's lofted centre on the bounce and it goes in off an upright (1-0).

60m - Referee Mr. Barker strains his thigh and has to retire, linesman Mr. North taking over.

63m - Higgins centres and - although clearly offside - SHEPHERD's goal is allowed to stand (2-0).

76m - Wilson is the provider for SHEPHERD whose shot nearly carries Iremonger over the line and he nets from the rebound to complete his hat-trick (3-0).

83m - SHEPHERD gets clear on the halfway line and speeds for goal before hitting a 20-yard shot with cannon-like velocity (4-0)

Shepherd then leaves the pitch although it is not clear what his problem is.

Full-time: Notts County 0 Newcastle 4

Position: 1st

The ground is very hard and with a very strong wind too, the ball is lively and difficult to control. Veitch hits a superb winner to secure victory.

Sheff. Wed. (3rd) - SJP - 33,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Gardner, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Higgins, Shepherd, Stewart, Anderson

Scorers: Veitch

McCracken is fit again and Stewart is recalled. Wilson is still out with bruised ribs.

Wednesday have the advantage of the very strong wind and dominate the first-half.

Shepherd and Spoors get at loggerheads and the Newcastle man is penalised for back-heeling.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Sheff. Wed. 0

50m - A cross comes over from the left and VEITCH hits it first-time on the drop to score with a terrific shot (1-0).

The match becomes greatly in favour of The Magpies with the visitors rarely crossing the halfway line.

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Sheff. Wed. 0

Position: 1st

Rutherford scores in the last minute to take United through against Second Division Blackpool whose robust and bustling tactics completely worried United out of their customary combination. Gardner breaks his right leg.

Blackpool (D2 - 15th) - SJP - 32,137

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Gardner, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Shepherd, Wilson, Anderson

Scorers: Howie, Rutherford - Weston

Howie and Wilson come in for Higgins and Stewart.

10m - Beare centres for WESTON to strike home a beautiful shot from 12-yards (0-1).

26m - Fiske fists down a corner but it goes straight to HOWIE. His shot hits the post and he scores from the rebound (1-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Blackpool 1

Blackpool continue to attack resolutely and give as good as they get.

Just after the hour mark Gardner breaks his leg in a challenge; being reduced to ten men seems to spark United into life.

90m - McCracken drops the ball into the goalmouth and RUTHERFORD rushes in to score the winner (2-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Blackpool 1

Anderson grabs the winner in a very assured performance against a side that has been unbeaten since the end of November. However United are still indebted to Lawrence's agility in making a couple of cat-like saves towards the end of the game.

D1: Preston (13th) - Deepdale - 10,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Willis, Howie, McWilliam, Rutherford, Higgins, Shepherd, Wilson, Anderson

Scorers: Anderson

Preston have a number of players missing. Willis comes in for Gardner whilst Howie is a surprise choice at centre-half in place of Veitch who is on England duty.

Although the Prestonians are playing down the hill the Novocastrians move with an assured sense of superiority from the start. Unfortunately, they are prone to their old weakness of over embroidery.

Half-time: Preston 0 Newcastle 0

65m - Shepherd's shot cannons off Derbyshire onto ANDERSON's toe and the outside-left steers the ball past the helpless McBride (1-0).

Lawrence makes a couple of brilliant saves when Preston try and save the game with a concerted attack late on.

Full-time: Preston 0 Newcastle 1

Position: 1st

The United players arrive at Boleyn Castle in style; in powerful motorcars. The kick-off takes place to the backdrop of a multitude of instruments and bells. The Southern Leaguers deservedly hold Newcastle in a game which neither side deserve to win. West Ham defend well but the Magpies, despite Veitch's prompting, are well below par.

West Ham (SL) - Boleyn Ground - 17,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Willis, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Higgins, Shepherd, Wilson, Anderson

Veitch is back and Rutherford recovers from a burnt foot.

Newcastle are the better side but their forward work is surprisingly ineffective and they create little of note.

