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NUFC 1949/50 - Season Match Details

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There is huge interest in the opening game against Champions Portsmouth (who won 5-0 at St. James' last season) and queues start forming six hours before kick-off. In heatwave conditions a flaky and too individualistic United are comprehensively beaten.

Portsmouth - SJP - 54,258

Fairbrother, Craig, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo G, Milburn, Lowrie, Mitchell

Scorers: Robledo G - Phillips, Clarke, Harris

Harvey, Graham and Cowell are out injured; Lowrie is preferred to Taylor.

09m - PHILLIPS beats a couple of defenders then slams a good low shot past Fairbrother (0-1).

40m - Fairbrother scoops out a shot from Phillips only for CLARKE to rush in (0-2).

Half-Time: Newcastle 0 Portsmouth 2

51m - Phillips storms down the right and as Fairbrother advances he beats him before laying the ball across to HARRIS to tap home at the far post (0-3).

70m - Milburn flicks on Walker's cross and ROBLEDO holds off a challenge to prod home (1-3).

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Portsmouth 3

Position: 15th

United are brilliant in the first half-hour, but although they take the lead they spurn a host of chances including three alarming misses. Let off the hook, the Toffeemen grab an equaliser and go on to win. Newcastle are bottom of the table.

Everton (9th) - Goodson Park - 49,504

Fairbrother, Craig, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo G, Milburn, Lowrie, Mitchell

Scorers: Lowrie - McIntosh, Wainwright (pen).

LOWRIE cleverly flicks Batty's free-kick out of the reach of Burnett (1-0).

Eglington mulls his shot but MCINTOSH is on hand (1-1).

Half-time: Everton 1 Newcastle 1

65m - Corr's shot hits Dodgin on the arm and although it seems accidental a penalty is given which WAINWRIGHT dispatches (1-2).

Full-time: Everton 2 Newcastle 1

Position: 22nd

Another hot day and once again Newcastle overplay the home side for thirty minutes before succumbing to defeat. United deservedly lead at the break, but Billy Wright inspires a revival from the Wolves. Lowrie is sent-off.

Wolves (2nd) - Molineux - 50,922

Fairbrother, Craig, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo G, Milburn, Lowrie, Mitchell

Scorers: Milburn - Pye, Forbes

39m - Mitchell's lob is only partially cleared and MILBURN pivots before crashing the ball into the net (1-0).

Half-time: Wolves 0 Newcastle 1

59m - Mullen hits a hard cross which PYE superbly heads in at the far post (1-1).

68m - FORBES scores a gem of a goal from close range (1-2).

76m - Lowrie - who's been having one of his best games for United - is sent-off for pushing Smyth in the face.

Full-time: Wolves 2 Newcastle 1

Position: 22nd

Although inferior in craft, United’s more direct approach and greater fighting spirit secures the first points of the season. Part of the blame also lies with Everton goalkeeper Burnett, who was at least partially to blame for all of the goals.

Everton (3rd) - SJP - 42,689

Fairbrother, Craig, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo G, Milburn, Taylor, Mitchell

Scorers: Robledo, Milburn, Walker, Mitchell.

Taylor is recalled in place of Lowrie.

ROBLEDO catches Burnett in two minds and he heads home (1-0).

42m - MILBURN scores with a swirling lob from the left-wing (2-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Everton 0

50m - Burnett can only help WALKER’s centre into the net (3-0).

63m - Burnett comes out to clear, allowing Walker to set up MITCHELL for the easiest of chances (4-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 4 Everton 0

Position: 17th

A huge crowd attends and ambulance men have to treat a few minor casualties caused by the heat and crush. It is an often ragged, but enjoyable game, where top-performer Milburn grabs a hat-trick.

Aston Villa (12th) - SJP - 57,669

Fairbrother, Craig, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo G, Milburn, Taylor, Mitchell

Scorers: Milburn 3 (1 pen) - Lowe, Ford

04m - Fairbrother tips Gibson's header onto the bar and although LOWE's follow-up header is charged down he forces the ball home at the second-attempt (0-1).

33m - Robledo heads on Walkers’ corner-kick to MILBURN who heads home beautifully (1-1).

42m - Martin inexplicably handles in the area and although Rutherford falls on MILBURN's penalty it eludes him (2-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Aston Villa 1

46m - After only 15 seconds MILBURN lets fly from twenty-yards and the surprised Rutherford fails to stop the bouncing ball (3-1).

53m - From five-yards out FORD smacks in a spectacular half-volley from a high centre from Goffin (3-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Aston Villa 2

Position: 13th

United fail to score for the first time, but return from Bloomfield Road with a point.

Blackpool (10th) - Bloomfield Road - 25,000

Fairbrother, Craig, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo G, Milburn, Taylor, Mitchell

Half-time: Blackpool 0 Newcastle 0

Full-time: Blackpool 0 Newcastle 0

Position: 13th

Slow and cumbersome United are outplayed in the first forty-five and could easily have trailed by more than 3 goals. They are much improved after the break and in a ding-dong battle both sides score thrice.

