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NUFC 1948/49 - Season Match Details

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Everton and Newcastle United provided a huge crowd with a great curtain-raiser to the new season at Goodison Park. On a pitch made treacherous by heavy rainfall and a teasing wind, both sides served up speedy resourceful football of the thrill-a-minute variety. The geordies had brought a strong contingent of supporters along with them.

Everton - Goodison Park - 57,279

Fairbrother, Fraser, Craig, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Gibson, Taylor, Milburn, Lowrie, Walker.

Scorers: Walker, Lowrie (2) - Dodds (2), Powell

05m - Fraser completely misjudges his kick, no doubt due to the slippy ball, and he can do no better than slice it to the feet of DODDS who gives Fairbrother no chance with a powerful oblique drive into the near corner (0-1).

09m - in their first really menacing attack, WALKER beats Sagar with a low drive from almost a right angle (1-1).

18m - LOWRIE runs fully 25 yards, successfully holding off repeated challenges from three Everton defenders, to beat Sagar all the way with a perfectly placed drive from 12-yards (2-1).

27m - Everton reassert themselves and they deservedly draw level when POWELL leaves Fairbrother helpless with a fiery first timer (2-2).

Half-time: Everton 2, Newcastle United 2

Everton are dominating and a mighty half the length of the field drive by Dugdale thunders against a bar with Fairbrother beaten.

62m - Newcastle continue to defend solidly and following a break away LOWRIE makes no mistake with a terrific close range drive which gives Sagar no chance (3-2).

81m - Right out of the blue, Everton once again draw level with a goal brilliantly converted by DODDS (3-3).

Full-time: Everton 3, Newcastle United 3.

Position: 12th

United are once again pegged back and have to make do with a share of the spoils. After going behind, they take the lead. But Lowrie is injured whilst scoring and has to retire and former player Bentley equalises.

Chelsea (6th) - SJP - 59,020

Fairbrother, Fraser, Craig, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Gibson, Taylor, Milburn, Lowrie, Walker.

Scorers: Lowrie, Milburn - Billington, Bentley

29m - BILLINGTON gives Chelsea the lead with a lucky goal (0-1).

31m - LOWRIE hits a terrific shot from 25 yards and Medhurst doesn't move before the ball hits the back of the net (1-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 1

50m - MILBURN puts United ahead (2-1)

George Lowrie strains his left knee and has to go off and whilst United are down to ten men former player BENTLEY heads an equaliser (2-2).

75m - Lowrie returns to the field, but collapses again and has to retire for the rest of the game. He is likely to be out of the game for some weeks.

??m - Medhurst saves a penalty taken by Milburn.

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Chelsea 2

Position: 12th

A completely revamped side hold their own for the first thirty minutes but are left chasing rainbows as an outstanding Tom Finney inspires Preston to a comprehensive victory. The away side could easily have doubled their score.

Preston (16th) - SJP - 63,549

Fairbrother, Cowell, Craig, Harvey, Fraser, Dodgin, Sibley, Gibson, Donaldson, Stobbart, McCall.

Scorers: Donaldson, Stobbart - McIntosh (2), McClaren (2), Finney

Lowrie and Milburn were injured in the game against Chelsea and Brennan, Walker and Taylor are all left out.

07m - DONALDSON gives the Magpies an early lead (1-0).

13m - MCINTOSH (1-1)

32m - MCLAREN (1-2)

42m - MCLAREN (1-3)

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Preston 3

55m - MCINTOSH (1-4)

65m - STOBBART (2-4)

75m - FINNEY (2-5)

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Preston 5

Position: 15th

Newcastle deservedly win the points with a cracking goal from Gibson in the last minute.

Chelsea (13th) - Stamford Bridge - 50,207

Fairbrother, Cowell, Craig, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Gibson, Thompson, Donaldson, Milburn, Walker.

Scorers: Milburn, Thompson, Gibson - Jones, Walker (pen)

Brennan, Milburn and Walker all return and Thompson comes in for his first game of the season. With Lowrie incapacitated Donaldson is retained at centre-forward and Milburn moves to inside-left.

Milburn hits the bar in a frantic start to the game.

20m - Gibson lays off to MILBURN to score (1-0).

Half-time: Chelsea 0 Newcastle 1

48m - THOMPSON screws the ball in after a goalmouth scramble (2-0).

50m - JONES intercepts a Harvey pass and races through to score with a great 25 yards drive (2-1).

55m - Dodgin brings down Campbell and WALKER scores from the spot (2-2).

90m - GIBSON sprints through on his own and shoots in from the edge of the area (3-2).

Full-time: Chelsea 2 Newcastle 3

Position: 11th

The home side are near to being swamped at times and Newcastle's defence is a machine which literally grinds Burnley's attack to powder. It is an excellent performance of high powered attack and in the closing moments a chorus of Blaydon Races is a joyous and spontaneous tribute from the delighted Tynesiders in the stand and on the popular side.

Burnley (19th) - Turf Moor - 32,947

Fairbrother, Cowell, Craig, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Gibson, Thompson, Donaldson, Milburn, Walker.

