Nigel Clough brought his team to defend and they did it very well.

The first half hour saw United unable to make any inroads and the visitors wasting the best chance of that opening 30 minutes.

Gayle then won a penalty, Ritchie converted it and then…the referee somehow ruled it out (see link to referee apology below).

Nigel Clough felt that this set the crowd alight and Burton did well to hold on until half-time.

Fittingly it was Matt Ritchie who scored the eventual winner, the Burton boss declaring ‘There’s not much you can do when he hits one like that’.

Nigel Clough:

“We were beaten by a wonderful strike and that was it really.

“I thought we created some good situations and chances ourselves. Jackson (Irvine) had a great one that we would have fancied him to have put away but it’s a magnificent effort by our lads.

“We were in the game right to the end.

“At 1-0 we said to stay in the game and we kept going forward and kept trying to create but we are playing against an almost Premier League side and to only come away with a 1-0 defeat, we feel a little bit hard done by, despite the penalty controversy.

“I didn’t think it was a penalty. It was very harsh. After that I have no idea what happened. The referee makes the decision and you move on.

“We did well after that incident to get through to half-time 0-0 with the sense of injustice the Newcastle players and crowd felt.

“That spurred them on for the last 15 minutes until half-time but we weathered that storm and things calmed down in the second half.

“Jon McLaughlin has not had a lot to do tonight. They just scored from a brilliant strike by Matt Richie and it was on his wrong foot as well. There’s not much you can do when he hits one like that.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Burton 0


Newcastle: Ritchie 68

Possession was Burton 30% Newcastle 70%

Total shots were  Burton 6 Newcastle 22

Shots on target were Burton 2 Newcastle 4

Corners were  Burton 3 Newcastle 4

Referee: Keith Stroud

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Mbemba, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Atsu (Ameobi 89), Gayle (Murphy 90+1), Perez

Unused Subs:

Elliot, Gamez, Haidara, Gouffran, Hanley

Crowd: 48,814

(Referees Union issue apology after the game, read it HERE)

(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction HERE)

  • Sid James

    What a Carry On

    • HappyToons

      Carry on? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, if of course I can even smile. I am busy working my way around fenwick’s glass exit doors, will I ever get out.

  • Wor Monga

    I couldn’t believe that Clough was so definite that it wasn’t a penalty from his viewpoint…how could he see the tap on Gayle’s leg as he went past the defender when even the ref needed the help of the linesman…

    …I’m also not saying there’s any conspiracy, but this season we’ve been awarded 3 penalties in the 40 games averaging 1 in 13 games…whereas Brighton have had 10 in the 40, an average of 1 in 4 games…that’s a big hand up from the league officials considering how Knockaert is well known for going to ground easily…

    …I’ve never seen anything like this one in over 60 years…nobody encroached before the kick was taken, and as Ritchie took it, everybody on the edge of the box went inside…it never happens, you don’t when the ball could be skied or hit the corner flag…Stroud must have been concentrating on Gayle rather than the kick, and the keeper…so if he saw him enter then he should have stopped the kick…

    …We did more than enough against their ‘brick wall tactics’ to be well out of sight, and if that goal had of stood we would have been…the crowd were totally wired behind the lads, and for me it was an excellent performance!!!

    • S.G.M.

      Gayle was level with the penalty spot when the ball was struck.

      • Wor Monga

        I was looking at the goal mouth, but if Gayle was that far inside the box then the kick would not have gone ahead… Gayle would have to have been off and running well before Ritchie got started, and even Stroud would have noticed that, and stopped the kick from being taken!!!

        • Craig Boyle

          Had this discussion with a lad at work this morning, Gayle was clearly encroaching, but there were Burton players in the box before the ball was kicked too. Irrespective of that, he trouble with encroachment is that it happens on practically every penalty, but it’s so rarely enforced that you feel a (perhaps false) sense of injustice when it actually happens to your team.

        • S.G.M.

          You cant do that! First line of the Law States “When a penalty kick is awarded the kick must be taken”

        • Scottpaige

          He was well inside the box. He was 2/3 yards in when the kick was taken. But no excuse for a pathetic referee

  • S.G.M.

    Sounds like Clough will demand a replay, because the debacle spurred Newcastle on to win.

  • Mike

    he didnt “see it” must be taking lessons from Wenger