Half-time: West Ham 0 Newcastle 0

The Magpies still lack cohesion and pace and with the amateurs defending resolutely and custodian Kitchen having an excellent game there is no score.

Full-time: West Ham 0 Newcastle 0

The Magpies once again struggle to impose themselves. Shepherd converts a penalty just after the hour but the Londoners soon level and Anderson's controversial winner is not until eight minutes from time.

West Ham (SL) - SJP - 36,526

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Howie, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Higgins, Shepherd, Wilson, Anderson

Scorers: Shepherd (pen), Anderson - Shea

The weather is fine and crisp and the ground is firm.

United dominate play but with Shepherd well shackled they are once again struggling to break down the resolute Hammers.

30m - Jarvis pushes Wilson in the area but Veitch's penalty effort is fearfully wild and goes yards wide of the post.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 West Ham 0

65m - The game is now more even but Shreeve is unfortunate to handle in the area and SHEPHERD cunningly outwits Kitchen with an oblique drive from the spot kick (1-0).

69m - The setback spurs on the visitors and SHEA equalises from an exciting melee (1-1).

82m - With extra-time beckoning ANDERSON scores from what appears to be an offside position; the referee ignoring strong appeals (2-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 West Ham 1

A number of players are rested in anticipation of next week's Cup game but United's new-look eleven blend beautifully and outclass their hosts in a performance of speed, accuracy and intelligence.

Man. City (9th) - Hyde Road - 25,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Carr, Willis, Veitch, Jobey, Duncan, Howie, Higgins, Stewart, Anderson

Scorers: Jobey, Stewart

A number of players are rested before next week's Cup match; City also make a number of changes

The Magpies outclass their opponents from the start and miss numerous chances. After a bad decision by the referee he is barracked vociferously for the rest of the game.

Half-time: Man. City 0 Newcastle 0

60m - A mistake by Wilkinson allows JOBEY to head in from a corner (1-0).

75m - STEWART hits a splendid low shot which Broomfield has no chance of saving (2-0).

Full-time: Man. City 0 Newcastle 2

Position: 1st

Fifty men are employed to clear the snow off the pitch in the early morning but another fall in the forenoon requires brushes to be used to reveal the pitch markings. The Sunderland directors and players sport white edelweiss with red ribbons whilst the United directorate have the black and white spotted feather of the guinea fowl. The Sunderland supporters are wearing photos of their black cat mascot and have red and white handkerchiefs around their necks. Queues start forming at 10.00am and by 2.00pm the gates at the St. James' Park end are closed meaning hundreds of latecomers could not get admittance. A boisterous wind and driving sleet soaks the spectators. The youngsters of the Wellesley Training Ship band play bravely for almost two hours. The clubs agree to bring the kick-off forward to 2.45 pm in compassion for the drenched and half-frozen multitude. When the teams come on it is noticeable that the visitors get the biggest cheer indicating that many thousands had travelled up to Tyneside. Although the pitch is liberally sanded and very heavy and there is a boisterous wind and driving sleet, the neighbours serve up a classic encounter with some neutral observers saying it was one of the best games they'd seen in years. It was 2-2 after only 26 minutes. With the wind behind them after the break United had a good chance of progressing but injuries to both outside men hampered their intent.

Sunderland (7th) - SJP - 53,353

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Howie, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Higgins, Shepherd, Wilson, Anderson

Scorers: Rutherford, Wilson - Mordue, Brown

Sunderland win the toss and opt to play with the wind behind them. The game starts at a wonderful pace with both sides attacking at will.

14m - Shepherd's screw shot hits Thomson and rebounds to RUTHERFORD who places a sharp oblique shot into the corner of the net (1-0).

15m - From the kick-off Sunderland attack and MORDUE hits a half-volley from forty-yards. Lawrence, who had advanced towards him, stoops down to gather the ball, but it slips through his hands and open legs (1-1).

25m - BROWN gets through and as Lawrence closes him down he shoots against the custodian's chest. The ball rebounds to the aforementioned and he places a perfect shot into the net (1-2).