Scorers: Donaldson (2), Milburn

The pitch is very slippery and both teams find it difficult to keep on their feet; however, United's dash and enterprise is causing the home side all sorts of problems.

08m - DONALDSON scores with a fifteen-yard shot from an acute angle (1-0).

33m - Attwell plays an ill-judged ball back to Strong which DONALDSON is on to it like a flash and slams the ball in (2-0).

Half-time: Burnley 0 Newcastle 2

Just after the break Wilson cracks the ball oblique shot against the bar and for the first twenty minutes of the half the Turfites apply some pressure, but United's defence is grand.

82m - After that The Magpies look the more likely scorers and MILBURN scores a third when his shot from fifteen yards takes a slight deflection off Brown's outstretched leg (3-0).

Full-time: Burnley 0 Newcastle 3

Position: 7th

In a thrilling, top speed game Newcastle secure their first home victory of the season. United are certainly the better team in attack and in method, and at times their football is brilliant. Villa have goalkeeper Jones to thank for preventing a heavier defeat.

Aston Villa (21st) - SJP - 56,110

Fairbrother, Cowell, Craig, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Gibson, Thompson, Donaldson, Milburn, Walker.

Scorers: Gibson, Milburn - Dixon

24m - Jones misses Walker's corner and GIBSON shoots low inside the near post (1-0).

34m - DIXON heads in well (1-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 A Villa 1

66m - Villa players demand a penalty when Walker brings down Dorsett but the referee does not agree.

67m - MILBURN turns and hooks the ball in brilliantly (2-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 A Villa 1

Position: 5th

United are completely out-skilled by the seasoned technique of the opposition but it is a keenly contested game. Again they lack coolness and accuracy in construction and improvements are needed for them to harness the individual talent in the side.

Stoke (19th) - SJP - 59,265

Fairbrother, Cowell, Craig, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Gibson, Thompson, Donaldson, Milburn, Walker.

Walker, Donaldson (pen) - Bowyer, Steele

03 - BOWYER rounds Dodgin and scores with a low twenty-yard shot which Fairbrother is too slow to get down to (0-1).

With United out-skilled in every department they are struggling to stay in the game.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Stoke 1

46m - WALKER'S inswinging cross flies into the corner of the net (1-1).

48m - STEELE slides on to a long through ball before Brennan and Fairbrother can challenge him (1-2),

55m - The referee does well to spot a handball by Mountford and DONALDSON confidently dispatches the spot-kick (2-2).

Stoke search for a winner and Ormston sends the ball against a post whilst Brennan makes an excellent block as United hang for a point.


Full-time: Newcastle 2 Stoke 2

Position: 7th

United move into second place after their star-studded attack puts in a great performance. United concede an early goal but four of United's five front men are on target.

A Villa (21st) - 55,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Craig, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Gibson, Stobbart, Donaldson, Milburn, Walker.

Scorers: Donaldson, Gibson, Milburn, Walker - Dixon, Edwards

09m - DIXON chest the ball down and fires in off Craig's chest (0-1).

18m - An unmarked DONALDSON has time to control the ball with his right boot before scoring with his left (1-1).

38m - A defensive error lets in WALKER who places the ball past the advancing keeper (2-1).

Half-time: A Villa 1 Newcastle 2

57m - EDWARDS sets off on a solo run and smacks a 35-yard drive into the top of the net (2-2).

62m - GIBSON's shot deflects in off Cummings (3-2).

77m - MILBURN goes clean through (4-2).

Full-time: A Villa 2 Newcastle 4

Position: 2nd

Only an excellent performance by Fairbrother and some poor finishing denies the Londoners a victory in a game where the forward line misfires and United struggle badly as a result. The real problems were up front where only Donaldson performed well.

Charlton (6th) - The Valley - 56,711

Fairbrother, Cowell, Craig, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Gibson, Stobbart, Donaldson, Milburn, Walker.

Half-time: Charlton 0 Newcastle 0

Full-time: Charlton 0 Newcastle 0

Position: 5th

Their movements are marked by crisp understanding and rhythmic artistry, but when the Coldstream Guards Band leaves the pitch the two teams cannot match their skill or style.

Man. City (12th) - SJP - 49,729

Fairbrother, Cowell, Craig, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Gibson, Thompson, Donaldson, Stobbart, Walker.

Milburn is away on England duty.

United start with a rush which offers promise but the first-half is a disappointment with both sides struggling and Brennan being used as an emergency attacker at times.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Man. City 0

Chances remain at a premium although both Donaldson and Gibson have excellent efforts thwarted by goal-line clearances.

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Man. City 0

Position: 5th

Leaders Pompey control the game and although it is a battling defensive performance, the Magpies create very little. Keen supporter, Mr. R. McKenzie, of Morpeth, flies to Portsmouth in a plane, piloted by Captain John Spence, of Northern Air Charter.

Portsmouth (1st) - Fratton Park - 44,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Sibley, Stobbart, Donaldson, Milburn, Walker.

Scorers: Phillips

Left-back Ron Batty is handed his debut for the daunting trip to take on the unbeaten league leaders. Gibson is dropped and Sibley called in to add more punch and more direction.