Charlton (18th) - The Valley - 42,000

Fairbrother, Craig, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo G, Milburn, Taylor, Mitchell

Scorers: Milburn (2), Mitchell - Lumley (3), O'Linn (2), Revell

19m - Brennan and Craig block Fairbrother’s view and O'LINN's excellent shot opens the scoring (0-1).

23m - Vaughan heads down a corner and as the defence hesitates LUMLEY pounces (0-2).

37m - The defence is static again as LUMLEY heads in Fell's cross (0-3).

Half-time: Charlton 3 Newcastle 0

48m - REVELL is given time and space to shoot past the advancing Fairbrother (0-4).

54m - MILBURN hooks in following a good move (1-4).

55m - Fairbrother saves a twenty-yarder from Fell, but LUMLEY hooks in the rebound (1-5).

57m - MITCHELL smacks Milburn's cross into the roof of the net (2-5).

73m - Charlton goalkeeper Bartram runs out to claim a loose ball but Taylor gets there first. He passes to Mitchell who sets up MILBURN to score into the empty net (3-5).

80m - O’LINN lets fly with a superb shot from thirty-yards which has Fairbrother's pawing feebly at thin air (3-6).

Full-time: Charlton 6 Newcastle 3

Position: 17th

Martin makes drastic changes: McMichael and Hannah make their debuts, Harvey makes his first appearance and Garbutt (Fairbrother has an ankle injury) and Graham are drafted in. Debutants McMichael and Hannah struggle with the pace of the game at times, but Brennan and Milburn are magnificent in a great battle.

Man. City (14th) - SJP - 58,142

Garbutt, Graham, McMichael, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo G, Milburn, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Hannah, Milburn, Robledo, Walker - Turnbell, Clarke

04m - MILBURN (1-0).

18m - TURNBELL (1-1).

32m - ROBLEDO (2-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Man. City 1

63m - HANNAH darts in to convert Milburn's square pass (3-1).

71m - CLARKE (3-2).

79m ~ Milburn beats three men in a surging run before teeing up WALKER for an open-goal (4-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 4 Man. City 2

Position: 16th

United take the lead but weakness in the half-back line allows the home side to come back and win. Only profligate finishing and a fine performance from Garbutt keeps the score down.

Fulham (18th) - Craven Cottage - 40,000

Garbutt, Graham, McMichael, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Walker, Robledo G, Milburn, Hannah, Mitchell.

Scorers: Milburn (pen) - Thomas, Jezzard

24m - Bacuzzi uses his hands to save a Milburn shot and MILBURN 's penalty is a beauty (1-0).

Half-time: Fulham 0 Newcastle 1

60m - Garbutt blocks Rowley's effort at point-blank range only for THOMAS to calmly roll the ball into the empty net (1-1).

70m - Stevens centres and JEZZARD scores with a neat header (1-2).

Full-time: Fulham 2 Newcastle 1

Position: 17th

A much improved performance with United displaying the enterprise and fighting spirit of the promotion season. They employ go-ahead tactics, quick into the tackle and finding their men with accurate long passes. There are several hurly-burly incidents as the tackles fly in.

Stoke (16th) - SJP - 49,903

Garbutt, Cowell, Batty, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Thompson, Milburn, Houghton, Mitchell

Scorers: Houghton (2), Milburn, Thompson - Bowyer

McMichael and Graham are rested (Cowell and Batty replacing), Hannah and Robledo are dropped (Thompson and Houghton drafted in) and Crowe comes in for the injured Dodgin.

17m - Rather than letting the ball out for a goal-kick McCue attempts to clear and only succeeds in setting up Walker who crosses to HOUGHTON to hit the ball first-time (1-0).

20m - MILBURN brilliantly controls the ball with the sole of his boot and then finishes with power and skill; his hard, low shot going just inside the upright (2-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Stoke 0

A centre from Walker bounces along the top of the crossbar before going out of play.

69m - Mitchell's shot is blocked. Walker slams the rebound against the bar and HOUGHTON nets (3-0).

82m - Herod catches an in-swinging corner from Walker but he is over-balanced and drops the ball at the feet of THOMPSON (4-0).

85m - BOWYER scores from close-in (4-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 4 Stoke 1

Position: 13th

United have an enthusiastic following at Turf Moor and they witness a dashing thriller. Newcastle give a thoroughbred exhibition of high-speed accuracy in the first-half but Burnley gradually get back into the match and the game ends with a storming finish after Burnley pull one back with five minutes left.

Burnley (3rd) - Turf Moor - 37,319

Garbutt, Cowell, McMichael, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Thompson, Milburn, Houghton, Mitchell

Scorers: Harvey, Walker - Attewell (pen)

McMichael returns in place of Batty but there is no place for the fit-again Fairbrother.

37m - Mitchell's corner is headed in by WALKER (1-0).

Half-time: Burnley 0 Newcastle 1

46m - Mitchell's corner is cleared to HARVEY who, from 25-yards out, smashes a brilliant half-volley into the roof of the net (2-0).