26m - McWilliam hoists a long ball forward and with the Sunderland defence getting in a tangle WILSON smacks the ball in (2-2).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Sunderland 2

Newcastle have the wind behind them now, but quite soon outside-left Anderson slips and appears to strain his thigh leaving him limping badly for the rest of the game. Then United's other flanker Rutherford suffers the same fate although his injury does not appear so bad.

With limpers on both flanks Sunderland start to get on top and Veitch has to make a great saving tackle on Bridgett. But United are still in it and Higgins hits the bar with a very fine shot.

There are hairsbreadth escapes at both ends until the end and both sides are given a deserved ovation at the final whistle.

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Sunderland 2

Eighteen special trains run from Newcastle and the intermediary stations. Just before the game an estimated 1,000 supporters who are not happy about the doubling of admission to the popular areas try and force their way in at two of the gates at the Fulwell End and on Hampton Road. The weight of the crowd snaps the wooden bar and bends the iron bar allowing the gate to be partially opened. About 300 manage to force their way through before Inspector Walton gathers sixty baton wielding men in blue who force them out. Once order is restored it is clear that many men and boys have been injured and some are prostrate in the mud. PC Nesham is vomiting blood freely (as are some of the others) having fractured his ribs. Injuries to Nesham and seven boys are so severe they are taken to the Infirmary.

Sunderland (7th) - Roker Park - 27,512

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Howie, Veitch, McWilliam, Duncan, Higgins, Shepherd, Stewart, Wilson

Scorers: Wilson, Shepherd (2)

The weather is wretched and torrential overnight rain has left the pitch in a very heavy state. Duncan and Stewart replace the injured Rutherford and Anderson.

08m - Newcastle open in most vigorous style and take the lead when WILSON rounds Foster and hits a lightning shot into the corner from an oblique angle (1-0).

lt is more even after the first fifteen minutes but the Magpies deserve their half-time lead.

Half-time: Sunderland 0 Newcastle 1

Sunderland re-arrange their forward line and United have some miraculous escapes.

65m - Sunderland get a penalty for a push by McCracken, Brown's drive from the concession is masterfully saved by Lawrence.

80m - SHEPHERD picks the ball up in his own half before surging towards goal (with Low at his heels) and finishing with a swift shot (2-0).

88m - SHEPHERD gets free again and finishes with a low shot just inside the upright (3-0).

After seven straight wins in the League United have to settle for a share of the spoils in a match where a number of players are rested following the Cup exertions. Everton lose at Sunderland, so United now have a five-point lead - and a game in hand - over their nearest rivals.

Bury (17th) - Gigg Lane - 15,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Willis, Howie, Jobey, Duncan, Higgins, Shepherd, Stewart, Gosnell

Scorers: Parkin og - Lindsay pen

17m - Willis handles in the area and LINDSAY scores from the spot (0-1).

United (with the wind in their faces) are happy to defend and the homesters are guilty of missing a number of chances.

Half-time: Bury 1 Newcastle 0

73m - A free-kick is headed towards goal by Shepherd and PARKIN in attempting to clear puts through his own goal (1-1).

United search for a winner but Bury hold firm.

Full-time: Bury 1 Newcastle 1

Position: 1st

United completely outclass the Cutlers in McCombie's benefit match. They exhibited a super abundance of science, a rare turn of speed and plenty of dash and wholehearted determination.

Sheff. Utd. (7th) - SJP - 31,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Carr, Willis, Veitch, McWilliam, Duncan, Stewart, Shepherd, Wilson, Ridley

Scorers: Willis, Stewart, Duncan, Shepherd (pen)

01m - Veitch's free-kick is only partially cleared by Brooks and WILLIS hits the ball fast, hard and low (1-0).

27m - Newcastle are exhibiting much finer understanding and dash; Wilson and Ridley combine nicely and from the latter's centre STEWART heads in (2-0).

29m - Stewart sets up DUNCAN who hits a splendid oblique drive (3-0).