From the off Pompey are well in control of the game and Fairbrother has to make excellent saves from Barlow, Reid and Phillips.

Half-time: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0

64m - Centre-forward Reid hits a long through ball which PHILLIPS shoots into the net as Fairbrother approaches him (0-1).

Full-time: Portsmouth 1 Newcastle 0

Position: 6th

Queues, nearly a thousand strong, are waiting outside the ground five hours before the kick-off. Thousands of red and white rosettes, black and white tam-o-shanters, and jumpers and scarves of both colours surge forward when the turnstiles open at 11.45am. Mobile canteens which began to serve hot refreshments to the waiting crowds at 6 a.m. had sold out two hours later. Town cafes had every available table pressed into service and one restaurant had decorated its dining rooms with the colours of both teams. Assurance for thirsty supporters came from a brewery company official who claimed "Sunderland's public houses have sufficient beer to quench the thirst of the big crowd". Hair gives Newcastle the lead but Shackleton replies soon after. Both sides have chances in a game with plenty of elbow-grease but little polish; although United have the better openings and will be disappointed not to have won.

Sunderland (5th) - Roker Park - 51,399

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Sibley, Gibson, Donaldson, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Hair - Shackleton

United face a fourth away game in five outings when they head to Wearside for the Wear-Tyne derby. Milburn is away on England duty and it is a much changed front five with Gibson, Taylor and Hair all coming in.

08m - After a sweeping move, a Donaldson header is pushed up and behind by Mapson and HAIR runs it into the net (1-0).

17m - Davis' volley smacks against an upright.

25m - SHACKLETON hits a 20-yard blind shot into the roof of the net (1-1).

Half-time: Sunderland 1 Newcastle 1

Full-time: Sunderland 1 Newcastle 1

Position: 8th

A scrappy game in which Newcastle's spirit is the keynote of victory. Milburn is moved back to centre-forward (scoring twice) and Donaldson is dropped. It is even at the break, but Wolves are very poor in the second period and United score twice in the last ten minutes.

Wolves (13th) - SJP - 60,958

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Sibley, Gibson, Milburn, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Milburn (2), Mclean og - Smyth

16m - Sibley crosses and MILBURN hits a left-foot volley (1-0).

20m - Fairbrother gets his hand to SMYTH's glancing header, but the ball spins in (1-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Wolves l

80m - MILBURN latches on to a Gibson through ball and - with the Wolves defenders stopping to appeal for offside - lobs the advancing keeper (2-1).

86m - Milburn centres and MCLEAN - who is being hassled by Hair - hooks the ball into his own net (3-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Wolves 1

Position: 6th

Newcastle take the game to the Trotters from the start with delightful skills and magnificent determination. United are fantastic in the first half-hour but Bolton's injury problems spoil the rest of the game.

Bolton (12th) - Burnden Park - 40,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Sibley, Gibson, Milburn, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Gibson (2), Sibley, Taylor, Milburn - Moir

10m - An excellent cross from Hair sets up GIBSON (1-0).

30m - The same pair combine for the second for GIBSON (2-0).

Just before the break Bolton outside-right Rothwell fractures his collar-bone in a collision with Fairbrother.

Half-time: Bolton 0 Newcastle 2

With only a few minutes gone Bolton's left-half Barras is forced off temporarily with a cut to his eye bringing them down to nine men.

55m - United take immediate advantage when SIBLEY scores after efforts from Milburn (hit the bar) and Taylor (cleared off the line) are thwarted (3-0).

78m - TAYLOR adds a fourth (4-0).

80m - And as Barras waits to come back on MILBURN scores from a long cross by Hair (5-0).

81m - A slip by Cowell lets in McShane and he sets up MOIR for a consolation (5-1).

Full-time: Bolton 1 Newcastle 5

Position: 3rd

The Pudlians look very impressive early on, but after only twenty minutes Paisley takes a heavy shot on the back of the head and although he tries to carry on he is eventually taken off sixteen minutes later. Playing with the numerical advantage (the freed) Milburn scores with a flashing, low shot.

Liverpool (11th) - SJP - 67,362

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Sibley, Gibson, Milburn, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Milburn

20m - Paisley takes a heavy shot on the back of the head.

36m - He tries to carry on but is eventually taken off. Former United player Stubbins and United's Brennan are also hampered by injuries.

41m - MILBURN scores with a flashing, low shot from twelve yards (1-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Liverpool 0

Paisley returns but twelve minutes from time he collapses again after heading the ball.

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Liverpool 0

Position: 3rd

The game is dynamite from start to finish and although Blackpool play well The Magpies are better, particularly Batty who handles Matthews superbly. The police have to move into the Newcastle end during the game when fireworks are set off and at one point appear to be thrown onto the pitch. The home fans are very quiet in comparison with the background of noise created by the estimated 10,000 Tyneside travellers.

Blackpool (11th) - Bloomfield Road - 30,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Gibson, Milburn, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Hair, Stobbart, Crosland og - Mortenson (pen)

05m - The game starts at a frenetic pace and HAIR intercepts a pass back to the keeper and slams the ball into the top of the net (1-0).

