There often seems to be a team occupying a spot in the Premier League that seems to be defying the odds just by being there. After several years of Wigan’s unlikely involvement I’d say Bournemouth fit that bill. Having never previously visited the top flight in their history, the Cherries now feel settled in there, a solid, well-run club making the most of their resources in spite of a relatively meagre support base. The polar opposite of Newcastle, you might say.

Judging from pre-match comments, the visiting fans had settled swiftly into that tag, assigning themselves the tag of higher-table overlords in a similar fashion to Watford’s cocky approach a week ago.

This was to be a bit different to the swatting of the Hornets though, as that involved luck being ridden and an ugly win being ground out. That game was either going to be a catalyst for a turnaround, and things were going to be looking up as the more upbeat, insightful, handsome Newcastle fans were inclined to think (me), or it would be a fortunate aberration on the inevitable slide to oblivion, as the more world-weary, downcast, slightly constipated United fan was wont to gloomily predict (my mate Hutch, or the editor of The Mag).

Needless to say, I had the last larf.

This was fizz bang from the off here, and I have to say I loved watching United that first half. Ki picked up from his game changing intervention last week, steadily driving the play forward by bringing Kenedy and Ritchie into the game as much as possible. The latter was so keen to impress against his former club he must have ran about a hundred thousand miles, and didn’t even have the energy to swear aggressively when substituted (who says he’s not Scottish?).

Schar likewise put in a performance to match his previous showing from the bench alongside Fernandez, who we all surely love now and never want to leave us ever. The real difference though, the key factor in this team looking better than any that had gone before this year, was that today was the day that the man up front finally properly arrived.

It took Rondon seven minutes to notch his first League goal for Newcastle. Diame played a smart little dink over the defence for Yedlin to go tearing after, shouting “meep meep” while magnificently toasting Smith before drilling it across to Rondon. The number nine’s shot was parried by Begovic but a static defence allowed him to seize on the rebound and lash it home. A lovely early goal to set us on our way, or plenty of time to blow the lead, depending on your outlook.

Moments later, the pessimists were almost proved right as Brooks committed a hideous swan dive when under the firm but fair defensive attentions of heroic man mountain Federico Fernandez. This outrageous bit of gamesmanship by the scrawny Welsh cheat saw him deservedly booed for the rest of the game, although he was a pain in the backside throughout to give him credit.

Lengthy injury delays are becoming a bit standard at SJP these days, and there was no doubting that something serious was up as Adam Smith crumpled horribly while innocuously sidling up to take a defensive free kick. Hopefully, as with Glenn Murray the other week it looked worse than it was, although this seemed very ligamenty if you ask me.

United had undergone a bit of momentum loss by this point, with a lot of clumpy fouls allowing Bournemouth to execute some dangerous looking set-pieces, with Dubravka needing to be on point to palm away Fraser’s inswinging shot. Perhaps Smith’s injury took the onus from the visitors though, as United were about to regroup emphatically.

It’s not often you get these moments nowadays. I’ve watched Newcastle’s second goal several times now and it still gives me that little lift that used to be such a common thing around these parts before darkness cast its red and blue shadow over the ground.

Ping! Ki hit a sumptuous cross field ball from the right side to Kenedy in space on the left.

Shazam! Kenedy controlled the pass all Brazilian-like before sending over a marvellous, inviting, arcing cross and KER-BAST…-BLAM!!!

Rondon rose majestically and nutted the ball viciously into the top corner.

It was a thing of complete beauty. This could have been Ginola crossing for Ferdinand, or Robert picking out Shearer. It was a rare glimpse of a blast from the not too distant past when we weren’t regarded as lower-end guttersnipes by Bournemouth, when almost every visit to this ground was a happy one. God I loved this goal.

This could have been buried before half time. Perez sent Kenedy clean through with a fine ball but Begovic did very well to come out and block. Then Perez himself was through one on one with the keeper but drilled it narrowly wide from a tight angle.

In between these efforts, things had gotten less enjoyable as Bournemouth had indeed realised the pessimist’s fears that Smith’s injury would cost us, not them. With the 8 minutes of injury time almost up, Dubravka produced a brilliant point blank save from Cook’s header as yet another free kick was sent over. Unfortunately, from the resultant corner Lerma’s sneaky header crept inside the post to ensure the half ended on a bit of a sour note.

The second half was less eventful, but it’s been a good while since I’ve had anxiety like this. Rondon went close to his hat-trick when steering a header wide from Ritchie’s cross, but continued to put in a man of the match show, holding the ball up brilliantly and working his socks off, joining build up of attacks and defending from the front. Not hard to see why Rafa pursued this signing so hard and here’s hoping he can stay fit. Ultimately this is the one quality player we have for this oh so vital position, and if he can stay fit and performing like this, we’ll be more than fine.