Wilson's hard shot is on its way into the goal but the referee gets in the way and is knocked clean over.

Half-time: Newcastle 3 Sheff. Utd. 0

59m - The Magpies continue to dominate and when Brooks pulls down Duncan in the area SHEPHERD converts the penalty 4-0.

United ease off and become a bit slapdash and both Gallimore and Hardinge are guilty of bad misses.

Full-time: Newcastle 4 Sheff. Utd. 0

Position: 1st

The struggling Citizens battle hard, but - despite resting a number of players - United have just enough to secure a rather fortuitous victory which takes them seven points clear of second placed Everton.

Bradford (19th) - Valley Parade - 15,000

Lawrence, Carr, Whitson, Willis, Veitch, Jobey, Rutherford, Stewart, Allan, Randall, Ridley

Scorers: Allan, Stewart - Whittingham

With the Semi-Final taking place in a couple of days a number of players are rested. Those that are playing wear crepe bands in respect of Chairman John Bell.

08m - After an even start ALLAN scores with a beautiful shot into the top of the net (1-0).

15m - WHITTINGHAM equalises with a 40-yard shot (1-1). City are now having most of the game but they are too slow.

Half-time: Bradford 1 Newcastle 1

The Yorkshiremen are still on top but their attack is too blunt.

75m - Rutherford's shot is saved by Spendiff, Ridley latches onto the loose ball and centres for the onrushing STEWART to head the sphere home (2-1).

Full-time: Bradford 1 Newcastle 2

Position: 1st

There are sixty police on duty including mounted officers but the crowd is of the most orderly description. The colours of both sides are freely sorted, some have umbrellas and there is even the occasional banner urging their favourites to "Play Up". A black and white dog is allowed to run around the pitch unfettered before the game; a good omen? It is a hugely disappointing game where both defences are the master of the respective attacks. It is scrappy and uneventful throughout and an injury to Shepherd just before the interval effectively puts paid to United's hopes.

Man. Utd. (3rd)

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Howie, Veitch, McWilliam, Duncan, Higgins, Shepherd, Stewart, Wilson

Scorers: Halse

Veitch wins the toss and opts to defend the Bramall Road End with a brisk breeze at their backs.

Play is disappointing, with both sides guilty of poor passing although the visible cricket markings on the pitch also cause some confusion. Both defences are well on top.

Just before the break Shepherd is hurt and has to be assisted off.

Half-time: Man. Utd. 0 Newcastle 0

Shepherd is struggling so United re-arrange their forward line and put him on the flank.

The wind (now against The Magpies) strengthens, the rain starts to fall and the ground becomes treacherous.

The Mancunians are looking the more threatening as United's attack is very poor.

70m - As a centre comes across Whitson slips leaving HALSE unmarked and with a virtual open goal (0-1).

For a while the Manchester men keep up the attack before they decide to defend - quite comfortably - what they have.

Full-time: Man. Utd. 1 Newcastle 0

The Magpies press hard throughout the game however too much finessing almost proves their undoing as they have to wait until ten minutes from time to make the breakthrough through Allan. The seven-point lead over Everton is restored.

Middlesbrough (5th) - SJP - 45,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Pudan, Howie, Veitch, Willis, Duncan, Higgins, Allan, Wilson, Ridley

Scorers: Allan

Due to injuries and players being rested It is an unfamiliar side that takes to the pitch..

Although United are playing a vigorous game, Middlesbrough are defending well and The Magpies are faulty in front of goal.

Half-time: Middlesbrough 0 Newcastle 0

Play improves and although United are playing much the better football both sides create numerous chances. However, the forward play is weak.

78m - Ridley lifts the ball into the goalmouth and ALLAN (who had two previous attempts chalked off for offside) quickly nets (1-0).

Full-time: Middlesbrough 0 Newcastle 1

Position: 1st

United are considerably below-par and although they dominate, the game lacks fire and enthusiasm. Both goals look suspiciously offside. Everton's loss at home to Bradford means United are now eight points ahead with only six games remaining.