The first-half continues to be furiously fast; Brennan is knocked flat when he gets in the way of a powerful shot from Mortenson.

Half-time: Blackpool 0 Newcastle 1

46m - Dodgin is adjudged to have obstructed MORTENSON in the box and the same player scores with a hard low shot from the penalty (1-1).

69m - The excitement continues and Milburn sends a Harvey free-kick back across goal for STOBBART to nod home (2-1).

74m - Stobbart centres and CROSLAND - who is running back to cover - ends up shooting into his own net (3-1).

Full-time: Blackpool 1 Newcastle 3

Position: 3rd

Top of the table Derby are unbeaten in sixteen games and have not conceded a goal in their last seven. There is huge interest in the game. The first fans arrive at 4am and by the time the gates are opened two hours before the kick-off, huge queues have formed. The Rams mesmerise the Magpies in the first half with as grand an exhibition of close-harmony work as you are likely to see anywhere this season. However, they have nothing to show for their dominance. Newcastle go on the attack after the break and a combination of great effort, individual skill and excellent combination steers them to a tremendous victory.

Derby (1st) - SJP - 64,061

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Gibson, Milburn, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Hair, Stobbart, Milburn

30m - Fairbrother pushes a Broome cannonball onto the upright.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Derby 0

48m - HAIR opens the scoring after Stobbart's cross slides off the back of Leuty's head (1-0).

75m - Harvey breaks up a Derby attack and plays a long ball to STOBBART who is cool as a cucumber in collecting the ball before hitting a daisy-cutter past Townsend from 15 yards (2-0).

88m - Derby fight on but they just cannot break United down and MILBURN brings the ball back from the bye-line before scoring from a very acute angle (3-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Derby 0

Position: 3rd

About 20,000 people are locked out at Highbury, all tickets having been sold more than a month ago. All entrances to the ground are closed almost an hour before the kick off. Police form barriers across the roads to the entrances and refused to allow anyone through without a ticket. United deserve their victory at Highbury with their free-play to the wings and their faster, more enterprising, finishing. They are also sound defensively with Batty superb.

Arsenal (4th) - Highbury - 62,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Gibson, Milburn, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Mercer og

05m - The Magpies set off at a storming pace and Gibson crashes a header against the bar.

Arsenal have their chances but Newcastle are quicker to the ball and more accurate with their passing. However, they cannot penetrate Arsenal's packed defence.

Half-time: Arsenal 0 Newcastle 0

69m - Martin orders his side to attack and when Hair hits a square shot MERCER runs the ball into the net although it would have ended up there anyway if he hadn't intervened (1-0).

In the last few minutes Arsenal throw everything into attack and Cowell makes goal-line clearances from Logie and Compton whilst at the other end Taylor hits the post.

Full-time: Arsenal 0 Newcastle 1

Position: 3rd

United have won six games on the trot and if they beat bottom-placed Huddersfield they will beat a 22-year-old record set in 1926/27. The ground is rather treacherous and this contributes to an incident packed first-half in which all the goals are scored. The match is played in a very sporting manner with Taylor applauding a Mills save from a shot and Brennan desperately trying to stop the game when Doherty is injured. United are really sloppy at the back and half the crowd leaves before the end.

Huddersfield (22nd) - SJP - 49,332

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Gibson, Milburn, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Hair, Milburn - Nightingale, Doherty (3)

04m - A poor fisted clearance from Fairbrother allows NIGHTINGALE to score (0-1).

06m - A slip by Hayes provides HAIR with the chance to equalise (1-1).

09m - An unmarked MILBURN shoots the Magpies ahead (2-1). But United are sloppy and the half-backs are having a shocking first-half.

22m - Fairbrother is once again partly at fault as he is taken by surprise by inside-left DOHERTY'S header at the near post (2-2).

38m - DOHERTY heads in his second from a corner (2-3).

41m - DOHERTY evades three tackles and completes his hat-trick (2-4).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Huddersfield 4

United try and get back on terms in the second-half but the visitors defend well and former Blyth Spartans custodian Harry Mills makes some excellent saves.

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Huddersfield 4

Position: 3rd

Manchester United are glorious in the first-half and could have scored six, but for some bad luck and an out-of-this-world performance from Fairbrother. Even though Harvey is hampered by an injury the Lancastrians are not quite as dominant after the break and with only ten minutes left Stobbart scores. It looks like The Magpies are going to pull of an amazingly improbable victory; but with only a couple of minutes left Mitten equalises.

Man Utd (4th) - Old Trafford - 70,787

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Gibson, Donaldson, Taylor, Hair.

1-0 (Stobbart 80) 1-1 (Mitten 88)

Man United have been in excellent form recently. Milburn picked up an injury playing for England during the week and is replaced by Donaldson.

Half-time: Man. United 0 Newcastle 0

80m - STOBBART races onto a long ball, beats Aston and rolls the ball past Crompton (1-0).

88m - MITTEN equalises (1-1).

Full-time: Man. United 1 Newcastle 1

Position: 3rd

The first hour is exciting although the football is not of a high quality. Newcastle score three before the rain starts to fall heavily and the match deteriorates.

