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NUFC - 1977/78 Diary

DINNIS IN MOVE FOR MALTESE STAR - The Maltese part-timers surpass themselves by holding United to a draw. The equaliser is a stunning goal from striker Ray Xuereb who impresses Dinnis so much that he is considering signing him.

Floriana - Gzira - 8,000

Mahoney, Nattrass, Kennedy, Cassidy, Bird, McCaffery, Barrowclough, Cannell, Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Gowling - Xuereb

37m - GOWLING header (1-0).

Half-time: Floriana 0 Newcastle 1

75m - superb control and strike from XUEREB (1-0).

Full-time: Floriana 1 Newcastle 1

UNITED PUT IN THE SHADE BY TELSTAR - Although Burns gives United the lead, the part-timers, who were almost relegated from the Dutch First Division last year, play much better football and could have won by more.


Mahoney, Gorry, Kennedy, Cassidy, Bird (Callachan), McCaffery, Barrowclough, Blackhall (Oates), Burns (Cannell), Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Burns - Mickelsen, Jonker

15m - BURNS (1-0).

25m - MICKELSEN from a free-kick which takes a deflection (1-1).

Half-time: Telstar 1 Newcastle 1

75m - JONKER curls a free-kick around the wall (1-2).

Full-time: Telstar 2 Newcastle 1


TWO GOAL BURNS PROVES A POINT - It is an entertaining game and a fair result. Dinnis is keeping a close eye on Sparta’s English striker, Ray Clarke, who wants to return to England, but he is nowhere near as effective as Burns. Dinnis believes the bustling Clarke is not up to First Division standard.

Sparta Rotterdam

Mahoney, Blackhall, Kennedy, Cassidy, McCaffery, Oates, Barrowclough, Cannell (Callachan), Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Burns (2) - Clarke (p), Van Zoest

15m - CLARKE penalty (0-1).

40m - BURNS header (1-1).

Half-time: Sparta Rotterdam 1 Newcastle 1

VAN ZOEST from close range (1-2).

85m - BURNS (2-2).

Full-time: Sparta Rotterdam 2 Newcastle 2

Scorers: Callachan - tbc tbc

Callachan (1-0).

Half-time: Voldenham 0 Newcastle 1

tbc (1-1).

tbc (1-2).

Full-time: Voldenham 2 Newcastle 1

GOWLING DOUBLE BOOSTS MAGPIES - United have some awkward moments against their Third Division opposition but their superior class eventually sees them through.

Chesterfield - Saltergate - 2,201

Mahoney, Craig D, Kennedy, Cassidy, McCaffery, Oates, Barrowclough, Cannell, Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Gowling (2), Craig D, Craig T - Green, Dearden

11m - GOWLING cooly slots home (1-0).

43m - GREEN nods home after a mix-up in United’s defence (1-1).

Half-time: Chesterfield 1 Newcastle 1

56m - GOWLING hits in a loose ball (2-1).

59m - A superb pass from Cassidy sets up David CRAIG (3-1).

73m - A net chip from DEARDEN (3-2).

Tommy CRAIG with an angled drive (4-2).

Full-time: Chesterfield 2 Newcastle 4

NEWCASTLE STRUGGLE TO A DRAW - A testimonial for former Carlisle manager Dick Young and it is the home side who look the livelier and more industrious side. United seem to be in training ground mode and have to come from behind.

Carlisle - Brunton Park - 5,413

Mahoney, Craig D, Kennedy, Cassidy (Blackhall), McCaffery, Oates, Barrowclough, Cannell (McLean), Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Carr (og) - Tait

17m - Mick TAIT heads in from close range (0-1).

Half-time: Carlisle 1 Newcastle 0

52m - CARR heads into his own net under challenge from Gowling (1-1).

Full-time: Carlisle 1 Newcastle 1

DOUBLE BURNS - Micky Burns scores a dramatic injury-time winner to get the Magpies off to flying start in a game in which they exhibit confidence and character.

Leeds - SJP - 36,700

Mahoney, Nattrass, Kennedy, Cassidy, McCaffery, Bird, Barrowclough, Cannell, Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Burns (2), Kennedy - Hankin, Lorimer (pen)

09m - Cassidy hits a vicious rising shot in mid-stride which BURNS heads into the top corner (1-0).

21m - Alan Kennedy clears a HANKIN shot off the line, but he manages to scramble the ball home (1-1).

25m - A low cross shot from KENNEDY (2-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Leeds 1

Kennedy uses his hand to stop a McQueen header and LORIMER punishes him from the spot (2-2).

90+ - BURNS (3-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Leeds 2

Position: 6th

TERRY HITS OLD MATES - An injury to Mahoney results in a daunting debut in goal for Steve Hardwick at Anfield, but he wins praise for a confident and composed display. Although Liverpool take a while to get into gear they end up comfortable winners with former Magpie McDermott scoring the second.

Liverpool - Anfield - 48,267

Hardwick, Nattrass, Kennedy, Cassidy, McCaffery, Bird, Barrowclough, Blackhall (Oates), Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Dalglish, McDermott

Half-time: Liverpool 0 Newcastle 0

46m - DALGLISH clips the ball over an onrushing Hardwick (0-1).

87m - MCDERMOTT drives in an angled shot (0-2).

Full-time: Liverpool 2 Newcastle 0

Position: 11th

SPIKE’S SUPER SHOW - Tommy Craig's first minute penalty is saved and despite being on top for the first twenty minutes the home side gradually assume control. United always seem short of a gear and Dinnis, in desperation, pushes central-defender John Bird upfront in the latter stages.

Middlesbrough - Ayresome Park - 26,712

Hardwick, Nattrass (Blackhall), Kennedy, Cassidy, McCaffery, Bird, Barrowclough, Oates, Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Armstrong (2)

01m - Tommy Craig's penalty is saved.

40m - When a free-kick is only partially cleared ARMSTRONG shoots through a crowd of defenders and just inside the post (0-1).

Half-time: Middlesbrough 1 Newcastle 0

63m - From another free-kick United leave the near-post uncovered and ARMSTRONG hits a snap-shot which Hardwick cannot keep out.

Full-time: Middlesbrough 2 Newcastle 0

Position: 17th

LIONS TEAR HEART OUT OF UNITED - Second Division Millwall have lost all three of their games this season. The Magpies go behind after only five minutes and never recover in an unimaginative and blunt performance. There are isolated chants of “we want our money back”. Barrowclough is barracked but says “I’m no traitor!”.