Walker shoots against the bar.

85m - Crowe is on his knees when he tries to head away Bray's shot and the ball inadvertently hits him on the arm. ATTEWELL scores from the spot (2-1) to set up a storming finish.

Full-time: Burnley 1 Newcastle 2

Position: 9th

Despite taking a 2-0 lead and playing against ten men for all the second-half, United's shooting lets them down and they have to settle for a share of the derby day spoils.

Sunderland (13th) - SJP - 57,999

Garbutt, Cowell, McMichael, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Thompson, Robledo G, Houghton, Mitchell

Scorers: Robledo, Walker - Wright, Davis

With Milburn away on international duty Robledo is recalled.

27m - ROBLEDO heads in Walker's cross (1-0).

32m - A Sunderland corner is cleared by McMichael and Mitchell sets off on a 60-yard run before crossing for WALKER to hit a half-volley just under the bar (2-0).

44m - WRIGHT’s header deflects off Brennan leaving Garbutt stranded (2-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Sunderland 1

Wright - who was injured in the first-half does not re-appear.

60m - DAVIS back-heels the ball towards goal and although it is cleared the referee judges that the ball has crossed the line. The United players are furious (2-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Sunderland 2

Position: 10th

Second-placed Liverpool are unbeaten for 12 games. It is one of the best League games since the War; a thrilling match in which both sides could have easily doubled their score. United play an inspired, aggressive game and miss three excellent chances when they are 2-1 ahead. Liverpool's attacking is breathless in the last 30 minutes.

Liverpool (2nd) - Anfield - 48,967

Garbutt, Cowell, McMichael, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Thompson, Robledo G, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Mitchell, Thompson - Liddell, Barron

With Houghton under treatment for an ankle injury Hannah is recalled.

06m - Payne centres and LIDDELL knees the ball home (0-1).

17m - Following a grand movement, Robledo centres and MITCHELL scores (1-1).

Mitchell bangs in Walker's cross but it is disallowed because the winger shouted "right" as the cross came over.

28m - Mitchell dribbles past five Liverpool men and slips the ball to THOMPSON whose mis-hit shot deceives Sidlow (2-1).

Payne heads against an upright.

Half-time: Liverpool 1 Newcastle 2

A Baron free-kick hits an upright and bounces straight to Garbutt.

69m - A quick throw-in catches Newcastle napping and Liddell squares to BARON who taps in (2-2).

Full-time: Liverpool 2 Newcastle 2

Position: 11th

Newcastle's fighting spirit and speed fails to put Arsenal's first-class soccer out of its stride. Despite conceding an early goal Newcastle attack consistently in the first-half, but a mixture of bad shooting and bad luck lets them down and two goals in seven minutes after the break ends their hopes of a comeback.

Arsenal (4th) - SJP - 54,670

Garbutt, Cowell, McMichael, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Thompson, Robledo G, Houghton, Mitchell

Scorers: Roper (3)

09m - Garbutt lets a soft shot rebound off his chest and ROPER strolls up to score (0-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1

62m - ROPER's low shot goes in off a post (0-2).

69m - ROPER volleys home (0-3).

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Arsenal 3

Position: 14th

Milburn wears a plastic casing on his injured arm; the referee ignoring Bolton manager Walter Rowley's complaint that it could be dangerous for his players. United deserve a point in a fast and fluctuating game played out on a treacherous surface.

Bolton (20th) - Burnden Park - 35,000

Garbutt, Graham, McMichael, Houghton, Smith, Crowe, Milburn, Taylor, Robledo G, Hannah, Walker

Scorers: Milburn, Taylor - Howe, Lofthouse

Harvey and Milburn are both suffering from flu and are replaced by Houghton and Smith.

01m - Garbutt allows HOWE's downward header to squirm under his body (0-1).

09m - TAYLOR scores a lovely equaliser after a good move (1-1).

Half-time: Bolton 1 Newcastle 1

67m - MILBURN swivels to score a brilliant goal (2-1) .

68m - LOFTHOUSE converts McShane's cross from close in (2-2).

Full-time: Bolton 2 Newcastle 2

Position: 13th

The drastically reduced attendance is a result of the atrocious weather (wet and windy) which sees gates down all over the country. Before the game the groundsmen are kept busy trying to remove the surplus water from inside the goal areas. The visitors are bottom and have not scored for six games and are very moderate opposition.

Birmingham (22nd) - SJP - 30,113

Garbutt, Graham, McMichael, Houghton, Brennan, Crowe, Sibley, Taylor, Milburn, Robledo G, Walker

Scorers: Robledo (2), Harris (og) or Walker - Slater

Newcastle have the wind and rain behind them in the first-half.

18m - Goalkeeper Merrick is favourite to get the ball but Harris intercepts waywardly allowing ROBLEDO to nip in (1-0).

26m - ROBLEDO rounds Duckhouse and nets with a fine shot (2-0).