Sheff U (17th) - SJP - 42,862

Garbutt, Cowell, Batty, Clarke, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Gibson, Milburn, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Milburn, Cox og, Stobbart - Collindridge, Thompson

The injured Fairbrother and Harvey are replaced by Garbutt and Clarke.

06m - COLLINDRIDGE pokes home Hagan's pass just before his tacklers arrive on the scene (0-1).

09m - Hair sets up MILBURN to slam the ball into the net from 15 yards (1-1).

39m - Taylor's header appears to be going wide but COX panics, sticks out a foot and diverts the ball into the net (2-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Sheff U 1

46m - THOMPSON heads home a cross from Collindridge (2-2).

59m - Milburn heads Gibson's centre back across the goal and STOBBART scores with a good header (3-2).

Rain falls heavily after that and the match deteriorates with the weather

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Sheff U 1

Position: 2nd

Everton are the better side with their more scientific football but they lack punch up front particularly after Juliussen is injured. Although United defend well, they too struggle offensively. Taylor saves Newcastle's attack from utter futility and nets the winner which takes United to the top of the table.

Everton (18th) - SJP - 43,515

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Gibson, Milburn, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Taylor

Conditions are so dull and misty there is a danger that the match will not go the full 90 minutes.

Newcastle are on top, with the Everton's defence rather shaken by the sheer speed of United's attack.


30m - Juliussen calls for repairs to a leg injury and after treatment returns to play on the wing a virtual passenger. Everton's shooting is as indifferent as that of Newcastle and the game is dull to watch.

Half-time: Newcastle United 0, Everton 0.

The Everton players are kept waiting for some time before Newcastle and the officials resume after the interval and two youthful autograph hunters take the opportunity to race on to the field and secure Ted Sagar's autograph.

50m - Tom Jones side-foots the ball away but it goes to TAYLOR who - using the time element of surprise - hits it back sweet and low (1-0).

51m - Eglington has nothing to do but to tap the ball home, but to his own and everybody else's astonishment he hooks it yards over the bar.

Newcastle are very much in the picture now, all up, and the Everton defence is hard pressed.

Full-time: Newcastle United 1 Everton 0.

Position: 1st

United look the more polished side, but the pace and cohesion displayed in attack is nullified by a lack of scoring power. Donaldson (who hit the bar), Milburn (twice) and Walker all miss excellent chances.

Birmingham City (12th) - St. Andrews - 42,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Milburn, Donaldson, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Trigg, Roberts

TRIGG (1-0).

Half-time: Birmingham 1 Newcastle 0

ROBERTS (2-0).

Full-time: Birmingham 2 Newcastle 0

Position: 2nd

A poor slow-paced game played on a hard ground is settled by Milburn.

Birmingham City (12th) - SJP - 49,457

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Thompson, Milburn, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Milburn

Donaldson and Walker are dropped, with Stobbart and Thompson replacing them.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Birmingham 0

67m - MILBURN picks the ball up just over the half-way line and after outpacing Duckhouse sends in a flashing left-footed drive that gives Merrick no chance (1-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Birmingham 0

Position: 2nd

Fairbrother is made captain for the day against his old club and gets a tremendous reception from the home fans. But in a thrilling game it is the man who he was nearly swapped for - Langton - who is the match winner with both Preston's goals. When Preston full-back Billy Brown heads the ball it bursts with such a terrific bang and explosion of dust that the player thinks he's been shot.

Preston (22nd) - 37,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Thompson, Milburn, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Taylor - Langton (2).

Halfway through the first half Brown heads the ball and there is a report louder than a rifle shot. Up went a thick spiral like smoke, presumably chalk from inside the casing, and he staggered back with his hands to his head as though to feel the blood.

40m - Watson hits a long ball into space between LANGTON and Fairbrother; the Blackburn player seems to duck out of the way before suddenly flicking the ball with his head. Fairbrother - who has positioned himself to take the pass - is left bamboozled (0-1).

Half-time: PNE 1 Newcastle 0

49m - Hair plays it to TAYLOR and he clips in a delicate ground shot from the corner of the area (1-1).

Hair thinks he has put United ahead but he came back from an offside position and after consulting with the linesman the goal is disallowed.

86m - LANGTON heads Haughton's free-kick towards goal. Fairbrother seems to have it covered until it deflects off Cowell's head (1-2).

Full-time: PNE 2 Newcastle 1

Position: 2nd

There is little evidence of the air having been cleared as United are woefully poor. The visitors play to the standard you would expect from a second division team but are by far the better side and richly deserve their victory.

Bradford (D2 - 12th) - SJP - 47,196

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Gibson, Milburn, Taylor, Hair.

Scorers: Downie, Mcilveny

41m - Brennan's free-kick is cleared and Bradford counter, DOWNIE racing clear to score

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Bradford 1

55m - Henry completely misses his kick but MCILVENY is on hand to score the second.

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Bradford 2

Significant changes are made to the attack which include Donaldson coming back in as centre and Milburn being asked to play inside left. In a game which matches the dull and drizzly weather the visitors are the better team for an hour but they sit back and pay the price when Houghton equalises six minutes from time.