Nottm. Forest (15th) - SJP - 22,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Carr, Howie, Veitch, Willis, Duncan, Higgins, Allan, Stewart, Anderson

Scorers: Allan - Morris

Wilson and McWilliam are playing for Scotland and Shepherd, Rutherford and Whitson are all out, so once again it is a weakened side that takes the field against the Reds.

United dominate the first fifteen minutes and spurn numerous chances; they are unlucky when Willis' shot hits the underside of the bar and the ball appears to drop behind the line before it is hacked away.

38m - MORRIS scores from a doubtful position (0-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Nottm. Forest 1

Newcastle throw everything into attack but a mixture of bad luck, bad finishing and desperate defence sees them struggle to score and they appear to be heading for their first League defeat this year.

88m - Higgins finds ALLAN (who looks suspiciously offside) and he scores the equaliser (1-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Nottm. Forest 1

Position: 1st

Shepherd gives United the lead in the first minute but injures himself in the process. He battles on until the break but is missing at the start of the second whereupon the Wearsiders take complete control.

Sunderland (3rd) - Roker Park - 30,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Howie, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Stewart, Shepherd, Wilson, Anderson.

Shepherd - Brown (2), Holley (pen)

01m - A sensational start as SHEPHERD gets away by himself and after a brilliant run finishes with an oblique shot from twelve yards (1-0).

Unfortunately, his knee gives way as he returns to his own half; the run he made resurrecting an old injury. He pluckily comes back on after a few minutes rest. United are the best side before the break.

Half-time: Sunderland 0 Newcastle 1

Shepherd does not come out; Sunderland re-organise their attack.

47m - Mordue centres and BROWN hits a hard and true shot. Lawrence gets his hands to the ball but can't prevent it going through (1-1).

50m - United's defence gets in a tangle and BROWN gets his second with a swift, low shot (1-2).

McCracken joins the attack as United play one at the back.

73m - Brown dribbles through and is upended by Whitson. HOLLEY drives the penalty hard at Lawrence. He catches it but cannot hold onto the ball and the Sunderland forward rushes forward and nets at the second attempt (1-3).

88m - Brown scores after a fifty-yard run but his effort is disallowed for offside.

Full-time: Sunderland 3 Newcastle 1

Position: 1st

The Magpies are Champions once more after beating their nearest rivals. A McCracken penalty gives them the lead in the first-half and United completely dominate after the break, Stewart scoring twice.

Everton (2nd) - SJP - 30,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Carr, Howie, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Stewart, Higgins, Wilson, Anderson.

Scorers: Stewart (2), McCracken (pen)

Before the game there is a match between Walker Church Lads Brigade and Gateshead Venerable Bede in the Newcastle and Gateshead Church League. Whitson and Shepherd are both out.

Newcastle have the wind behind them and are attacking the Town end. Everton start vigorously but United defend well and start to take control.

Veitch grazes the bar with an audacious effort from the centre-line.

34m - It's all Newcastle now and Taylor trips Higgins as he bursts into the box. MCCRACKEN confidently dispatches the penalty (1-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Everton 0

55m - Everton press but it is United who score again when STEWART converts McWilliam's finely placed free-kick (2-0).

The visitors' goal leads a charmed life until STEWART's rasping shot which is hit with so much power it bounces out again (3-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Everton 0

Position: 1st

A half-hearted performance in a poor game in which United are well below par and a considerable section of the crowd accept the performance with very bad grace. In particular, the crowd on the sixpenny side of the ground give free expression to their view that the players are not trying.

Chelsea (18th) - SJP - 25,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Howie, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Stewart, Higgins, Wilson, Anderson.

Scorers: Wilson - Hildson (2, 1 pen), Humphreys

08m - Newcastle open weakly and HUMPHREYS scores from a Brawn centre (0-1).

United fight back and Anderson hits an upright. Then a handball by Cameron gives United a penalty, but Veitch sends past with the kick. The crowd boos loudly.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Chelsea 1

49m - HILSDON shoots over Lawrence's head (0-2).