37m - SLATER gets there just before Brennan (2-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Birmingham 1

77m - Harris deflects Walker's cross into his own net (3-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Birmingham 1

Position: 10th

Fog causes the game to be abandoned after 75m with United trailing.

Derby (13th) - Baseball Ground- 29,973

Scorers: Powell

39m - POWELL (0-1)

Half-time: Derby 1 Newcastle 0

67m - The game is stopped for five minutes to see if the fog clears. It doesn’t, but the referee opts to continue anyway.

75m - The referee disallows a Newcastle goal which the Newcastle players are adamant was legal and seconds later he decides to abandon the game.

Position: 11th

Torrential rain commenced during the night and has not cleared and as a result of the slippery ground mistakes are common. But with Milburn in top form the Magpies win at a canter.

West Brom (10th) - SJP - 32,415

Garbutt, Graham, Batty, Dodgin, Brennan; Crowe, Walker, Houghton, Milburn, Robledo G, Mitchell

Scorers: Milburn (2), Houghton, Robledo, Walker - Walsh

02m - Milburn sets away and lays off to WALKER to shoot in off the far post (1-0).

07m - Walker's fast low centre is hit into the roof of the net by MILBURN (2-0).

18m - WALSH is played through and he beats the advancing Fairbrother (2-1).

26m - Mitchell beats half a dozen men in a brilliant dribble and taps the ball to HOUGHTON to score from close-range (3-1).

40m - Milburn races down the right and crosses for ROBLEDO (4-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 4 West Brom 1

83m - MILBURN runs 40-yards at top speed and both he and the Albion goalkeeper are floored when they collide; but United's centre manages to hook the ball in whilst still sprawling in the mud (5-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 5 West Brom 1.

Position: 9th

United have two "good goals" controversially disallowed as they gain a merited draw in a thrilling game on an Old Trafford mud-bath.

Man. Utd. (2nd) - Old Trafford - 38,000

Garbutt, Graham, Batty, Dodgin, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Houghton, Milburn, Robledo G, Mitchell

Scorers: Walker - Mitten

15m - WALKER races down the right-wing and shoots low into the net for a wonderful goal (1-0).

36m - MITTEN’s free-kick sails in before Garbutt moves (1-1).

Half-time: Man. Utd. 1 Newcastle 1

65m - Milburn lays the ball back to Walker from the touch line and the winger scores; however the referee controversially gives offside against Taylor.

81m - Mitchell challenges goalkeeper Wood and Houghton nets after he lost possession. The referee claims that Wood was impeded and Mitchell also handled.

Full-time: Man. Utd. 1 Newcastle 1

Position: 10th

Although Newcastle fall considerably below their recent standards it is an entertaining game which is deservedly drawn. The visitors play the better football and dominate the first-half but having decided to defend their lead United do most of the shooting. It is a tough old day for Dodgin who is twice hit in the face by the ball and doubled up by another ball to the body.

Chelsea (12th) - SJP - 43,329

Garbutt, Graham, Batty, Dodgin, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Houghton, Milburn, Robledo G, Mitchell

Scorers: Milburn, Mitchell - Billington (2)

13m - Campbell passes to BILLINGTON whose hard shot goes in off an upright (0-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Chelsea 1

64m - Walker's neat back-heel sets up MILBURN to score from a few yards out (1-1).

79m - BILLINGTON flashes a great drive just under the bar (1-2).

81m - Robledo's thirty-yard pass is superbly controlled by MITCHELL and driven hard and true into the far corner; a superb goal (2-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Chelsea 2

Position: 10th

A punishing and (at times) ragged battle which is very heated at times. Both Dodgin and Graham are "roasted" by the crowd and spoken to by the referee following some rugged challenges. A strong end-to-end wind and poor refereeing does not help. After conceding an early goal United dominate the first-period (against the elements), but their play lacks poise and the increasingly fractious game peters out.

Portsmouth (7th) - Fratton Park - 30,455

Garbutt, Graham, Batty, Dodgin, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Houghton, Milburn, Robledo G, Mitchell

Scorers: Clarke

03m - A long ball from back Hindmarch bounces in the area. Rather than tip it over the bar Garbutt opts to push it upwards and when it comes back down Froggatt gets his head to it. The ball goes across goal and Graham attempts to clear but he only succeeds in playing the ball against CLARKE’s legs and it rebounds into the net. (0-1).

Half-time: Portsmouth 1 Newcastle 0

Full-time: Portsmouth 1 Newcastle 0

Position: 13th

It is a very ordinary game with the Wolves proving to be a very tame bunch. “Lightweights" Hannah and Taylor are both recalled and they are the top performers

Wolves (2nd) - SJP - 56,485

Garbutt, Graham, Batty, Dodgin, Brennan, Crowe, Milburn, Taylor, Robledo G, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Taylor, McLean og

Walker is unwell so Milburn moves to the wing and Robledo moves to the centre. Inside-forwards Hannah and Taylor both return.