Burnley (15th) - SJP - 33,439

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Gibson, Houghton, Donaldson, Milburn, Walker.

Scorers: Houghton - Morris

25m - From a long pass from Atwell an unmarked MORRIS shoots into the top corner from 18 yards.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Burnley 1

84m - HOUGHTON scores from a Donaldson corner.

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Burnley 1

Position: 2nd

Stoke play some excellent football and the home crowd take a deal of exception to the handling and obstructive methods of the Newcastle defence. Milburn gives United the lead but Bowyer grabs an equaliser and the Potters could easily have scored six.

Stoke (7th) - Victoria Ground - 25,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Gibson, Houghton, Stobbart, Taylor, Milburn

Scorers: Milburn - Bowyer

30m - Taylor sets up MILBURN who hits in a left-footed drive from rather a sharp angle (1-0).

Half-time: Stoke 0 Newcastle 1

64m - BOWYER grabs an equaliser (1-1).

In a late onslaught Ormston hits the bar, Mountford hits a post and Cowell brilliantly heads out an Ormston piledriver.

Full-time: Stoke 1 Newcastle 1

Position: 2nd

George Robledo plays his first game for United against the Division 3 (South) team. Taylor scores, but fog causes the game to be abandoned.

Bristol Rovers

Scorers: Taylor - tbc

Walker grabs a brace in what is probably United's best home performance of the season so far. There are lots of excellent performances but Milburn struggles; the devil in his play completely absent.

Charlton (5th) - SJP - 56,143

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Robledo, Milburn, Taylor, Walker

Scorers: Walker (2)

George Robledo makes his debut.

WALKER (1-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Charlton 0

WALKER (2-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Charlton 0

Position: 2nd

In an entertaining match United come back three times to get a draw. Both Donaldson (for the home side) and Stobbart (for United) score twice against their previous employers.

Middlesbrough - Ayresome Park

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Robledo, Milburn, Lowrie, Walker

Scorers: Donaldson (2), Robledo - Stobbart (2), Dicks

Lowrie returns after five months on the side-lines.

39m - Former player Andy DONALDSON opens the scoring (0-1).

Half-time: Middlesbrough 1 Newcastle 0

52m - STOBBART nods in a Robledo cross (1-1).

60m - DONALDSON replies with a powerful and accurate downward header (1-2).

66m - A good shot from ROBLEDO squares the game again (2-2)

68m - DICKS (2-3)

72m - STOBBART (3-3)

A brilliant "flying trapeze" header from Cowell denies Donaldson his hat-trick

Full-time: Middlesbrough 3 Newcastle 3

A game of fluctuating interest and quality which the home side deserve to win. For the first twenty minutes Newcastle play all the football and are comfortably the better side, but they fade badly after that and Black scores the only goal.

Man. City (9th) - 48,624

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Milburn, Stobbart, Robledo, Taylor, Walker

Scorers: Black

04m - Stobbart misses a great chance when he clears the bar from only a few yards out.

Half-time: Man. City 0 Newcastle 0

55m - Smith's close-range effort is partially blocked by Fairbrother, but BLACK races up and kicks it in (0-1).

United have a great chance to equalise when Milburn draws keeper Swift then squares to Walker but the winger gets his feet tied up and his eventual shot is blocked.

Full-time: Man. City 1 Newcastle 0

Position: 2nd

Mitchell makes a promising debut and Milburn gets the goal.

Liverpool - SJP - 29,980

Scorers: Milburn - tbc

The visitors have the wind and snow at their backs in the first half and although they lead they should have scored more than once. Within a minute of the restart Milburn equalises and Sunderland are reduced to ten men when centre-half Walsh is forced to retire. It is all United after that and although Sunderland custodian Mapson keeps the score down Robledo grabs an opportunist winner.

Sunderland (15th) - SJP - 58,250

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo, Milburn, Lowrie, Mitchell

Scorers: Milburn, Robledo - Turnbull

Although the lines have been cleared of snow, it is still falling heavily and - having won the toss - Sunderland opt to play with the snow and the gale at their backs.

16m - The visitors make a good start and when Fairbrother can only parry Broadis' shot TURNBULL races in to finish off the job (0-1).

Sunderland give United a lesson in the finer arts of the game in the first-half and really should have added to their tally.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Sunderland 1

46m - Robledo wins possession from Walsh and MILBURN fastens onto the ball in a flash and shoots past the out coming Mapson (1-1). Walsh suffers a ligament injury from the challenge by Robledo and has to go off.

65m - The ten men battle bravely against the snow and wind but a mix-up between Mapson and Shackleton allows ROBLEDO to net a flukey goal from close-range (2-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Sunderland 1

Position: 2nd

Debutant Wilshaw scores a hat-trick in a game where United lack work-rate and are surprisingly ragged and open in defence.

Wolves (9th) - Molineux - 40,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Houghton, Walker, Robledo, Stobbart, Lowrie, Mitchell

Scorers: Wilshaw (3)

The Magpies start well and Stobbart narrowly misses the target before Williams saves brilliantly from the Welshman and Mitchell.

