Newcastle 3 Brentford 1 – Saturday 15 October 3pm

We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle:

Leazes Park Ender:

“Quite simply a Shelvey masterclass. Best player on the pitch by miles.

“This was closely followed by Gayle, he deserved a hat-trick today. A bustling centre-forward who has Mitrovic cooling his heels on that bench.

“United did the job today. At 3-1 there were a few nerves but it never looked in any doubt.

“The Gouffran sub looked a bad call to me. Lascelles also hooked – but that was probably about right.

“Into the top two. Progress is gathering under Rafa.”

Jamie Smith:

“Solid performance as many in the top half stumbled.

“The games come thick and fast now and every one needs to count.

“Shelvey pulled the strings brilliantly and has really hit his stride.

“Dwight Gayle looks like getting a serious total this season.”

Nat Seaton:

E-i-e-i-e-i-o…

“Some great football (at times) today, albeit it against Championship opposition.

“Our first Saturday 3pm home win of the season – leaves plenty of time to celebrate!”

James Rutherford:

“Routine.

“Never in doubt. Professional performance.

“Shelvey and Clark sensational. Perez less so.”

Paul Lyon:

“Great to walk into St James’ Park this afternoon with a positive buzz around …

“Great result today without over exerting ourselves.”

George Stainsby:

“There’s a gap. It’s not very big but I’d rather be in our position.

“I’m not getting carried away but…”

Toon Bano:

“Great win.

“We march on.

“I would like to see Yedlin and Lazaar given the chance to start at full-back though – they could be a great double act.”

Jamie Swan

“No 70 yard Rob Lee-esque wonder (disallowed) goals, but another steady win against a decent team.

“Third goal should have been curtains, but we don’t do anything easy, and opened the black and white drapes to let them back in with a peep.

“Rafa keeps everyone guessing with the first team, and even though some peeps are still twisting – it’s still working!

“Scored the most, conceded the least, top of the form table, nearly top of the actual table, best goal difference and some good fixtures to come.

“Hopefully it’ll only be a matter of time…

“All aboard!”

Here are the stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 3 Brentford 1

Goals – 

Newcastle: Clark 11, Gayle 16,49

Brentford: Hogan 52

Possession was Brentford 48 % Newcastle 52%

Total shots were Brentford 7 Newcastle 15

Shots on target were Brentford 2 Newcastle 6

Corners were Brentford 5 Newcastle 5

Newcastle starting 11:

Darlow, Anita, Clark, Lascelles (Hanley 60), Dummett, Atsu (Yedlin 72), Gouffran (Lazaar 84), Colback, Shelvey, Perez, Gayle

Unused Subs:

Sels, Hayden, Mitrovic, Diame

Referee: Simon Hooper

Crowd: 51,885

(To view the fan player ratings and to add your own in our interactive system go HERE)