Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0 – Saturday 31 March 3pm

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

A goal with 10 minutes to go from Ayoze Perez finally gave Newcastle a deserved win.

Not quite as entertaining as the last two home matches but another massive three points towards safety.

Paul Patterson:


“Technically eight points clear of safety.


“Happy Easter.”

Jamie Smith:

“Massive result.

“The game wasn’t memorable and Kenedy seemed baffled as to how he’d got himself caught up in a Championship match being played in the Premier League.

“Huddersfield had obviously decided a point would do and as chances came and went they would have probably started to share the antsy feeling around the ground that they could snatch all 3.

“Some solid performances again leading to pure relief at Perez’ goal.

“It could prove incredibly important as the relegation battle starts to take shape and, thankfully, we are one of the sides moving away from it.”

Nat Seaton:

“A massive 3 points.

“Not the best performance but they kept at it and nicked the goal.

“Relief all round!”

Ben Cooper:

“Three home wins and three clean sheets, the last two against hopelessly unambitious and disorganised teams.

“After the first half of missed chances I didn’t think the goal was coming, but fair play to kenedy and Perez, both were pretty anonymous but they won us the game today.

“The defence and Shelvey and Diame were all good today. Shelvey tried everything he could, tho he might struggle to take the free kicks from now on.

“We are only a few points from safety now. It’s been hard work but we’ve got better as it went on. HTL.”

David Punton:

“That’s been a hell of an afternoon of tension but the players got there.

“Credit to them and to the manager for being so professional.

“The amount of chances that went begging was alarming but Perez has popped up to score late from a Kenedy pass.

“Three points and we’re on the brink of Premier League survival.

“Newcastle have been fantastic at home in 2018. Rafa’s got this.

“Final word for Ayoze Perez who has been affected by the recent loss of his grandmother.”

Paul Lyon:

“First half excellent, just a shame we couldn’t stick the ball in the bloody net!

“Not sure if the lack of a goal caused a bit of nerves amongst wor lads but we looked a different team in the 2nd half, down to walking pace at times.

“We end up getting ourselves involved in a scrap and somehow come out on top – happy days!

“There’s a lot to like about this bunch of lads and today’s gritty resolve is the bedrock of that.

“Howay the Lads!!!”

Davey Hat-Trick:

“Ghosts of home games past haunted my half time ruminations.

“I’ve seen us play good halves followed by bad ones, and I’ve seen us boss a game and concede late this season.

“After 3 or 4 decent first half chances went begging, I was thinking the fates might conspire against us.

“But a good first half performance against a well organised if unambitious outfit was followed by an equally good second, and we scored just when Huddersfield were starting to play like a team that remembered why they came up the M62.

“And now it’s over, I can only think of one occasion where our keeper had to be alert.

“So, the better side won an important game, the teams around us managed to lose where they could, and I’m starting to believe I’ll be watching top tier football next season.

“Worried to see Diame limping off, and Slimani looks 3 games off match fitness, but a satisfying day overall.

“Kenedy would be my M-o-M and no one had a stinker.”

Toon Bano:

“Another perfect day of results.

“That victory was absolutely huge. I had that feeling Huddersfield were gonna steal it.

“Kenedy as cool as a cucumber to square one to Perez. Many would have lashed at it.

“Inspired signing. Key to our last two victories.

“We should be fine now.

“So Mr Ashley can start negotiations to sell the club…”

Jamie Swan:

“Always fancied it would be tight and that we’d come out on top with a dirty one nil win.

“So it proved, but really, Dwight Gayle should have had at least two in the first half.

“In that spell we were fantastic and should have buried them.

“But we didn’t, and the second was more the expected grid lock.

“A few months ago heads would go down and we’d lose this one, but we kept going and went on to scoop the points.

“Get THE EFF in!

“Up to twelfth, seven clear of the drop with seven to play. Lovely stuff – Happy Easter!”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0


Newcastle: Perez 80

Possession was Huddersfield 37% Newcastle 63%

Total shots were  Huddersfield 4 Newcastle 18

Shots on target were Huddersfield 0 Newcastle 3

Corners were  Huddersfield 3 Newcastle 3

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu 67), Shelvey, Diame (Hayden 79), Shelvey, Kenedy, Gayle (Slimani 75)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Murphy

Crowd: 52,261 (3,000 Huddersfield)

  • Wor Lass

    Just waiting to see what score Jonathan gives Ayoze. I think he might have broken the 4 barrier!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Only because he scored

      • Wor Lass

        Yeah. Should do his confidence the world of good, I thonk.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          There is an interview with Rafa on co uk, he explains what Perez is asked to do. I like him, I think he works hard and cuts off a lot of what the opposition try to do.