Half-time: Wolves 0 Newcastle 0

48m - WILSHAW intercepts a short clearance and shoots into the top corner of the net (0-1).

67m - The ball goes loose and with the United defenders hesitating WILSHAW nips in to bang home the ball (0-2).

70m - WILSHAW completes his hat-trick when he cuts inside Cowell before netting (0-3).

Full-time: Wolves 3 Newcastle 0

Position: 2nd

A thrilling game of two halves. United take an early lead but the visitors equalise immediately, take the lead and could have scored two or three more. But they start to sit back and in the second-half United exhibit splendid open and attacking football which leads to their eventual victory. In a hectic finish three Arsenal players are spoken to by the referee and one irate fan attempts to accost Compton after a particularly robust challenge on Mitchell.

Arsenal (5th) - 55,248

Scorers: Robledo, Harvey, Mitchell - Lewis, Forbes (pen)

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo, Milburn, Taylor, Mitchell

01m - In the first attack Mitchell takes advantage of the dithering Arsenal defence and centres for ROBLEDO to score (1-0).

02m - LEWIS produces a lovely header from a Vallance cross (1-1).

14m - Dodgin is very unlucky when Batty's clearance hits him on the hand and FORBES scores from the spot (1-2).

Arsenal are playing some glorious football now and could have easily scored another couple, but they start to adopt a more defensive policy as the half progresses.

44m - From a corner - HARVEY scores from a position almost on the bye-line (2-2).

45m - A very poor challenge by Compton incenses the crowd and handicaps Milburn for the rest of the game.

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Arsenal 2

The Magpies are playing splendid open and accurate football whilst the Londoners are becoming more defensive and more crude in their challenges. The crowd's ire gradually increases.

81m - MITCHELL scores after a great run and cross by Milburn.

In a hectic finish three Arsenal players are spoken to by the referee with the trouble coming to a head when another rough challenge from Compton fells Mitchell. A spectator runs on to the pitch to accost him before the referee administers a stern lecture. The visitors leave the field to a storm of booing.

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Arsenal 2

Position: 2nd

The Terriers are in relegation trouble and it is easy to see why in an often farcical performance. Hepplewhite and Stewart score own goals and both of them also come perilously close to repeating the feat.

Huddersfield (21st) - Leeds Road - 24,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo, Milburn, Taylor, Mitchell

Scorers: Hepplewhite og, Stewart og

19m - In their first menacing attack Robledo squares the ball across goal and HEPPLEWHITE - pressured by Milburn - scores an own goal.

A minute later Stewart almost nets at the wrong end too and with Ernie Taylor in sparkling form United are playing much the better football

Hepplewhite is a whisker away from scoring another own-goal.

37m - Fairbrother punts a long kick up the field which Hepplewhite can only head backwards to Mitchell who squares for Milburn only for the desperately covering STEWART to run it into his own net.

Half-time: Huddersfield 0 Newcastle 2

Cowell is injured and Huddersfield fight desperately to get back into the game but Brennan is magnificent and they fail to breach the United goal.

Full-time: Huddersfield 0 Newcastle 2

Position: 2nd

Many are locked out and thousands come on to the field at the end of the match. It is not a great game but United deserve the victory.

Blackpool (13th) - SJP - 62,672

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo, Milburn, Taylor, Mitchell

Scorers: Milburn (2), Mitchell - Fenton

The Magpies play with a strong breeze behind them in the first half.

14m - MILBURN brings down a diagonal ball with his right foot and superbly bangs in a half-volley with his left foot (1-0).

30m - Robledo holds off 'Pool 'keeper Farm and lays the ball to MITCHELL who rolls it into the net (2-0).

FENTON smashes in from thirty yards with the ball appearing to take a slight deflection off Brennan (2-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Blackpool 1

The Magpies are jittery for the first thirty minutes after the interval but they regain their composure and attack brilliantly in the last fifteen minutes.

85m - MILBURN catches Hayward fiddling with one of Taylor's jabs and clinches the issue with a great shot (3-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Blackpool 1

Position: 2nd

Pompey's machine like precision is far too good for a flustered United; all the goals come from headers from wing-men Froggat and Harris. With five points now separating the teams and United having played a game more the chance of Newcastle winning the League seems to have disappeared.

Portsmouth (1st) - 60,611

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Portsmouth 3

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Portsmouth 5

Position: 2nd

Derby have three players away on international duty and United recover from being 2-1 behind at the break to win in style. Mitchell has a hand in all four goals and United can even afford a missed penalty.

Derby County (3rd) - Baseball Ground - 24,076

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Sibley, Robledo, Stobbart, Taylor, Mitchell

Scorers: Robledo (2), Sibley, Harvey - Morris, Stamps (pen)

12m - MORRIS wins the chase with Fairbrother for a through ball from Broome (0-1).

29m - Dodgin plays it through to an unmarked ROBLEDO who bangs the ball into the roof of the net from 12-yards (1-1).

43m - A penalty is given for an infringement by Fairbrother and STAMPS scores (1-2).

Half-time: Derby 2 Newcastle 1

51m - Mitchell crosses and ROBLEDO heads in from just under the bar (2-2).