Millwall - SJP - 21,861

Mahoney, Nattrass, Kennedy, Cassidy, McCaffery, Bird, Barrowclough (Cannell), MacLean, Burns, Oates, Craig T

Scorers: Seasman, Pearson

05m - SEASMAN is left in acres of space. (0-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Millwall 1

79m - PEARSON scores comfortably after brushing off Kennedy (0-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Millwall 2

POP - BUT NO FIZZ - The Hammers have lost all their games so far and have eight senior players out injured. United pulverise the Londoners in the first quarter of the game and take a two-goal lead. But they start to lose their way, become jittery at the back and the Hammers recover to win. The winner is scored by former player Pop Robson who smiles at chants of “Robson’s Reject” during the game. After another inquest behind locked dressing room doors Dinnis emerges "sick and angry" with the "stupid things we did". Dinnis is particularly unhappy with the defensive disorganisation, "the whole team must accept responsibility for defence as well as attack". But Dinnis denies the situation is becoming a crisis: "it would only be a crisis if there is nothing to work on, but as a coach I know I can improve things". Dinnis is more appreciative of the fans whom he praises for trying to lift the team.

West Ham - SJP - 26,942

Mahoney, Blackhall, Kennedy, Cassidy, McCaffery, Bird, MacLean, Mitchell (Nattrass), Burns, Oates, Craig T

Scorers: Burns, Cassidy - Jennings, Taylor A, Robson

Cannell, Nattrass and Barrowclough are axed.

07m - a well executed finish from BURNS (1-0).

22m - CASSIDY hits a 35-yard screamer (2-0).

37m - JENNINGS is given far too much time to control and shoot (2-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 West Ham 1

48m - Bird and Blackhall both fail to cut out a cross leaving TAYLOR with an easy finish at the far post (2-2).

80m - A magnificent header from old boy ROBSON (2-3).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 West Ham 3

Position: 20th

HIBS HUMBLE UNTIDY UNITED - A friendly game against the Edinburgh side is arranged to work on team play and run the rule over Scottish internationals John Brownlie and Des Bremner. It certainly does not help morale.

Hibernians - Easter Road -

Mahoney, Craig D, Kennedy, Callachan, McCaffery, Nattrass, Barrowclough (Hudson), Oates, Cannell, Gowling (McLean), Craig T

Scorers: Higgins, McLeod

Half-time: Hibernians 0 Newcastle 0

HIGGINS hammers home from a corner (0-1).

MCLEOD after a 1-2 (0-2).

Full-time: Hibernians 2 Newcastle 0

DINNIS CRISIS AS DESPERATE MAGPIES TORN APART - Dinnis’ decision to change half the side in an attempt to get some defensive stability backfires spectacularly as United are totally outplayed. They are 2-0 behind after only sixteen minutes and the crowd turns on the players, jeering misplaced passes and barracking them continuously. As a result a number of the players appear to attempt to “hide”. There is a pitched battle in the Leazes End during the break and as the teams return there are chants of "we want football". There is more fighting in the Leazes during the second-half. Dinnis reveals that: "some players were in tears in the dressing room. It breaks their hearts when they can't do it." Despite Westwood's words Dinnis remains calm: "I've got a two-year contract and I don't feel insecure”.

West Brom - SJP - 22,705

Mahoney, Craig D, Kennedy, Blackhall, Bird, Nattrass, Barrowclough, Cannell, Burns, Gowling (Oates), Craig T

Regis, Cunningham, Robson

08m - United are under pressure from the start and when Bryan Robson breaks through Mahoney is forced to come to the edge of the area to challenge him. He blocks successfully but the ball rebounds to REGIS who hits a vicious low shot into the corner of the net from 20-yards out (0-1).

16m - CUNNINGHAM picks the ball up in midfield and goes on a great solo run which ends with him taking the ball past Kennedy and sliding the ball into the net (0-2).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 West Brom 2

78m - ROBSON races unchallenged for fifty-yards before slotting home (0-3).

Full-time: Newcastle 0 West Brom 3

Position: 22nd

DUBLIN FANS HALT NEWCASTLE GAME - Dinnis admits that a loss against the Irish part-timers is out of the question and demands a clean sheet at the very least, which he gets. Serious crowd trouble is sparked by United fans raising a Union Jack. Bottles, cans and blocks of wood are hurled and Mahoney is poleaxed by a beer bottle. Soon after, the players have to leave the field for ten minutes whilst order is restored and as they wait their dressing room windows are smashed. There are three United directors there and Stan Seymour junior says that if UEFA take any action against Bohemians they will offer their support to the Irish club.


Half-time: Bohemians 0 Newcastle 0

Full-time: Bohemians 0 Newcastle 0

DINNIS MEN FLAG - BUT ‘NO PANIC’ - The Blues, who include Terry Hibbitt and Pat Howard, are having a poor season too and both sides are competent, but not incisive in the first period. Then a controversial goal just after the break clearly rocks the players and precipitates a second-half collapse. A phlegmatic Dinnis describes it as: "one of those unfortunate decisions we can't afford in our position".

Birmingham - St. Andrews - 18,953

Mahoney, Craig D, Kennedy, MacLean (Oates), Bird, Nattrass, Barrowclough, Cannell, Burns, Callachan, Craig T

Scorers: Bertschin (2), Connolly

With Cassidy out with an achilles tendon injury David McLean gets a call-up.

Half-time: Birmingham 0 Newcastle 0

47m - Birmingham are on the attack and the linesman flags for offside against Pendrey. The United players stop, but the referee allows play to continue and CONNOLLY brings the ball down before hitting a cross-shot in off the inside of the post. United are furious and after heated discussions the referee talks to the linesman. He is not interested in any counter-argument believing that Pendrey was not interfering with play (0-1).

65m - Hibbitt hits a superb cross and Bertschin scores with a fine header at the far post (0-2).

75m - Bertschin slots home a loose ball after Mahoney parries a cracking drive from Francis (0-3).

Full-time: Birmingham 3 Newcastle 0

Position: 22nd

SUCH A SOUR NOTE - The players put in the requisite amount of effort, but appear to be weighed down by a mountain of tension. Even though Coventry take the lead, United don't crumble and equalise before the break. Despite regaining some confidence and composure they are let down by the final ball and are once again punished for their defensive hesitancy. There's fighting in The Leazes again and a sharpened coin is thrown at the visitors’ ‘keeper Jim Blyth. Dinnis is adamant that the only way out of the mess is to sign new players arguing that the current set are trying their best, "but on the day it is simply not enough”. But he retains his self-confidence. "If I stay here there's no way Newcastle will be relegated ...nobody has given me any indication my job is in jeopardy".

Coventry - SJP - 22,484

Mahoney, Craig D, Kennedy, MacLean (Oates), McCaffery, Nattrass, Barrowclough, Callachan, Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Gowling - Wallace (2)

37m - Ferguson knocks down Powell's cross and WALLACE stans home from five-yards (0-1).

42m - Following an excellent move , GOWLING belts in a low hard cross from MacLean (1-1)

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Coventry 1

67m - Sky Blues keeper Blyth hits an up and under; Nattrass hesitates Mahoney rushes out, WALLACE gets there first and lobs him (1-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Coventry 2

Position: 22nd

DINNIS DANCE OF JOY IN MAGIC MOMENT - The scoreline fails to tell the true story as although Newcastle control the game their play is sloppy and their shooting often abysmal bar a four minute period in the second half in which they score three times. Apart from a small smoke bomb thrown from Leazes there is no real trouble.