21m - Milburn heads the ball to Robledo who from a very sharp angle hits a shot across goal. MCLEAN tries to clear it before it crosses the line but only succeeds in whacking the ball into the roof of the net with terrific force. (1-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Wolves 0

75m - Milburn finds TAYLOR on the 18-yard line and he flashes in a great shot just under the bar (2-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Wolves 0

Position: 11th

A poor game full of glaring errors.

Middlesbrough (15th) - SJP - 61,184

Garbutt, Graham, Batty, Dodgin, Brennan, Crowe, Milburn, Taylor, Robledo G, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: McCrae

MCCRAE smashes in an angle drive which Garbutt scarcely sees (0-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Middlesbrough 1

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Middlesbrough 1

Position: 13th

A record gate at Ayresome park as the Teessiders’ more methodical approach secures a Christmas double over United.

Middlesbrough (15th) - Ayresome Park - 53,802 or 53,596

Fairbrother, Graham, Batty, Dodgin, Brennan, Crowe, Milburn, Taylor, Robledo G, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: McKennan

Half-time: Middlesbrough 0 Newcastle 0

77m - Linacre's in-swinging corner is headed home by MCKENNAN (0-1).

Full-time: Middlesbrough 1 Newcastle 0

Position: 15th

A grim battle which becomes increasingly ragged as the game goes on. Villa do three-quarters of the attacking but their "storming tactics" are too crude to conquer United's determined defence.

Aston Villa (14th) - Villa Park - 40,000

Fairbrother, Graham, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Robledo E, Sibley, Robledo G, Milburn, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Hannah

Ted Robledo makes his debut as a replacement for Crowe who has a knee injury.

36m - Milburn passes to HANNAH who - despite having two backs on him - gets a foot into the picture and hoists the ball past Rutherford (1-0).

Half-time: Aston Villa 0 Newcastle 1

Full-time: Aston Villa 0 Newcastle 1

Position: 12th

Some four thousand United fans - sporting rosettes, scarves and giant rattles - travel to Lancashire. United are two-ahead within six minutes and although the home side are on top for the next hour they are eventually punished by Milburn's pace.

Oldham (D3N:10th) - Boundary Park - 41,706

Fairbrother, Graham, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Robledo G, Milburn, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Milburn (3), Walker (2), Mitchell, McCormack og, - Spurdle (2)

02m - Houghton's centre is sliced into his own net by MCCORMACK (1-0).

06m - MILBURN gets away and rounds the pivot and goalkeeper before netting (2-0).

10m - Batty fails to clear a centre adequately and SPURDLE pulls one back (2-1).

26m - Milburn tees up WALKER (3-1).

Half-time: Oldham 1 Newcastle 3

49m - SPURDLE drives home from a Jessop pass (3-2).

61m - Following good work from Milburn, MITCHELL scores at the far post (4-2).

72m - Mitchell's long pass sets up MILBURN to score into an unguarded net (5-2),

74m - A huge clearance from Brennan and MILBURN is through again (6-2).

83m - From a brilliant pass from Mitchell, WALKER scores from 15-yards (7-2).

Full-time; Oldham 2 Newcastle 7

A drab game In which United never really get going and Fairbrother has to be at his best to prevent Charlton from scoring. The Charlton defence is weak but the United forward-line is well off-form; although three efforts are cleared off the line.

Charlton (19th) - SJP - 48,557

Fairbrother, Graham, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Robledo G, Milburn, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Robledo

Half-Time: Newcastle 0 Charlton 0

64m - Walker's cross is headed down and in by ROBLEDO (1-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Charlton 0

Position: 12th

After fifty minutes of dull, tedious football Hannah brings a splash of colour to the game and opens the scoring. The skill level does not increase but City equalise in a hectic finish. The home side are all nerves and hastiness whilst a half-steam United seem to have their minds on next week's Cup tie.

Man. City (21st) - Maine Road - 42,986

Fairbrother, Graham, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Robledo G, Graver, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Hannah - Clarke

Milburn picked up an ankle injury against Charlton allowing Andy Graver to make his debut two years after he was signed from Willington Colliery.

The ground is hard and slippery and Cityf centre-forward Turnbull suffers an early injury which leads to him being put on the wing.

Half-time: Man. City 0 Newcastle 0

After eluding three opponents Hannah plays a long pass to Mitchell and by the time he crosses HANNAH has arrived in the area and heads the ball beautifully just inside the angle (1-0).

80m - Sproston is carried-off.

88m - From a free-kick CLARKE challenges Fairbrother and gets his head to the ball (1-1).

Full-time: Man. City 1 Newcastle 1

Position: 11th

Eleven special trains carry 8,000 Newcastle and Sunderland (for their game at Tottenham) supporters and they arrive in London waving rattles and singing lustily. In all, 30,000 fans from the North East travel to the Smoke. The home forwards give a superlative, sure-footed display and win comfortably against a pathetic Newcastle.

Chelsea (10th) - Stamford Bridge - 64,446

Fairbrother, Graham, Batty, Houghton, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Robledo G, Milburn, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Billington (2), Campbell

13m - Fairbrother cannot hold BILLINGTON's 25-yard swerving drive (0-1).