          • Kneebotherm8

            I trust Rafa……he’s this clubs best hope…

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Great result, not a great game.
    They tried a Rafa, park the bus & chance it on the break.
    3 pts should see us safe then the real carry on will start between the Fat Guy & Rafa
    Lets hope Blondie comes up with the other 50 mill the Pig wants

    • MysteryP

      I’d disagree. First half we could have had 4 or 5 if Gayle had been finishing. We never looked like conceding. Lascelles bossed the defence and Lejeuene was great with the distribution. Shelvey played as high up as Perez (who didn’t have the best of games) because Diame BOSSED the midfield today.

      Seriously, what has happened to Diame recently? He plays like Viera now.

      I think we played really well today and a 1-0 loss seriously flattered Hudds. Shelvey as astute as ever and showing why he deserves the England player who can make a 50 yard forward pass that splits a defense.

      Big shout out to Dummett too who has come on tremendously this season despite injury set backs.

      Makes you wonder how much a decent keeper can assure a backline eh?

      • TheFatController

        Think we’re seeing the Diame that was raved about 3-4 years ago …

      • Jate Legend

        I agree with this. If we had been sharper up front today it would’ve been a smashing. They had next to nowt going forward and anything less than a toon win would’ve been a joke. We will stay up with one more win. So sweet if that’s against Pardew.

    • molend

      ‘One way or another’.

    • Ba ba.


  • TheFatController

    I think the consensus view is that as the game wore on we all feared the sucker punch.

    That the pragmatic, team graft pays off with a late goal was proof we should not believe in fate, voodoo, curses etc.

    Not as big as Kelly’s Portsmouth goal, but similar, because if it means Ashley can sell and Rafa is backed we may profit as a club now for years to come.

    We may lose at Leicester but there’d be no panic, we should look to not lose at home now…

    • Wor Lass

      We could even be OK now but I reckon 2 more points would seal it.

    • gallowgate26

      We should be looking to take the game to Leicester, as a free hit and ask questions of them. Vardy’s pace will be a danger but we aren’t exactly slow at the back these days compared to the Collos and the Willos of yesteryear. Hopefully we can keep him quiet and Diame is not injured. Leicester is a chance to see if we can get something against a team who are probably where we aspire to be ourselves (lower top half). I hope we get a jammy result against them me.

    • Coach Clagnut

      Reading the boards,W.Brom & Soton fans have accepted their fate. Nice to think it’ll be free-flowing hereon in but let’s not be daft. Rafa doesn’t give his players any licence. Game plan or ya oot.
      All power to Rafa is what I say. He’s a football anorak and a born winner.

  • Wezza147

    Didn’t think that goal was going to come!
    In the first half we had great chances spurned and I’d like to see if that was a penalty or not. Looked like it to me.
    As for Huddersfield they didn’t come to play, they dived all over the place and tried to rough Shelvey up in the first half. That being said they almost could have stole a point in the end.
    It’s hard to break down teams like that who sit back and defend and we had to be patient and thankfully the deserved winner came!
    I can bet Ashley is licking his lips at the thought of next seasons 109M TV money which will conveniently disappear like this seasons. Sell up in the summer MA!

    • HarryHype59

      The £109m is the minimum the club will earn if they avoid relegation and finish 17th. The club could earn around another £10m for finishing 13th.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        And I earn £50 from you!!!! Have you seen Desree (and I don’t mean the 90’s pop R&B songstress)

        • HarryHype59

          The bet was for £10 regarding relegation. I think we had a double or quits that Hoss wouldn’t get more than six EPL goals this season.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            you cheeky blighter, £10 very soon please

  • Stephen Paylor

    Davey Hatrick and anyone else who had Kenedy as MOM in that game watched a different game to me. He was too narrow when we had the ball and did very little. His tracking back was suspect and he was almost at fault for a goal leaving his man at the back post. Not one of his better days nut he wasn’t awful either. No way MOM the match though. That was Diame.

    • Coach Clagnut

      Diame was immense and Kenedy phoned that one in.