Bohemians - SJP - 19,046

Mahoney, Craig D, Kennedy, MacLean, McCaffery, Nattrass, Barrowclough, Callachan, Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Gowling (2), Craig T (2)

27m - A fine move ends with Barrowclough reaching the byeline and cutting the ball back to the edge of the box for GOWLING to swivel and score (1-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Bohemians 0

65m - Gowling heads down a Barrowclough corner and CRAIG scores from the edge of the six-yard box (2-0).

67m - Maclean lays off to GOWLING who hits an excellent drive across the 'keeper (3-0).

68m - CRAIG hits a low-angled drive into the net prompting Dinnis into a gleeful dance on the touchline (4-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 4 Bohemians 0

THE NOOSE TIGHTENS - After weathering the early pressure United score their first away goal and are playing with some confidence. Ipswich equalise and gradually take control. Although their spirit is never in doubt their class is. "We'll have to replace some players", says Dinnis, "money is not a problem, it is there to be spent".

Ipswich - Portman Road - 21,797

Mahoney, Craig D (Oates), Kennedy, Callachan, McCaffery, Nattrass, Barrowclough, MacLean, Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: McCaffery - Mills, Gates

17m - from a short corner Tommy Craig crosses for MCCAFFERY to score with a bullet header at the far post (1-0).

28m - MILLS equalises with a twisting header from a corner (1-1).

Half-time: Ipswich 1 Newcastle 1

65m - Eric GATES drifts past Tommy Craig before rifling home (1-2).

Full-time: Ipswich 2 Newcastle 1

Position: 22nd

NORWICH NIGHTMARE AS UNITED SLIP AGAIN - The same pattern repeats itself. United start well and Tommy Craig puts them ahead with a brilliant goal, then they allow the home side to turn the tables. Once again there is plenty of commitment, but not enough quality or composure.

Norwich - Carrow Road - 16,630

Mahoney, Blackhall, Kennedy, MacLean, McCaffery, Nattrass, Barrowclough, Callachan (Oates), Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Craig - Peters, Reeves

10m - Tommy CRAIG with a brilliant shot, hit with the outside of his left foot, which never leaves the ground (1-0).

22m - PETERS scores from close-range after a corner is flicked on to him (1-1).

Half-time: Norwich 1 Newcastle 1

66m - Norwich up the tempo after the break and REEVES heads in Neighbour's cross (1-2).

Full-time: Norwich 2 Newcastle 1

Position: 22nd

HUGHES LEAVES UNITED LOOKING FOR A MIRACLE - Both sides hit the post in an even first-half then, within a minute of the restart, Derby take the lead and control of the game. Many of the crowd start leaving after the second and those that stay make their feelings heard. Oates gives a double Harvey Smith to his critics in the Popular Side and the returning Gowling limps off. Rams striker Billy Hughes is scathing of Newcastle and accuses some players of "hiding". Dinnis states the obvious: "same old story, we are just not good enough".

Derby - SJP - 26,578

Mahoney, Nattrass, Blackhall, MacLean, McCaffery, Blackley, Barrowclough, Oates, Burns, Gowling (Kelly), Craig T

Burns - Hughes, McFarland

New signing John Blackley makes his debut, replacing the injured Kennedy and Oates replaces Callachan.

The Magpies start well and McCaffery has the ball in the net but it is disallowed for an infringement. Gowling hits the post and a 30-yard free-kick from Craig is inches wide. Derby also hit an upright.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Derby 0

46m - HUGHES hits a splendid low shot into the far corner from the edge of the box (0-1).

77m - MCFARLAND with a lunging header from a Ryan cross (0-2).

85m - Oates heads down for BURNS (1-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Derby 2

Position: 22nd

NOW IT’S 10 - DOWN? - With Nulty, Mahoney, Nattrass, David Craig, Gowling, Kennedy and Cassidy all out injured, Dinnis goes for damage limitation by playing five at the back. The Magpies look completely disorganised and resort to some crude challenges. It is the tenth consecutive League defeat with the scoreline in no way reflecting the Red Devils complete dominance.

Man United - Old Trafford - 55,056

Hardwick, Kelly, Blackhall, Bird (MacLean), McCaffery, Blackley, Barrowclough, Cannell, Burns, Martin, Craig T

Scorers: Burns, Martin - Coppell, Greenhoff, Macari

New signing Dennis Martin makes his debut.

08m - COPPELL converts a low cross (0-1).

23m - A cross meets the unmarked Jimmy GREENHOFF, who blasts the ball into the roof of the net (0-2).

Half-time: Man United 2 Newcastle 0

57m - MACARI rifles home (0-3).

73m - BURNS with a glorious solo effort (1-3).

88m - MARTIN from 25-yards (2-3).

Full-time: Man United 3 Newcastle 2

Position: 22nd

LAST MINUTE EURO SHOCK BUT HOPES STILL ALIVE - Dinnis admitted he had “never heard of" French club Bastia when United were drawn against them, but he was aware of Dutch star Johnny Rep. United get off to a great start when Cannell scores early on. Then Papi scores twice; the winner is literally the last kick of the match. Despite the result the mood is optimistic rather than despondent. United have put in an excellent performance and the team are confident that they can make it through to the next round.

Bastia - 8,500

Hardwick, Kelly, Nattrass, Cassidy, McCaffery, Nulty, Barrowclough, Cannell, Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Although not fully match-fit Nulty is recalled and he is joined by other returnees Gowling, Nattrass and Cassidy.

07m - CANNELL from close range following a superb move (1-0).

Half-time: Bastia 0 Newcastle 1

PAPI with a diving header (1-1).

90m - PAPI skips his way through the defence before beating Hardwick (1-2)

Full-time: Bastia 2 Newcastle1


DINNIS LIFT-OFF - Chelsea are struggling and, with another board meeting planned for Monday, it is assumed that a defeat would see Dinnis sacked. A disastrous mistake by Droy presents Burns with a goal after only two minutes. Gradually United tire and start to become nervous, however a mixture of dogged defending and poor Chelsea finishing ends the losing streak in the League and is the first clean sheet in 18 League games.

Chelsea - SJP - 26,578

Hardwick, Kelly, Nattrass, Cassidy, McCaffery, Nulty, Barrowclough, Cannell, Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Burns

02m - Cannell backheads a cross which Chelsea defender Droy should clear, but he lets the ball run away from him presenting BURNS with an easy chance (1-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0

Position: 22nd

NEWCASTLE SHINE IN GOODISON CLASSIC - A performance of heart, skill and character with Newcastle taking the lead three times before eventually having to settle for their first away point of the season. Dinnis is delighted although he accepts that: "there are still one or two problems to sort out". He goes on to say: "I suppose I will get the sack sometime. You are either philosophical about it or become an alcoholic - and I don't drink!", indeed, there are very strong rumours that Dinnis will be sacked if they don’t get through to the next round of the UEFA Cup.