26m - BILLINGTON (0-2).

Half-time: Chelsea 2 Newcastle 0

85m - Bentley's long ball through the middle finds CAMPBELL who shrugs off Brennan to shoot home (0-3).

Full-time: Chelsea 3 Newcastle 0

A much-changed side beats Fulham, but the visitors could easily have taken both points. They miss numerous chances in the first-half and are then undone by three players getting injured and becoming passengers.

Fulham (12th) - SJP - 41,120

Fairbrother, Graham, McMichael, Harvey, Brennan, Dodgin, Milburn, Thompson, Robledo G, Hannah, Walker

Scorers: Hannah, Robledo, Thompson - Thomas

The Board decide on a major overhaul with Batty, Houghton, Crowe and Mitchell all losing their place. There is also a welcome return for captain Harvey after a succession of ailments.

09m - Fulham centre-forward Arthur Rowley has to leave the field for treatment. He returns as a winger but is a passenger.

37m - Fairbrother blocks from THOMAS, but he scores from the rebound (0-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Fulham 1

53m - Robledo heads down for THOMPSON to score (1-1).

59m - Taylor is injured and he also returns as a wing passenger.

60m - Jezzard is injured leaving Fulham with eight fit men.

75m - Dodgin plays a high ball into the area, Beasley mis-kicks and ROBLEDO scores (2-1).

90m - HANNAH hits a great shot from 25-yards (3-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Fulham 1

Position: 10th

Two pieces of characteristic opportunism from Milburn secure the points in the last fifteen minutes.

Middlesbrough (12th) - SJP - 41,120

Scorers: Taylor, Milburn (2) - Woodward (2)

There is a strong wind towards the Gallowgate which is to Middlesbrough's advantage in the first-half.

10m - Linacre's cross to the far-post is half-volleyed home by WOODWARD (0-1).

39m - WOODWARD takes a cross and beats Fairbrother from 12-yards (0-2).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Middlesbrough 2

TAYLOR scores at the second attempt (1-2).

Woodward amazingly hits the bar from 5-yards.

75m - Hodgson hits his goal-kick straight to MILBURN (who is 20-yards out) and he smacks the ball in off the post (2-2).

Hannah plays in MILBURN who hits the roof of the net from 20-yards (3-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Middlesbrough 2

The football is not of a very high class and United (who twice hit the woodwork) are unlucky to lose. Highlight of the day comes when a dog runs on the pitch and evades all attempts at capture before running off the field of his own accord.

Stoke (16th) - Victoria Ground - 28,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Taylor, Robledo G, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Oscroft

The side is revamped again with Cowell, Corbett, Crowe, Taylor and Mitchell all recalled.

Hannah's shot is pushed onto an upright by Wilkinson.

Half-time: Stoke 0 Newcastle 0

Walker's shot strikes a post.

85m - Fairbrother palms out Malkin's out-swinging corner and OSCROFT shoots into the roof of the net (0-1).

Full-time: Stoke 1 Newcastle 0


Position: 12th

United are very poor and have Brennan and Fairbrother to thank for them not getting beat. Burnley take most of the football honours but are also guilty of some astonishing misses. A whirlwind blizzard after the break covers the pitch with snow in a matter of minutes.

Burnley (8th) - SJP - 30,032

Fairbrother, Cowell, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Robledo G, Houghton, Hannah, Mitchell

Houghton, who has been denied a transfer is given a chance at centre-forward with Taylor out.

An unbelievable miss by Burnley. Spencer lobs Fairbrother and although he gets his fingertips to the ball it carries on towards goal. Right on the line Morris is on hand to make sure but there is a backspin on the ball and it gets caught between his legs. There is a melee and Spencer shoots for goal only for the unfortunate Morris to get in the way.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Burnley 0

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Burnley 0

Position: 12th

A League record attendance at Roker Park of 68,004 with many more locked out. It is a most enjoyable game in which the play is fast, alternating and sporting. Despite this referee Holt wants to exert strict control and administers a number of lectures including one to Shackleton who has his name taken for some retort.

Sunderland (3rd) - Roker Park - 68,004

Fairbrother, Cowell, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Taylor, Houghton, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Houghton, Taylor - Shackleton, Broadis

Robledo is dropped and replaced by Taylor. Harvey wins the toss and opts to have the wind behind.

11m - HOUGHTON cuts inside and beats Mapson (1-0).

27m - SHACKLETON's 20-yard effort goes in off the underside of the bar (1-1).

30m - Mapson comes a long way to take Harvey's cross and he drops the ball allowing TAYLOR to net (2-1).

Half-time: Sunderland 1 Newcastle 2

52m - With Brennan and Fairbrother hesitating BROADIS races forward to score from close-in (2-2).

Full-time: Sunderland 2 Newcastle 2

Position: 11th

Newcastle take advantage of the wind at their backs in the first half and do just enough to win with Taylor, who demonstrates some remarkable tricks, the top performer.