    • gallowgate26

      Agree but it was his moment of quality that won us the game, no doubt about that. Good players can have a poor/average game and then still come up with the goods.

  • Burt Humperdink

    If we beat West Brom at home we are up for certain. Not just because of our points accrual but because of how truly awful the bottom 5 are in the league. Cannot see 4th from bottom even getting 37 pts at this rate. Southampton are sleep walking to relegation barely putting up a fight against and equally terrible in recent times West Ham.

  • 1957

    Thought we played reasonably well first half with some good passing and movement, but with Dwight’s Hoss like performance in front of goal when half time came I felt uneasy.

    Thankfully we hung in and scored a vital goal. One more win should just about make us safe, barring an incredible set of results elsewhere

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      He certainly missed a few

  • Sid James

    What a Carry On to get a goal against a abysmal team

    • Ba ba.

      They had eleven men behind the ball for most of the game, they wasted time and came for the point.. They got exactly what they deserved… Sweet fa

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        We wouldn`t dream of doing that would we

        • Ba ba.


    • Lakeland Mag

      At least we got it, be happy with that.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        he`s only stating the truth and we can say sweet FA about putting 10 men behind the ball Nufc has it down to a fine art

        • Coach Clagnut

          Put us in good stead an’all.
          When you know how to play it you concede fewer goals and amass more points throughout a season.
          It’s a game plan to mask weaknesses. Saying that, Mourinho must believe he’s got a squad of muppets whereas we know we’ve got a muppet or two and need a squad approach.
          When, or if, the time ever arrives and we have something to be totally proud of on the pitch, we’ll have got there through Rafa’s pragmatic coaching abilities, under some of the worst possible circumstances any manager worth his salt should have had to put up with.

        • Ba ba.

          Against superior opponylike man City, Liverpool.. .ffs

        • Mayor Vaughn

          Fine art indeed, that goal difference will be as good as a point come seasons end.
          Not pretty, frustrating, Negative. All true, i’ll say the end justifies the means.

  • Cockneytrev

    Diame is a different player, I’ve no idea where these performances are coming from he’s been a revelation since the new year, him and shelvey are complimenting each other very well,, Dummet is also playing very well,, The two loan signings in January have been a massive plus,,
    But for me personally, the manager is the difference, to be where we are with this squad is remarkable,, he should get manager of the season if we stay up,,,
    Over the moon!!!!!!

    • molend

      I agree. I’ve never been that impressed with Diame, but he didn’t half play well today

    • Jezza

      Agreed. Rafa has performed miracles in the Premiership with this woefully inadequate squad. In terms of quality (certainly before Kenedy anyway) I genuinely believe we have got (or had) the weakest squad in the league so be be sitting comfortably in 12th position at Easter is an incredible achievement for the manager.

    • Paul Patterson

      Kenedy has brought the transformation . .

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    Good for him (and for us) that he scored, but all too often Perez makes you want to put your head through a post. If he’d stop hurling himself to the ground every 15 seconds or allowing himself to get stuck between two defenders and then immediately dispossessed of the ball, he might not be so infuriating to watch 90% of the time.

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      all that said, I wish every newcastle player had his attitude, effort and love for the shirt

      • Kneebotherm8

        At times he’s a bit lightweight and I find myself screaming at him to get up and give these defenders some physical grief… doesn’t happen…..come on Ayoze…… it….

        • Coach Clagnut

          After 90 minutes there was not a hair displaced. Miraculous!

          • Kneebotherm8


  • HarryHype59

    Relief….I feared Huddersfield may have sucker punched us, due to Gayle missing those chances in the first half.

    A win against the hapless Pardew’s WBA, will mean premiership safety is guaranteed!

    Let the take over talks begin!

  • Danimal

    14 points from the first nine games – very good. 20 points from the last 13 games – excellent, far more than anyone could have expected (although with half decent luck could have been 22 or 24). Obviously the nightmare nine game run in between did happen so can’t ignore it. But it’s looking more and more like a blip. Again, with any luck at all, that 1 point from 9 run could/should have been 5 or 6 points at least. What I’m saying in my long-winded way is that the manager and players have done very well indeed with limited talent and resources. Disclaimer: not there yet but I’m confident we will. We might even have enough points already but hard to see how anyone can go down with 37 this time, like we did last time.