Everton - Goodison Park - 37,574

Hardwick, Nattrass, Blackley, Cassidy, McCaffery, Nulty, Barrowclough, Martin, Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Gowling (2), Craig T, Cassidy - Latchford (2), Pejic, Lyons

06m - PEJIC’s shot from twelve-yards takes a slight deflection off McCaffery to give The Toffees an early lead (0-1).

10m - Tommy CRAIG replies with a speculative but brilliant 35-yard volley which catches Wood off his line (1-1).

44m - Everton are well on top and create, but miss, numerous chances before Burns sets up GOWLING to stab the ball firmly (2-1).

Half-time: Everton 1 Newcastle 2

55m - LATCHFORD beats Hardwick at the near-post to glance a header home from Thomas' corner-kick (2-2).

57m - Cassidy and Wood end up in a heap after they challenge for a Blackley pass. The ball breaks loose and King tries to pass it back to his keeper but CASSIDY is on his feet first and carefully steers the ball home (3-2).

70m - LATCHFORD drives home Dobson's diagonal ball (3-3).

77m - GOWLING stretches to convert Cassidy's low cross at the far post (4-3).

83m - Hardwick goes down to save an Everton free-kick but he loses the ball and in the ensuing melee LYONS drives the ball home (4-4).

Full-time: Everton 4 Newcastle 4

Position: 22nd

SUPER REP IS THE WRECKER - Dutch international Johnny Rep failed to impress the Newcastle players in the match in Corsica, but their criticisms of the Dutch international came back to haunt them in the second leg. The chants of "United are back" soon stick in the throats of the Geordie faithful as Bastia race into a 2-0 lead within the first eight minutes after Gowling had missed a gilt edged chance in the first minute. Dinnis admits that his side were given "a soccer lesson. We tried to play the way they play but in the last resort we had to go back to the old English style of up and under." However he remains confident that Newcastle can, with the signing of a couple of quality players, avoid relegation.

Bastia - SJP - 34,560

Hardwick, Blackhall, Nattrass, Cassidy, McCaffery, Nulty(Bird), Barrowclough, Cannell (Hudson), Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Gowling - Rep (2), De Zerbi

Lacuestra is allowed to saunter through the defence before setting up young striker DE ZERBI to slot the ball into the corner (0-1).

08m - Rep and Papi play a 1-2 and REP coolly finishes (0-2).

After the first thirty minutes United at last start to put some pressure on the visitors and GOWLING heads high into the net from a pinpoint Craig free-kick (1-2). Bastia start to look a bit panicky and the game gets a bit out-of-hand .

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Bastia 2

67m - REP seals the victory with an unstoppable 20-yard volley (1-3).

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Bastia 3

HEIGHT OF MEDIOCRITY - A really poor game in which Newcastle again let a lead slip, this time to a side that has failed to score in all their previous seven away matches. The first-half is pretty dire with neither side capable of creating much. The pattern continues after the break and a visibly frustrated Tommy Craig picks up a booking when a free-kick is given against him and he whacks the ball straight at the referee. The draw does lift United off the bottom of the table. Dinnis states : “I’ve no intention of quitting. I’ve had my head on the block for some time and until they cut it off I’m staying”.

Bristol City - SJP - 23,321

Hardwick, Nattrass, Barker, Walker, Bird, Blackley, Barrowclough, Martin, Burns, Gowling, Craig T

Martin - Gillies

Cannell and Cassidy (who is furious) are dropped and Nigel Walker is handed his debut.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Bristol City 0

74m - MARTIN scores with a glancing header following good work from Gowling and a cross from Burns (1-0).

78m - City equalise in farcical fashion. Martin attempts to clear a corner but only succeeds in heading the ball upwards. Hardwick lets the returning ball slip through his arms and GILLIES blasts home from close-range (1-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Bristol City 1

Position: 21st

NO SURRENDER VOWS IAM - Wolves take the lead within five minutes and they tear United apart, particularly in a one-sided first period. They could and probably should have scored half a dozen, but for Hardwick's brilliance and some abysmal finishing. United lack motivation and inspiration and at times show no fight at all.

Wolves - Molineux - 16,964

Hardwick, Cralg D, Barker, Cassidy, Bird, Nattrass, Barrowclough, Martin, Burns, Walker (Smith), Craig T

Scorers: Patching

05m - An unmarked PATCHING heads in an inswinging corner from Kelly (0-1).

Half-time: Wolves 1 Newcastle 0

Full-time: Wolves 1 Newcastle 0

Position: 22nd

MAC MUST FIND HIS SUPERMAC - Arsenal stroll through a drab first-half which they control without any real sense of urgency. Cassidy gives United the lead within a minute of the restart which simply provokes the Gunners into upping their tempo and scoring twice. McGarry watches from the stands and concludes that: "unless I get a front-man I've no chance of getting the team out of this. If we want any chance of staying in the First Division then we have got to find the money". Suspended Malcolm Macdonald watches from the stands and the home fans chant "we want our Mac back" before the game starts. After the game he praises the fans but says there is "no chance” of United staying up.

Arsenal - SJP - 23,679

Hardwick, Craig D, Barker, Cassidy, Bird, Nattrass, Barrowclough, Smith, Burns, Gowling (Martin), Craig T

Scorers: Cassidy - Stapleton, Sunderland

Young defender Tony Smith gets a shock call-up, making his debut in midfield.

40m - Brady crashes a thunderous 30-yard shot against the bar.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Arsenal 0

46m - CASSIDY bustles into the area and shoots past Pat Jennings into the far corner (1-0).

50m - Barker and Bird both fail to clear and STAPLETON shoots in the equaliser (1-1).

Price hits the inside of the post with a 25-yard volley

75m - SUNDERLAND grabs an easy winner when Hardwick loses control of the ball when attempting to gather (1-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Arsenal 2

Position: 22nd

MICKY THE TAKER - Lelcester are just one place above United In the table. The Foxes are the better side, but despite a nervy display from Hardwlck they fall to take their chances and they are punished for their profligacy.

Leicester - SJP -

Eighteen year old Stuart Robinson makes his debut.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0

59m - Robinson plays a superb pass to Cassldy who crosses for BURNS (1-0).

NATTRASS drives home (2-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Leicester 0

Position: 22nd

UNITED GIVE RANGERS THE BIRD - Although QPR are the better side, a courageous performance from young ‘keeper Carr, a great performance from Blackley and two superb last ditch clearances from Bird enables the Magpies to record their first clean sheet and victory away from home.

QPR - Loftus Road - 15,251

Carr, Nattrass, Barker, Cassldy, Bird, Blackley, Martin, Burns (Hudson), Cannell, Craig T, Robinson

Scorers: Robinson

With Hardwick and Mahoney both Injured teenager Kevin Carr makes his debut at Loftus Road on a very heavy, sanded pitch which Is hardly conducive to good football.

