|match review copied from |
West Ham 0 Newcastle 1 By Martin Lipton, PA Sport
John Barnes silenced the Upton Park boo-boys with a wonder-winner that stole a
victory for Kenny Dalglish's Magpies.
The veteran midfielder's every touch had been jeered as the Hammers fans made
him pay for snubbing them to go to Tyneside last month after being freed by
But just before the end of a first half that had effectively been a private
battle between John Hartson and Shay Given, Barnes picked the perfect moment to
score his first goal in black and white.
David Batty saw Champions' League hat-trick hero Faustino Asprilla in space in
the middle, and played a great ball for the Colombian to advance into the box.
Pressured by three defenders, Asprilla fell to the ground, but showed superb
presence of mind to regain his feet and lay back to Barnes.
The home back line had been drawn, magnet-like, to the South American, and
Barnes, with next to no backlift, produced a 20-yarder with the outside of that
famous left foot which flew past Ludek Miklosko into the top corner.
And for all the non-stop efforts of Harry Redknapp's men, that was to prove
the match-winner as the East Enders found the script had given all the best
lines to the opposition.
Try as they might, they could not find a way past the magnificent Given, who
left Hartson, Eyal Berkovic, Stan Lazaridis and Iain Dowie, as well as the bulk
of the crowd, all shaking their heads.
And the clenched fists of triumph from the travelling Toon Army at the final
whistle showed that they felt it had been a major triumph at the end of a
The Hammers were undoubtedly hoping to catch Newcastle still celebrating
Wednesday's night of Euro-glory, and all the signs in the early stages were that
Sharper to the ball, vibrant and lively, the home side were a class act, with
Hartson terrorising a Magpies side - playing their first away Premiership match
- which included, for the first time this term, Darren Peacock.
Given tipped a Hartson header over as early as the fifth minute, although the
Welshman, partnered by Dowie in the absence of Paul Kitson, should have done
better than fire high from eight yards after Berkovic had been put away by
debut-boy Ian Pearce.
Barnes gave a foretaste of what was to come with a low shot wide, but
Redknapp's men were well in the ascendant, even if the goals would not come.
They came close enough, Frank Lampard bringing the Irishman to his knees and
Hartson heading just wide from a narrow angle, before Asprilla almost found
Barnes with a low cross.
That was just a brief Newcastle interlude, as West Ham came again, but Hartson
was twice bravely blocked by Given either side of a Berkovic shot pulled wide,
with the Israeli then a fraction off-target with a searing free-kick.
After all that dominance, Barnes' strike was an arrow to Hammers' hearts,
although they still kept on coming forward after the break.
But Given was inspired, never more so than when he took off high to his right
to deny Stan Lazaridis six minutes into the second half.
With West Ham pushing forward with increasing desperation, they began to leave
themselves open at the other end, and had Asprilla shown the goal touch he had
demonstrated against Barcelona when John Beresford put him away in the 63rd
minute it would have been all over.
The Colombian was clear and through on goal, but David Unsworth somehow got
back to force him to shoot wide, and the Hammers breathed again.
Hartson scuffed a shot after one great move and Berkovic could not believe his
misfortune when Given again came to the rescue for Newcastle on the hour after
Lazaridis had slid the little Israeli through.
Keith Gillespie, far quieter than in midweek, might have nicked a second for
Newcastle but the muted boos when Barnes made way for Steve Howey with 21
minutes left hinted the home fans were beginning to feel it was destined not to
be their day.
They must have known it four minutes later, when Dowie met the busy Steve
Lomas' cross with a fine header that simply had to be good enough.
Not with Given on this sort of form, and, as he palmed the ball to safety, the
former Blackburn man had effectively claimed all three points.
Asprilla, never stinting in his efforts alone up front, might have scored
twice at the death, but Newcastle were happy enough. The sort of victory that
wins championships, perhaps?
West Ham: Miklosko, Breacker (Hughes 46), Unsworth, Hartson,
Lomas, Dowie, Ferdinand, Lampard, Lazaridis, Pearce,
Berkovic (Potts 71).
Subs Not Used: Bishop, Rowland, Forrest.
Newcastle: Given, Barton, Beresford, Batty, Peacock, Lee,
Barnes (Howey 70), Asprilla, Gillespie, Watson, Albert.
Subs Not Used: Rush, Ketsbaia, Hislop, Tomasson.
Booked: Barton, Gillespie, Lee.
Goals: Barnes 44.
Ref: S W Dunn (Bristol).