66m - United's response is half-hearted and when Wilson fouls Humphreys as he races towards goal HILSDON beats Lawrence from the spot (0-3). The crowd become more demonstrative than ever.

69m - Rutherford sets up WILSON (1-3).

Humphreys heads against an upright and Wilson is injured and has to be assisted off.

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Chelsea 1

Position: 1st

The opposition is poor but United's forwards show remarkable precision and control considering the deplorable ground conditions. Rutherford scores three and creates the other for Allan.

Blackburn (4th) - Ewood Park - 7,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Carr, Willis, Veitch, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Allan, Stewart, Anderson.

Scorers: Rutherford (3), Allan - Davies (2, 1 pen)

Rovers have a weak team out. The ground is very soft and with rain continuing to fall it soon turns into a quagmire down the middle.

10m - DAVIES' header is caught and then dropped by Lawrence and although the custodian retrieves it again the referee rules (despite persistent appeals) that the ball had already crossed the line (0-1).

RUTHERFORD's quick low shot goes in off the inside of the post (1-1).

43m - The ball goes in off the same upright as RUTHERFORD puts United ahead (2-1).

Half-time: Blackburn 1 Newcastle 2

Soon after the interval ALLAN finishes a splendid centre from Rutherford (3-1).

DAVIES is fouled and he converts the penalty himself (3-2).

Anderson's cross-pass gives RUTHERFORD the chance to complete his hat-trick with a shot of unerring accuracy (4-2).

Full-time: Blackburn 2 Newcastle 4

Position: 1st

A tired and jaded performance in which United are outplayed throughout and only outstanding work from Lawrence and McCracken prevents a much heavier defeat.

Aston Villa (13th) - Villa Park - 8,000

Lawrence, McCracken, Whitson, Willis, Liddell, Jobey, Duncan, Higgins, Allan, Wilson, Gosnell

Scorers: Wallace (2, 1 pen), Bache,

Villa have the wind behind them in the first-half and dominate against a poor United but they lack the final touch.

Lawrence is bundled into the net by Bache and Hampton but the referee says no goal.

43m - BACHE scores from short-range (0-1).

Half-time: Aston Villa 1 Newcastle 0

48m - WALLACE hits a swift shot out of Lawrence's reach (0-2).

Hampton has to go off for treatment but whilst he is missing Liddell handles and WALLACE scores from the spot (0-3).

Hampton returns and The Villains continue to over-play United.

Full-time: Aston Villa 3 Newcastle 0

Position: 1st

The FA Charity Shield game was instituted last season to replace the Sherriff of London Shield. A poor crowd turns up at Stamford Bridge for the Charity Shield match against Northampton; winners of the Southern League. The ground is hard, the wind is fresh and the game is very mediocre. Allan and Rutherford are the scorers in a disappointing and uneventful game.

Northampton (SL:1st) - Stamford Bridge - 8,000

30m - Bonthron fails to get the ball from ALLAN whose clever left-foot shot beats Gooch (1-0)

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Northampton 0

United are well in control and the game becomes even more quiet.

RUTHERFORD races through the centre and although he is challenged and falling he gets enough on the ball to score the second (2-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Northampton 0

The Livers have to avoid defeat to ensure they preserve their First Division status and they deserve to beat a tired looking Magpies side.

Liverpool (19th) - SJP - 10,000

Lawrence, Carr, Whitson, Willis, Liddell, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Allan, Wilson, Anderson

Scorers: Orr

Snow is falling quite heavily and it is the visitors who show more urgency, but their shooting is weak. Hewitt comes closest when he hits an upright.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Liverpool 0

Play improves and both sides create chances. Rutherford sets off on a brilliant run which takes him the length of the field only to hit an upright.

Allan appears to be pushed over in the area but the referee gives nothing.

79m - Former United player ORR scores for the visitors (0-1).

Howie rattles a shot off the bar and Robinson is forced off with a dislocated collar bone.

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Liverpool 1

Position: 1st