Half-time: QPR 0 Newcastle 0

63m - ROBINSON scrambles home a Martin centre at the far post (1-0).

Full-time: QPR 0 Newcastle 1

Position: 21st

TOP OF THE BILL UNITED - McGarry claims the result is: "the best Christmas Box I have ever had in my life". The scoreline is misleading as the visitors are denied many goals through a mixture of bad luck and a man of the match performance from Kevin Carr.

Wolves - SJP - 22,982

Carr, Nattrass, Barker, Cassldy, Bird, Blackley, Martin, Burns, Mitchell, Craig T, Robinson

Scorers: Nattrass, Mitchell, Craig T, Cassidy

16m - Cassidy floats a clever free-kick into the area and NATTRASS times his run perfectly to head In from eight yards (1-0).

35m - Another free-kick from Cralg is bravely headed in by a sprawling MITCHELL (2-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Wolves 0

57m - Tommy CRAIG scores direct from a corner (3-0).

62m - CASSIDY delicately chips in from 12-yards out.

Full-time: Newcastle 4 Wolves 0

Position: 20th

BELL TOLLS FOR SAD UNITED - With Blackley in superb form United weather the early storm and are well worth being on equal terms at the break. But just before half-time the Scot is injured and Martin Gorry comes on, making his debut. The loss of Blackley and the return of Colin Bell to the City line-up after a long-term injury brings about a dramatic change in which Tueart notches an hat-trick.

Man. City - Maine Road - 45,811

Carr, Nattrass, Barker, Cassidy, Bird, Blackley (Gorry), Martin, Burns, Cannell, Craig T, Robinson

Scorers: Tueart (3), Kidd

Martin Gorry makes his debut as a substitute for the Injured Blackley.

Half-time: Man. City 0 Newcastle 0

58m - TUEART glances in an Owens cross with his head (0-1).

70m - Carr only partially parries a Kidd effort (0-2).

77m - Carr cannot hold Barnes’ drive and TUEART pounces (0-3).

84m - TUEART’s 25-yard effort beats Carr through sheer pace (0-4).

Full-time: Man. City 4 Newcastle 0

Position: 21st

FOREST FIRE ROARS ON AS UNITED STUMBLE - There is a strong wind and leaders Forest, with their skilful and incisive play, adapt far better. The visitors are competent, well-organised and far too good for the Magpies. The attack looks lost and the defence is hesitant in what is a flaccid display in front of the largest crowd of the season.

Nottingham F (1st) - SJP - 41,612

Carr, Nattrass, Barker, Cassidy, Bird, Blackhall, Martin, Bums, Cannell (Barrowclough), Craig T, Robinson

Scorers: Needham, Barker (og)

Blackhall replaces the Injured Blackley.

17m - NEEDHAM with a back-header (0-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Nottingham F 1

73m - Woodcock hits a post.

81m - BARKER diverts a McGovern cross/shot Into his own net (0-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Nottingham F 2

Position: 21st

CHAMPS PUT UNITED ON TORTURE RACK - The visitors dominate the first-half and David Fairclough is particularly unlucky to hit the woodwork twice and have two goals disallowed for contentious offside decisions. Liverpool take the lead within minutes of the restart and are content to sit on their lead until scoring a second in the last minute. United are totally outclassed and Seaton Delavel born Ray Kennedy says: "they will go down and it's a disgrace."

Liverpool - SJP - 36,499

Carr, Nattrass, Barker, Hudson, McCaffery, Blackhall, Barrowclough (Martin), Burns, Larnach, Craig T, Robinson

Scorers: Thompson, Dalglish

Bird, Cassidy and Cannell have all joined the injury list and with Larnach making his debut it is a very inexperienced side.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Liverpool 0

49m - Brilliant approach work by Dalgllsh sets up THOMPSON who rifles into the corner from 18-yards (0-1).

90m - Barker gifts the ball to Heighway who crosses for DALGLISH (0-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Liverpool 2

Position: 21st

LEEDS BEATEN BY YOUNG ONES - Of the eleven players who started the first game of the season, only four (Cassidy, McCaffery, Burns and Tommy Craig) are in the starting eleven today. It is a very professional and battling performance with a some slices of luck added in. Debutant Barton is stretchered off after a dangerous Jordan challenge.

Leeds - Elland Road - 36,643

Carr, Blackhall, Barker, Cassidy, McCaffery, Barton (Barrowclough), Hudson, Burns, Larnach, McGhee, Craig T

Scorers: Burns (2)

With Nattrass becoming the latest absentee David Barton Is handed his debut.

42m - BURNS with a cross-shot from the edge of the area (0-1).

Half-time: Leeds 0 Newcastle 1

85m - BURNS from the edge of the box once more (0-2).

Full-time: Leeds 0 Newcastle2

Position: 21st

NOT SO POSH! - The Peterborough directors literally lay on a red carpet for the players from the dressing rooms to the centre-circle. Hudson gives United the lead but For the next forty minutes it is a backs-to-the-wall performance with Nattrass performing superbly to hold the young defence together. United hold out although they are lucky that a goal is disallowed for a foul on Carr. There were six bookings In a bruising encounter although It Is never totally unruly.

Peterborough - London Road - 17,621

Carr, Blackhall, Barker, Cassldy, McCaffery, Nattrass, Hudson, Burns, Mitchell (Barrowclough), Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Hudson - Sargent

United take the Initiative and Tommy Cralg hits the top of the bar.

22m - HUDSON with a deceptively swerving shot (1-0).

28m - Ross free-klck causes confusion In the defence and SARGENT heads in (1-1).

Half-time: Peterborough 1 Newcastle 1

Full-time: Peterborough 1 Newcastle 1

NEWCASTLE BOOSTED BY PENALTY - Gale force winds make for farcical conditions at times as Newcastle edge through. Old favourite Tommy Robson stars for the Londoners and United have to wait until the 86th minute to make the game safe. They deserve their win but have to work hard for it against their far from outclassed "inferiors".

Peterborough - SJP - 26,837

Carr, Blackhall, Barker, Cassldy, McCaffery, Nattrass, Hudson (Barrowclough), Burns, Mitchell, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Craig T (pen), Blackhall

34m - Nattrass hits a post.

40m - Cassldy shot tipped onto post.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Peterborough 0

49m - When Hudson Is pulled down in the box CRAIG confidently dispatches the penalty (1-0). The wind starts to drop but a hailstorm is thrown In for good measure.

86m - United break away and BLACKHALL hammers the ball high over the shoulder of Barron (2-0).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Peterborough 0

MAGPIES NEED A MIRACLE - It is Middlesbrough's first victory on Tyneside for seventeen years. Nattrass is outstanding once more but the commitment levels of certain players is really questionable. Craig has probably been the best player so far this season, but he knew exactly what the crowd thought of his contribution in today's match. McGarry preferred to put the defeat down to a lack of experience but admitted: "I can't grumble, the kids have done well for me up until now".