Derby (10th) - SJP - 40,784

Fairbrother, Cowell, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Taylor, Houghton, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Mitchell, Corbett (pen) - Stamps

The Rams play into the teeth of a strong wind.

18m - Walker’s low flag~kick is completely missed by Houghton but MITCHELL drives it high into the net (1-0).

33m - The ball is passed back to Derby goalkeeper Townsend who fumbles it and when Houghton nips in the errant custodian brings him down by his legs in rugby style. CORBETT slams home the penalty. (2-0).

Musson's shot hits the bar and goes over.

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Derby 0

77m - STAMPS runs onto a header by Morris and bangs the ball home (2-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Derby 1


Position: 10th

It is another windy day and the ball proves difficult to control. Despite the conditions both teams offer grand entertainment and United come from behind to earn a draw.

West Brom. (16th) - Hawthorns - 33,469

Fairbrother, Cowell, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Taylor, Houghton, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Houghton - Walsh

42m - Allen’s free kick is headed down by Lee and WALSH nips in between Fairbrother and Brennan to crash the ball into the net (0-1).

Half-time: West Brom. 1 Newcastle 0

Barlow heads against the bar and when Walsh follows-up his shot hits him.

A free-kick leads to a goalmouth scramble which ends with HOUGHTON turning and jabbing the ball home (1-1).

Full-time: West Brom. 1 Newcastle 1

Position: 10th

United beat the Wanderers in a game in which the football is fitful and boisterous

Bolton (16th) - SJP - 33,752

Fairbrother, Cowell, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Taylor, Houghton, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Houghton, Mitchell, Taylor - Moir

03m - Crowe completely misses his clearance and MOIR swoops (0-1).

15m - MITCHELL races onto Corbett's long-ball (1-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Bolton 1

67m - Hannah hooks the ball against the underside of the bar and HOUGHTON nods home the rebound (2-1).

87m - TAYLOR shoots in off an upright (3-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Bolton 1

Position: 9th

Both sides play the best football possible in difficult conditions; a liberally sanded, concrete-hard ground and a light-as-a-feather ball.

Derby (11th) - Baseball Ground - 16,029

Fairbrother, Cowell, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Taylor, Milburn, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Houghton - Morris

17m - Musson perfectly places a 40-yard free kick to the far post where MORRIS scores with a diving header (0-1).

Half-time: Derby 1 Newcastle 0

60m - Walker's out-swinging corner is cracked into the net first-time by HANNAH (1-1).

Full-time: Derby 1 Newcastle 1

Position: 9th

Struggling Birmingham's play is riddled with tension and it is a fairly comfortable victory.

Birmingham (21st) - St Andrews - 30,000

Fairbrother, Cowell, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Taylor, Milburn, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Walker, Taylor

Half-time: Birmingham 0 Newcastle 0

53m - Following a good move, Taylor finds WALKER, who scores from the inside-left position (1-0).

Milburn flicks the ball inside to TAYLOR who hits a first-time shot into the corner of the net (2-0).

Full-time: Birmingham 0 Newcastle 2

Position: 8th

The combination of a strong wind, hard pitch and light ball does not make for a good game but both sides still manage to play some clever football.

Huddersfield (18th) - SJP - tbc

Fairbrother, Cowell, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Taylor, Milburn, Hannah, Mitchell

36m - Milburn seems to score a good goal, but after consulting with his linesman, the referee disallows it.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Huddersfield 0

McKenna cuts inside and crashes a shot against the bar.

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Huddersfield 0

Position: 8th

Despite losing goalkeeper Jack Fairbrother half-way through the second-half United coast home against the League leaders who had to play with ten men after losing Stubbins within the first half-hour.

Liverpool (1st) - SJP - 48,639

Fairbrother, Cowell, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Houghton, Walker, Taylor, Milburn, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Hannah, Mitchell 2, Taylor, Walker - Fagan

Liverpool have to make five changes due to injury whilst Houghton replaces Crowe (who has an ankle injury).

Newcastle win the toss and sensibly decide to play with the half-gale behind them.

06m - MITCHELL's shot swerves out of Minskill's reach (1-0).

08m - Walker's oblique shot hits the upright but HANNAH screws in the rebound from an equally acute angle (2-0).

Stubbins is carried off suffering from concussion leaving Liverpool with ten men.

29m - Fairbrother only succeeds in patting Liddell's shot-cum-centre into the path of FAGAN who scores from four-yards (2-1).

45m - Milburn hits the bar with a terrific shot from a narrow angle.

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Liverpool 1

48m - TAYLOR swaps passes with Walker and beats Minskill all the way (3-1).

Milburn hits an upright with an 18-yard shot.

66m - Fairbrother collides with Liddell and has to leave the field with his arm in a sling. Houghton takes over in goal.

78m - MITCHELL (4-1).

WALKER (5-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 5 Liverpool 1

Position: 7th

United come from behind to take both points. The game is played at Elland Road because Huddersfield's ground is closed due to fire damage. It is their biggest crowd of the season so far.