  • gallowgate26

    Lets not get too carried away though, Hudds came for a point, won the toss, switched ends, thought they’d sit back and nick it in the second half playing downhill. It should have been 3-0 at half time, Gayle missing great chances. Then you think, here we go, going to be one of those days.. we still won! Huddersfield will probably stay up because of Southampton but they need to get rid of the smug German one and sort themselves out for next season otherwise it’s back to the championship for that team of Yorkshire puddings.

  • Alreet

    Needed that. A bit of wiggle room between us and 18th. I think they will go down as they stand. Stoke and saints runs are as bad as each other. It will be a case of others doing worse and falling away.

    Was wanting palace as well but you cant have it all.

    • Danimal

      Knew it was going to be our day when Palace lost, despite their 27th penalty of the season. And the Sky commentators wanted a red card for a Liverpool player who was clearly fouled in the area (ridiculous dive, granted). Ditto Brighton by the way – this season and last. Some teams only have to pay a brief visit to the opposition penalty area to be awarded a free shot.We’ve had about four in two seasons. Forget any of this BS about those teams being more attacking, we’ve matched the pair of them this season for goals and we were top scorers in our league last season. One ref even invented a new rule to stop us benefiting from one of our paltry three pens last season. Dismounting high horse and returning to bar for more celebratory booze! Cheers!

  • pedrodelgardo

    I would love it if we could finish ahead of big fat sham, love it. They are 5 points above us, a few goals from Slimani and it’s possible.

  • Peaky Magpie

    Never been the greatest fan of Perez,but doesn’t the lad come up with some vital goals at vital times….

  • Mrkgw

    Until the goal, I was primed and ready to criticise Rafa as we looked blunt offensively. But, in fairness to him, he left Perez on the field when many of us would have subbed him and not Gayle. That move proved to be a masterstroke and for that, he is to be congratulated. A great and very welcome three points.

    • Cuh

      You would have subbed him. Not me. Not many of us

      • Mrkgw

        At the time he looked ineffective. Even the commentator confirmed such.

        • Cuh

          Agreed. But for me, I would go for a big man in crush time – Slimani, Mitro, Joselu. Whip balls in and hope. And Gayle would definitely be going off, cos he only poaches

          • Mrkgw

            I agree. I’ve recently criticised Rafa over the Mitro debacle and still don’t believe that he should be with Fulham. He would have paired well with Gayle and the difference today was when Slimani came on – as you mention, a big man. Rafa did well to leave Perez on the field as he went onto score. For that, he deserves recognition. No major gripes with Rafa but for the Mitro thing. For today at least therefore, I will put that one on the back burner. Well done Rafa.

    • Ba ba.

      Blunt offensively? ….. Gayle should of had three Ritchie one another sheva one… Ffs how many chances .. Ffs

      • Mrkgw

        Depends upon your iinterpretation of blunt. For example, like having a knife which doesnt’t cut. And so, a striker who doesn’t score. Same principle. ‘FFS’.

  • GlasgowMag

    Well done Perez always takes abuse from this platform but personly never doubted you mate!!! model player never moans at least 9 points gained this season from yor contributions enough said!!!

  • Down Under Mag

    We can only beat what we are up against and we have done that to put ourselves in a rgeat position. not done yet by a long shot but I think it is testament to Rafa and the spirit int he team that we have seen off teams that in years gone by we may have slacked off against because we “should win comfortably”…no such thing as a comfortable game in this league and the players to a man have given their all. Well done lads, another few points and we should be safe.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    People say we have a weak squad but nothing could be further from the truth.
    Merino a class player not even in the squad. What we lack is perhaps a big target man as more often or not Gayle and Perez are isolated against two or three defenders and struggle to keep the ball. At least Gayle got in the positions to miss the chances on another day he will score. As for Perez he is a natural finisher and does not panic. Think he will get anther four in the last seven games and Gayle a couple. We might actually go unbeaten till the end of the season with Spurs being the difficult one.

  • ghostrider

    Great result.
    We risked it a little bit towards the end but managed to gain the little bits of fortune.
    A well deserved win by a mile and could easily have been 3 or 4….but….COULD is not valid as a reality.

    Man Of the match was Diame but a good work rate from the lads throughout and battled well against a big unit in Huddersfield.

    I don’t think it’s a time to have a pop at any players who didn’t quite do this or that. Overall it was a very good team performance in the first half and a workman like one in the second half…still with a little sporadic offensive bite.

    Well done Rafa and the team.
    It’s a great feeling to see progress.