Middlesbrough - SJP - 34,460

Carr, Blackhall, Barker (Larnach), Cassldy, McCaffery, Nattrass, Hudson, Burns, McGhee, Gowling, Craig T

Scorers: Cassidy, McGhee - Ashcroft (2), Boam, Cummins

18m - United are the better side at the start and deservedly take the lead when CASSIDY finishes off a good move (1-0).

Middlesbrough start to get into the game and Armstrong hits an upright.

34m - Slack marking allows BOAM to head in Armstrong's cross from point-blank range (1-1).

Although United had been the better side In the first-half they are lucky to go In level as McAndrew hits the angle just before the break.

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Middlesbrough 1

50m - Armstrong's cross Is headed over Carr by ASHCROFT who is given far too much time (1-2).

51m - But with Middlesbrough not concentrating MCGHEE saunters Into the box to equalise (2-2).

The Teessiders dominate after that and Cummins Is unlucky to have a goal chalked off for offside.

61m - Mills sets up ASHCROFT to poke the ball past Carr (2-3).

74m - An excellent finish from CUMMINS (2-4).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Middlesbrough 4

Position: 21st

HALES SINKS POOR UNITED - A very poor game with United going behind early on and defending in depth against the dominant Hammers. West Ham are not great, but they are a class above Newcastle and Mahoney has to be at his best to keep them in the game. Respected journalist David Miller sums up their predicament: "the sooner Newcastle can retire quietly to the Second Division under less pressure and publicity, the better for this once famous but now sadly inert club."

West Ham - Upton Park - 25,461

Mahoney, Nattrass, Barker, Cassidy (Gowling), Bird, Kennedy, Burns, Hudson, McGhee, Larnach, Barrowclough

Scorers: Hales

Blackhall, McCaffery, Gowling and Craig are axed and Carr has the flu.

10m - McDowell's free-kick deflects off the wall, hits the post and rebounds back to HALES who taps it in (0-1).

Half-time: West Ham 1 Newcastle 0

90m - Kennedy nearly grabs an unexpected equaliser when his cross-shot clips the bar.

Full-time: West Ham 1 Newcastle 0

Position: 21st

DIXIE LANDS A GREAT DOUBLE - Wrexham are promotion contenders in Division 3 and have only lost twice in their last 26 games. The police use "accent tests" to stop Newcastle fans getting into the away end. Although the pitch is muddy and greasy, it is an open and well-contested game with plenty of fast attacks; the Welshman deservedly earning a replay one minute from time.

Wrexham - SJP - 29,344

Mahoney, Blackhall, Barker, Nattrass, Bird, Blackley, Barrowclough, Burns, McGhee, Kennedy, Gowling

Bird, Blackhall - McNeil (2)

It Is a cold, wet day and the pitch is inspected twice. The injured Cassidy is replaced by Blackhall.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Wrexham 0

Alan Kennedy sends In an out-swlnging corner and BIRD carefully loops a header over Davies (1-0).

A header from Shinton is saved and in the ensuing scramble MCNEIL forces the ball home (1-1).

65m - Keeper Davies has to take part of the blame as BLACKHALL scores from a seemingly impossible angle (2-1).

89m - MCNEIL deservedly equalises (2-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Wrexham 2

[YouTube Highlights]

NEWCASTLE SHAMED IN ANOTHER CUP SHOCK - The Welshmen take the lead in the first minute and with their positive and purposeful football control the game. Newcastle get a surprise equaliser, but the parity is short-lived and two goals in the last five minutes simply rubs it in. McGarry's decision to turn down the advances of Stoke and stay on Tyneside does not appear to have had a positive effect on the players.

Wrexham - Racecourse Ground - 18,676

Mahoney, Blackhall, Barker, Nattrass, Bird, Blackley(Cassidy), Barrowclough, Burns, McGhee, Gowling, Kennedy

Scorers: Burns or Roberts og - McNeil (2), Shinton, Cartright

01m - Shinton sets up MCNEIL for a left-footed volley from twelve-yards (0-1).

39m - Against the run of play Nattrass' cross finds BURNS whose header is deflected past Dai Davies by Roberts (1-1).

42m - SHINTON delicately chips in from twenty-yards (1-2).

Half-time: Wrexham 2 Newcastle 1

85m - Whittle crosses for MCNEIL to score; United are furious believing Whittle had fouled Blackhall before he crossed, but the referee refuses to change his mind (1-3).

88m - CARTWRIGHT (1-4).

Full-time: Wrexham 4 Newcastle 1

SINKING WITHOUT TRACE - United match their opponents in the first period, then in the second forty-five Ipswich’s composed possession football is far too good for nervy Newcastle who are badly lacking in creativity, fluency and organisation.

Ipswich- SJP - 22,264

Mahoney, Nattrass, Barker, Cassidy, Bird, Blackley, Barrowclough, Burns, Larnach, Kennedy, Gowling

Scorers: Woods

McGhee is dropped and replaced by Larnach.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Ipswich 0

63m - Mahoney comes out to challenge Turner who simply plays the ball to the unmarked WOODS to head into the empty net (0-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Ipswich 1

Position: 22nd

JUST A CRUMB TO END FAMINE - A disjointed and undistinguished game in which both sides are poor. United take the lead after starting pretty well but soon conceded. After the break good work from Mahoney and profligacy by the Rams secures a rare point.

Derby - Baseball Ground - 19,708

Mahoney, Kelly, Kennedy, Nattrass, Bird, Blackley, Barrowclough, Burns, Larnach, McGhee (Barker), Walker

Scorers: Burns - George (pen)

21m - Middleton positions himself badly for a free kick and BURNS hits it just inside the unguarded near post (1-0).

29m - Mahoney falls to hold a Buckley cross and Bird handles; GEORGE scores the penalty (1-1).

Half-time: Derby 1 Newcastle 1

Full-time: Derby 1 Newcastle 1

Position: 22nd

BURNS SPOT ON IN UNITED EFFORT - The Mancunians are also struggling, but they are far better than a nervy Newcastle in the first half hour and deservedly go ahead. McGhee equalises almost immediately and an entertaining and even game ensues in which Burns secures a point five minutes from time. The players leave the field to a standing ovation. McGarry is perplexed: "there are too many players at this club who are riddled with fear, they are afraid to play football and express themselves. The reception for the team at the end was unbelievable...there is no way that a player with Newcastle is going to get the: bird providing he tries. If you can't play for this crowd you'll never play for anyone". Ipswich manager Bobby Robson is furious with rioting Millwall fans who held up the sixth round tie. “Get the flamethrowers put and burn the bastards. To think we fought in the war so that hooligans like these could survive. These people are not human and have no place in society. They will kill the game”.

Man United - SJP -

Scorers: McGhee, Burns pen - Jordan, Hill

28m - JORDAN clips a Greenhoff header past Mahoney (0-1).

32m - When Roche spills Burns’ shot, MCGHEE pounces (1-1).