Huddersfield (17th) - Elland Road - 37,765

Lowery, Crowe, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Houghton, Sibley, Taylor, Robledo G, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Houghton, Robledo - Metcalfe

02m - METCALFE hits a powerful low shot (0-1).

Half-time: Huddersfield 1 Newcastle 0

HOUGHTON scores after smart play from Taylor (1-1).

65m - Hepplewhite stumbles allowing ROBLEDO in (2-1).

Full-time: Huddersfield 1 Newcastle 2

Position: 7th

A first senior hat-trick for youngster Peter Goring in the first 48 minutes kills off United's hopes.

Arsenal (8th) - Highbury - 55,000

Lowery, Cowell, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Houghton, Walker, Taylor, Robledo G, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Hannah, Robledo - Goring (3)

01m - Macaulay's square cross is hit accurately into the net by GORING (0-1).

20m - GORING scores with a low, hard, first-time shot (0-2).

32m - HANNAH jabs in low after Compton headed Houghton’s free-kick down and the defence hesitated (1-2).

36m - ROBLEDO heads in from a Walker cross (2-2).

Half-time: Arsenal 2 Newcastle 2

48m - GORING picks up the ball just outside the penalty area and bangs in alightning shot (2-3).

70m - LEWIS, who appears to be offside, breaks free and shoots home (2-4).

Full-time: Arsenal 4 Newcastle 2

Position: 8th

Milburn and Walker get the goals, but it is a superb display of goalkeeping from Lowery that secures the victory in a thrilling game played like a cup-tie.

Man. Utd. (2nd) - SJP - 52,203

Lowery, Cowell, Corbett, Harvey, Brennan, Houghton, Walker, Taylor, Milburn, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Milburn, Walker - Downie

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Man. Utd. 0

58m - MITCHELL’s shot is fisted out by Aston but the linesman rules that the ball had already crossed the line (1-0).

66m - DOWNIE (1-1).

72m - Mitchell’s header rebounds of the left upright and WALKER hooks in from the rebound (1-2).

The officials miss Harvey handling in the area.

Delaney shoots against the far post.

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Man. Utd. 1

Position: 7th

The visiting Scots play the superior football. Their centre-forward Gerrie wants to come to England and Newcastle have first-refusal.

Dundee () - SJP - 16,000

Lowery, Cowell, Corbett, Houghton, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Taylor, Robledo, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Taylor, Walker - Gerrie, Ewen (2 - 1 pen)

The Scots facing driving rain and sleet in the first period.

32m - TAYLOR gives Brawn no chance with a knee-high shot (1-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Dundee 0

Centre-forward GERRIE equalises with a hard, low shot (1-1).

76m - Crowe handles in the box and EWEN scores from the penalty (1-2).

WALKER capitalises on a poor back-pass from Follon (2-2).

81m - Gunn's cross is converted by EWEN (2-3).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Dundee 3

Chelsea (13th) - Stamford Bridge - 24,667

>A game of comedy, thrills, mystery and drama provides excellent entertainment. United exhibit superior control of the wet ball and produce a dazzling display of attacking football with Walker at the fore.

Lowery, Cowell, McMichael, Houghton, Brennan, Crowe, Walker, Taylor, Milburn, Robledo G, Mitchell

Scorers: Walker (2), Milburn,

Hannah strained a back muscle in the friendly and is replaced by Robledo.

WALKER (1-0).

20m - WALKER (2-0).

Half-time: Chelsea 0 Newcastle 2

BILLINGTON's 40-yard free-kick is a masterpiece of accuracy and goes through a crowd of players giving Lowery no chance (2-1).

83m - MILBURN heads home (3-1).

Full-time: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 3

Position: 6th

In the last game, man-of-the-match Taylor inspires United to an easy victory despite the atrocious conditions with a waterlogged pitch caused by a continual deluge of rain. The result takes Newcastle to their highest position of the season, fifth as they finish three points behind Champions Portsmouth.

Blackpool (5th) - SJP - 35,274

Lowery, Cowell, McMichael, Harvey, Brennan, Houghton, Walker, Taylor, Milburn, Hannah, Mitchell

Scorers: Milburn (2), Taylor

40m - Farm can only palm out Walker’s excellent centre to MILBURN who drives in hard and low (1-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Blackpool 0

80m - TAYLOR’s shot has just enough on it to get over the line (2-0).

40m - MILBURN rounds off a Hannah-Mitchell move (3 -0).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Blackpool 0

Position: 5th

A friendly in aid of Ashington YMCA Building Club is played at Portland Park in Ashington. Mitchell scores twice in a half-hearted victory over the Scottish Division 2 side.

Ayr - Portland Park - 10,000

Scorers: Mitchell (2) - Laird

Benny Craig plays at left-back for the Scots.

MITCHELL heads in Walker's centre (1-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Ayr 0

LAIRD equalises (1-1).

Walker centres and MITCHELL scores (2-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Ayr 1