60m - Mitchell is the provider again for SIBLEY to bang it low and hard past Webster (3-2).

72m - And the Scot sets up HARVEY who scores after his initial shot is blocked by Mozley (4-2). For the rest of the game United outplay their hosts.

Full-time: Derby 2 Newcastle 4

Position: 2nd

A dull and tedious game has the crowd resorting to ironical hand-clapping. It looks like ending goalless but with only two minutes left Milburn grabs a winner. Portsmouth suffer a surprising defeat and the gap is back down to 3 points.

Middlesbrough (20th) - SJP - 64,381

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Sibley, Robledo, Milburn, Taylor, Mitchell

Scorers: Milburn

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Middlesbrough 0

88m - MILBURN lashes in from a Batty free-kick (1-0)

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Middlesbrough 0

Position: 2nd

Bolton give one of the most solid and capable team performances seen at St. James' this season and thoroughly deserve the draw. There is little to entertain the spectators but the sight of the diminutive Taylor playing at centre-half to allow Brennan to go into the attack raises some mirth.

Bolton Wanderers (16th) - SJP - 39,999

Fairbrother, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Robledo, Milburn, Taylor, Mitchell

Scorers: Robledo, Moir

Newcastle play some clever football but Bolton are well organised and United are lacking thrust.

34m - Inside-right MOIR scores from 15-yards (0-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Bolton 1

53m - All-out attack from United at the start sees Harvey go close twice before the Yorkshireman heads Stobbart's cross back across the box and ROBLEDO heads home (1-1)

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Bolton 1

Position: 2nd

United lead 2-1 at the break with Milburn and Mitchell finding the net but after the break Hardwick converts two penalties to win the game for the bottom-placed home side.

Middlesbrough (22nd) - Ayresome Park - 43,000 - (2nd)

Fairbrother, Graham, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Stobbart, Robledo, Milburn, Taylor, Mitchell

Scorers: Milburn, Mitchell - tbc, Hardwick (2 pens)

Half-time: Middlesbrough 2 Newcastle 1

Full-time: Middlesbrough 3 Newcastle 2

Position: 2nd

A tedious end of season affair is brought to life when Mitchell puts the Magpies ahead just after the break. Baron equalises within six minutes and Liverpool lay siege to the United goal after that; the crowd boo fiercely when the referee fails to award a penalty when Dodgin holds off Baron in the area. Policemen on the touchlines conspicuously carry truncheons.

Liverpool (11th) - Anfield - 43,488

Fairbrother, Graham, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Dodgin, Thompson, Robledo, Milburn, Taylor, Mitchell

Scorers: Mitchell - Baron

The first-half is very poor with neither side producing any chances of note.

Half-time: Liverpool 0 Newcastle 0

50m - MITCHELL receives the ball on the edge of the area and - with Sidlow unsighted - finds a chink in the wall of players between him and the goal (1-0).

56m - BARON squeezes the ball under Fairbrother's body (1-1).

Full-time: Liverpool 1 Newcastle 1

Position: 2nd

United are guilty of missing at least five gilt-edged chances and pay the price. A hugely disappointing game in which both teams are well below par and there is barely a shot worthy of the name.

Manchester United (4th) - SJP - 38,266

Fairbrother, Cowell, Graham, Houghton, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo, Milburn, Thompson, Mitchell

Scorers: Burke

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Man. United 0

84m - BURKE (0-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Man. United 1

Position: 2nd

The home side do 75% of the attacking but their shooting is weak; the result sees them relegated.

Sheff. United (20th) - Bramall Lane 20,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Graham, Houghton, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo, Stobbart, Thompson, Mitchell

14m - Houghton's 35-yard free-kick crashes back from the inside of the post.

Half-time: Sheff. United 0 Newcastle 0

50m - Jones' header hits the post and bounces into Fairbrother's grateful arms.

59m - Hagan hits a hard across along the ground across the posts and it only needs a touch for a goal to be scored. McLaren runs in and flicks it goal wards. He thinks he's scored and jumps in the air. But he didn't put enough pace on it and it hits Cowell's legs and despite James also been in attendance the chance is missed.

With the home side desperate it was rough at times and Dodgin (three times), Cowell, Brennan and Smith all suffered knocks.

Full-time: Sheff. United 0 Newcastle 0

Position: 4th

United play the first game of their tour in a baseball stadium. The second-half also sees United playing under artificial lights (Mazdas) for the first time. After a quiet first-half, United turn on the style after the break.

Montreal XI

Scorers: Milburn (2), Robledo, Taylor - tbc

Full-time: Montreal XI 1 Newcastle 4

Ontario AS -

Scorers: Milburn (4), Mitchell( 2), Robledo G, Taylor.

Full-time: Ontario AS 2 Newcastle 8

United thrill the Canadian crowd and although United run up an amazing 13 goals () they could have doubled their score.


Scorers: Robledo (4), Thompson (2), Walker (2), Milburn, Mitchell, Dodgin, Houghton, own goal - tbc tbc

Full-time: Saskatchewan 2 Newcastle 13