39m - HILL’s shot (or cross) from wide on the left goes into the top corner (1-2).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Man United 2

85m - Larnach is felled by McQueen and BURNS scores the penalty (2-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Man United 2

Position: 22nd

NATTRASS SAVES UNITED’s BLUSHES - Irving Nattrass scores just before the end to salvage a point but it is another performance in which Newcastle look totally unequipped to handle the demands and tension of a relegation battle. Nattrass also had to play in goal for eleven minutes whilst Mahoney needed treatment. “We want our money back”is given a regular airing.

Birmingham - SJP - 19,493

Mahoney, Kelly, Kennedy, Nattrass, Bird, Blackley, Robinson, Burns, Larnach, McGhee, Walker (Parkinson)

Nattrass - Francis

07m - FRANCIS at the second attempt (0-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Birmingham 1

87m - McGee waltzes past a couple of defenders then tees up NATTRASS (1-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Birmingham 1

Position: 21st

IT’S A LAUGH A PENALTY - United throw away a two-goal lead in a match of three increasingly dubious penalties. Although the young guns show guts and talent they are also disjointed and tactically naive and United have Mahoney to thank for a superb display. A furious McGarry slams the official saying that he didn't think that any of the penalties should have been given and calling the last decision "diabolical".

Chelsea - Stamford Bridge - 22,777

Mahoney, Nattrass, Kennedy, Barton, Bird, Blackley (Kelly), Scott, Burns, Larnach, McGhee, Walker

Scorers: Bums (pen), McGhee - Harris, Swain (pen)

21m - Walker bundles into Larnach and although the challenge looks fairly innocuous the referee awards a penalty which BURNS slams in (1-0).

45+5m - the referee awards an even more dubious penalty with Blackley being adjudged to have pushed Britton even though the contact was very slight. The outstanding Mahoney brilliantly saves Finneston's spot-kick.

Half-time: Chelsea 0 Newcastle 1

50m - MCGHEE takes a pass from Walker and hits a low 20-yarder which goes under Bonnetti's body (2-0).

52m - HARRIS pulls one back for Chelsea (2-1).

81m - Referee Ron Crabb then excels himself further by awarding the most controversial penalty so far as Barton's challenge on Droy appears to be both fair and outside the box. SWAIN equalises from the spot (2-2).

Full-time: Chelsea 2 Newcastle 2

Position: 21st

NEWCASTLE ARE BRUSHED ASIDE - Despite the return of Nulty it is all too easy for Gordon Lee’s team. Fighting breaks out beneath the West Stand forcing the refer to take the teams off for six minutes just after the break.

Everton - SJP - 28,933

Mahoney, Nattrass, Kennedy, Barton, Bird, Nulty, Scott, Burns (Barrowclough), Larnach, McGhee, Walker

Scorers: Latchford, McKenzie

16m - United fail to deal with a long clearance from Wood and LATCHFORD thumps the ball home (0-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Everton 1

49m - MCKENZIE’s shot is deflected past Mahoney (0-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 0 Everton 2

Position: 21st

ANOTHER NAIL IN UNITED’S COFFIN - Leaders Forest are unbeaten in twenty four home games and although their play is sloppy at times it is a very comfortable win. McGarry is not at all happy with the match officials and calls the award of a penalty for the first goal “diabolical and a disgrace”.

Nottingham F (1st) - City Ground - 35,552

Mahoney, Nattrass, Kennedy, Barton, Bird, Blackley, Barrowclough, Nulty, Mitchell, McGhee, Walker

Scorers: Robertson (pen), Anderson

Mitchell (who has been on loan Morton) is a surprise inclusion; Scott, Burns and Larnach are all dropped.

32m - Forest break from a United corner, Woodcock is brought down and ROBERTSON scores from the spot (0-1).

Half-time: Nottingham F 1 Newcastle 0

67m - Gemmill hits a shot against the bar and the ball rebounds to ANDERSON who scores from close-range. The referee allows the goal even though the linesman had his flag up for offside when Gemmill shot (0-2),

Full-time: Nottingham F 2 Newcastle 0

Position: 21st

NEWCASTLE GRAB VALUABLE POINT - Although the Magpies have to rely on an injury-time equaliser to salvage a point they really should have won and are guilty of passing up a number of decent chances. The Leazes End is closed after the game to allow it to be demolished as the first stage of the Phase II ground development plan commences.

Man City - SJP - 20,256

Mahoney, Nattrass, Kennedy, Barton, Bird, Nulty, Barrowclough, Burns, Mitchell, McGhee, Walker

Bird, Kennedy - Palmer (2)

15m - Once again United fail to deal with a long punt upfield from the opposition ‘keeper and PALMER breaks free to net (0-1).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Man City 1

54m - KENNEDY steams in to shoot hard and low (1-1).

70m - Power crosses and the ball ricochets to PALMER to tap home (1-2).

90+m - City fail to clear and BIRD takes advantage (2-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Man City 2

Position: 22nd

CITY TOO SLICK FOR SLEEPY UNITED - Although luck is against United, City dominate the match and could have scored several more. One particular instance stands out. Burns scores direct from a free-kick only for the referee to disallow it on the basis that it was indirect even though he had not signalled this by raising his hand. He also does not allow the kick to be retaken. McGarry is furious and storms out the dressing room. Asked to comment McGarry says “no way….no way…no way!”

Bristol C - Ashton Gate - 17,344

Mahoney, Nattrass, Kennedy, Barton, Bird (Scott), Blackhall, Barrowclough, Burns, Nulty, McGhee, Walker

Scorers: Barrowclough - Nulty (og), Ritchie, Hunter

McGarry replaces striker Mitchell with defender Blackhall as he adopts a more defensive formation.

17m - Ritchie hammers the ball towards goal and NULTY scores in his own net as he attempts to volley clear (0-1).

Half-time: Bristol C 1 Newcastle 0

48m - RITCHIE converts a cross from the right flank (0-2).

49m - HUNTER smashes an unstoppable shot past Mahoney (0-3).

84m - BARROWCLOUGH scores a fine solo consolation (1-3).

Full-time: Bristol C 3 Newcastle 1

Position: 22nd

NEWCASTLE HOLD EUROPE CHASERS - Coventry still have a chance of a European place and are the top scorers in the division; a mixture of poor finishing and desperate defence from the Magpies means they draw a blank.

Coventry - Highfield Road - 22,135

Mahoney, Blackhall, Kennedy, Barton, Nattrass, Nulty, Barrowclough, Burns, McGhee, Callachan, Scott


Half-time: Coventry 0 Newcastle 0

Full-time: Coventry 0 Newcastle 0

Position: 21st

ROCK BOTTOM, UNITED - It is a really poor game riddled with mistakes and misunderstandings and Newcastle should really have lost, their equaliser coming from a harshly awarded penalty. For some reason sections of the crowd singled out Nulty for the most abuse.

