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REPORT: SPURS V NEWCASTLE

Posted on 30 March 2008  - 12:00

Darren Bent made it two goals in two games, but it was Newcastle celebrating three valuable points come the end of the Sunday afternoon encounter at the Lane.

Darren Bent made it two goals in two games, but it was Newcastle celebrating three valuable points come the end of the Sunday afternoon encounter at the Lane.It looked like the struggles of the North East side would continue when Bent's header registered a lead, but a goal just before half-time from Nicky Butt completely altered the course of the game and Newcastle went on to dominate with a further three goals to show for their efforts.

The was a big scare on four minutes when a lapse from Jonathan Woodgate allowed Habib Beye to steal into the area from the right and the full-back lashed in a shot that crashed down off the underside of the bar and bounced to safety. It sign-posted a lively beginning from the visitors, who then saw a shot from Obafemi Martins foiled by Paul Robinson.

The goalkeeper then stooped brilliantly to turn away a poked effort from Joey Barton before Robbie Keane was flattened in the area by Abdoulaye Faye, only for a corner to be awarded by referee Mr Bennett. In a period of pressure, Woodgate's powerful header from the resulting corner was blocked by Stephen Harper, with Keane and Michael Dawson unable to seize on the rebound in time.

Keane later provided the threat to the left of the area from Jamie O'Hara's threaded pass, but squirted his shot across the face of goal.

Newcastle were facing a deficit on 25 minutes though when an inswinging cross from the left from Steed Malbranque was met by a precisely timed leap from Bent, who rose and steered his header beyond Harper to make it two goals in two games for the striker.

Bent proceeded to cause further havoc in the visiting defences with a charge into the danger zone and when the ball ran loose Dimitar Berbatov was unable to keep his blasted shot on target.

After a bit of a stale period leading into the break, Newcastle struck back in first half stoppage time when Nicky Butt wrapped his boot around the ball from the edge of the area and his shot squeezed into the bottom right hand corner.

Barton rattled a low drive just past the right hand upright early in the second half before the lead was seized on 51 minutes. A free-kick on the edge of the area, taken by Geremi, somehow found a route through the wall and crept into the net with Robinson completely unsighted.

Kevin Keegan's side were asserting control and Juande Ramos responded by replacing Keane and Malbranque with Adel Taarabt and Aaron Lennson. They continued to pour forward and dictate the momentum, with Robinson having to make a fine save to deny Mark Viduka after Didier Zokora gave away possession. Robinson was then forced into action to block a Viduka header.

They deservedly made it three on 65 minutes when Michael Owen worked his way into the area and curled a decisive plant past Robinson to spark joy on the visitors' bench.

Teemu Tainio stepped in for Zokora, but it was Owen who was presented with the next clear chance, getting in behind Dawson and, thankfully, this time not making it count.

A Berbatov header was cleared off the line as the boys sought to save the match but that was not about to happen. Even more so when a fourth was added on 82 minutes, Barton playing Martins through and the Nigerian speeded at the last line of our defence before slotting past Robinson.