Aston Villa - SJP - 19,330

Mahoney, Blackhall, Kennedy, Barton, Nattrass, Nulty, Barrowclough, Burns, McGhee, Callachan (Larnach), Scott

Scorers: Burns (pen) - Evans

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Aston Villa 0

67m - EVANS (0-1).

76m - BURNS is judged to have been fouled in the area and scores from the spot (1-1).

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1

Position: 21st

MITCHELL SENT OFF AS UNITED SLUMP - oThe dominant Throstles are far too fast and skilful for United and Mahoney has to make several fine saves to keep the score respectable. The Magpies are six points behind safety with only five games left.

West Bromwich - The Hawthorns - 17,053

Mahoney, Blackhall, Kennedy, Barton, Nattrass, Mitchell, Barrowclough, Burns, McGhee, Cassidy, Scott, (Bird)

Scorers: Regis, Mulligan

Half-time: West Bromwich 0 Newcastle 0

55m - Cunningham centres and REGIS shoots into the corner of the net (0-1).

66m - MULLIGAN crashes in a second (0-2) and Mitchell is sent off for dissent having already been booked in the first period.

Full-time: West Bromwich 2 Newcastle 0

Position: 21st

NEWCASTLE JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH - Arsenal have just reached the FA Cup Final and seem to be in a daydream as United could and perhaps should have scored at least once in the first ten minutes. Kennedy misses a sitter, Barrowclough breaks through but cannot finish and Nulty hits the underside of the bar. Arsenal's lethargy continues into the second-half until the Magpies take the lead. Journalist Radford Barret suggested that "the club, whose politics seem only slightly less complex and poisoned than those of The Borgias, must find a way to stop wounding itself”.

Arsenal - Highbury - 33,353

Mahoney, Blackley, Kennedy, Barton, Nattrass, Nulty, Barrowclough, Burns, McGhee, Walker, Scott

Scorers: Burns - Brady, Price

Nulty hits the underside of the bar.

Half-time: Arsenal 0 Newcastle 0

Walford is unlucky to have two efforts cleared off the line and another come back off the post.

60m - BURNS swings in a cross from the right and with both Nulty and keeper Jennings failing to connect it sails in off the post (1-0).

76m - After three shots in a row are blocked BRADY scrambles in an equaliser from close range (1-1).

78m - PRICE side-foots in a low hard cross from Hudson (1-2).

Full-time: Arsenal 2 Newcastle 1

Position: 21st

NEWCASTLE DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT - Villa are the better side throughout in a poor game and they could have easily doubled their score in the last twenty minutes. Relegation is now a mathematical certainty.

Aston Villa - Villa Park - 25,495

Mahoney, Blackley, Kennedy, Barton, Nattrass, Nulty, Barrowclough, Burns, Mitchell, Walker, Scott

Scorers: Cowans, Gray

26m - From a free-kick Mortimer lays the ball sideways and 19-year-old Geordie Gordon COWANS hits a fierce right foot shot into the net (0-1).

Half-time: Aston Villa 1 Newcastle 0

70m - GRAY scores with a fine header (0-2).

Full-time: Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0

Position: 21st

LOYAL FANS SHOW ANOTHER FACE - United are the better side for the first half hour and should have gone ahead, but Nattrass misses a six-yard sitter. QPR need the points to avoid relegation themselves and it dawns on them the home side are there for the taking. Chants of "sack the board" and "we want football" reverberate around the stadium. There are anti-Board banners and leaflets and choruses of abuse towards the director’s box. Players are booed and season tickets ripped up.

QPR - SJP - 13,463

Mahoney, Nattrass, Kennedy, Barton, Blackley, Barker, Barrowclough, Burns, Mitchell, Larnach, Walker (McGhee)

Scorers: Givens, McGhee, Hollins

36m - A crisp low shot fro GIVENS gives Mahoney no chance (0-1).

40m - Bowles cause panic in the United defence and MCGHEE scores (0-2).

Half-time: Newcastle 0 QPR 2

51m - HOLLINS drives in a low shot from all of thirty-yards (0-3).

Full-time: Newcastle 0 QPR 3

Position: 21st

AWFUL END TO AWFUL SEASON -the game has to kick-off at 6.30pm because the floodlights are out of action. Less than 8,000 turn up at SJP to see the "last rites" performed, it is the lowest attendance since World War 1. In an undistinguished match United let the lead slip twice.

Norwich - SJP - 7,180

Carr, Kelly, Kennedy, Barton, Blackley, Canadian, Barrowclough, Burns, McGhee, Larnach, Walker

Scorers: Kennedy, Burns - Ryan, Reeves

21m - KENNEDY plays a 1-2 with Walker before hammering in a low shot from a difficult angle (1-0).

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Norwich 0

58m - From a free-kick Neighbour lobs the ball over the wall and RYAN equalises (1-1).

71m - BURNS hammers home a square pass from Barrowclough (2-1).

78m - The Canaries are reduced to ten men when debutant Mark Halsey is sent off.

81m - REEVES hooks the ball wide of Carr from the edge of the area (2-2).

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Norwich 2

Position: 21st

UNITED GO OUT WITH A WHIMPER - The relegated sides play against each other to see who finishes bottom. Soon after the second goal hundreds of fans stream onto the pitch from the Filbert Street end. Fifteen fans are stretchered off and five are taken to hospital. The incident causes a six-minute hold up in the play. Twenty-three fans are arrested in all.

Leicester - Filbert Street - 11,530

Carr, Kelly, Blackhall, Barton, Nulty, Mitchell, Guy, Burns, McGhee (Robinson), Larnach, Callachan

Goodwin, Davies, Salmons

08m - GOODWIN runs onto a short pass (0-1).

Half-time: Leicester 1 Newcastle 0

56m - DAVIES intercepts a Carr clearance and slots home (0-2).

SALMONS volleys home from close range (0-3).

Full-time: Leicester 3 Newcastle 0

Position: 21st

Chelmsford City - - 1,500

Scorers: Larnach (2)

Half-time: Chelmsford City 0 Newcastle 1

Full-time: Chelmsford City 1 Newcastle 2

Jimmy Smith lays on two of his side’s six goals with defence splitting passes as his team win an open and enjoyable game. Sunderland striker Gary Rowell scores a hat-trick.

Jim Smith's XI - SJP - 17,428

Carr, Nattrass, Kennedy, Morris, Barton, Blackley, Callachan, Burns, Guy, McGhee (Larnach), Hibbitt.

All Stars: McFaul, Craig, Guthrie, Rowell, McNamee, Moncur, Scott, Green, Armstrong, Smith, Foggon (Craggs) (Gibb) (Burton) (Arnott)

Scorers: McGhee, Burns, Barton

30m - MCGHEE (1-0).

40m - FOGGON (1-1).

BURNS (2-1).

FOGGON (2-2).

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Jim Smith's XI 2

65m - ROWELL (2-3).

67m - GIBB (2-4).

72m - ROWELL (2-5).

85m - BARTON (3-5).

ROWELL (3-6).

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Jim Smith's XI 6