Bournemouth really threatened to spoil it all as we scrutinised the tiny, occasional clock in the corner of the big screen. Jordan Ibe belted well over when one on one. Dan Gosling tried to ruin things in identical fashion to the reverse fixture earlier this year, but the ex-Mag was rightly flagged offside when he bundled past Dubravka. Bournemouth brought Jermaine Defoe on and everyone was certain he’d score (don’t think he touched it). Four minutes injury time, FFS.

Rondon had one last chance at the hat-trick but Begovic capped a solid performance by sticking out a leg to deflect his effort away. The whistle finally went at about quarter past six and we somehow find ourselves in fourteenth place after some results that previously weren’t looking too friendly ended up going our way. Nothing to fear in the coming weeks and maybe, just maybe, we can start looking up.

PS – Ed, you can come out from behind the sofa now.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Bournemouth 1

Goal:

Newcastle : Rondon 7, 40

Bournemouth: Lerma 45+6

Possession was Bournemouth 61% Newcastle 39%

Total shots were  Bournemouth 14 Newcastle 18

Shots on target were Bournemouth 4 Newcastle 6

Corners were  Bournemouth 10 Newcastle 7

Referee: Lee Probert

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Schar, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie (Hayden 74), Diame (Atsu 80), Ki , Kenedy (Clark 78), Rondon, Perez

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Joselu, Manquillo, Longstaff

Crowd: 49,266 (Bournemouth approx 600)

(Alan Shearer Match of The Day comments HERE)

(Salomon Rondon rates it ‘The Perfect Saturday’ – Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to beating Bournemouth HERE)

(Paul Merson covered Newcastle 2 Bournemouth 1 for Sky Sports – Had plenty to say afterwards HERE)

(Match ratings of all NUFC players HERE)

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf

To feature like Jamie Smith submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here


  • Billmag

    If Bournemouth had our fixtures at the beginning I don’t think they would have been top six, saying that, Howe has put a decent team together.

  • Rich Lawson

    just a different game of football from what we have had to endure for a while,I’m actually looking forward to Burnley.

    • Wor Lass

      Have you ever been to Burnley. They had an earthquake there a couple of years back and it caused millions of pounds of improvement!

      • Rich Lawson

        I drove through it at the weekend (without stopping) I turned down a birthday ticket there a couple of seasons ago from my eldest daughter because I was worried about her safety walking along the streets to the ground.

        • Wor Lass

          It`s a one-eyed town. They`ve done really well over the last few years but I think they might pay the price for copying our model recently – they hardly bought during the window and have really struggled to score goals. We owe them one and I think we`ll beat them. One of my best mates is a massive Burnley fan and he`s been a bit smug over the last few seasons.

  • Grahame Johnson

    Huge mountain steps in ground, nut crusher wooden seats, Burnley away last year, i hurt my back and luckily the rising seat just clipped me nuts,never again

    • Wor Lass

      You want to see the changing rooms – tiny and dark with folding chairs and about 3 little showers. The stands are luxury!

  • KennySamsung

    Credit to Burnley and indeed Bournemouth for the success they have achieved. If we can get a draw at Burnley I’ll eat my cloth cap and hug me wippet.

    • Wor Lass

      Does the wippet do somersaults every time the opposition score?

      • KennySamsung

        No but it will if Perez ever scores a goal.

        • Wor Lass

          He will. He`s great ye knaa – the Moscow Mule told me.

          • KennySamsung

            Not going there! I’ve said my bit about the average players at Newcastle.

  • Alan

    Going to Burnley and Everton both similar ancient wooden stands in the next few weeks. Incidentally I will be going to Wolves at home as well. Spoken to about 20 of the regulars who sit near me in the Leazes end and all of them will be there against Wolves. Perhaps this ‘boycott’ talk is not a big a deal as the few regulars on this site would have everyone believe.

    • Wor Lass

      Sadly, I think you`re probably right, Alan. I say sadly because I really do think a boycott is the only thing the Fat Barsteward will take real notice of. I stopped going but now I live abroad anyway so it`s easy for me to say miss a game. It`s a dlemma for fans – the team`s picking up and people might feel they don`t want to start rocking the boat but the club itself is far more important than one game – or even one season. I do think all the other protests have had an effect, though, and I hope they continue.

      • Pezza

        Lase

        • Wor Lass

          I`m not claiming to be boycotting, Bobbi – as you say, what`s the point? I think the boycott will fail because not enough of the regular match-goers care that much. We do live in a bubble on this site but I think the action people have been taking, and Ashley`s reaction, has made a few people in the media think about what they say. I think it`s also helped to get Ashley motivated to actually do stuff involving the club. I can`t figure out if he wants to sell the club or not but I do know he`s an embarrassing chav who has sold us down the river (to himself!). The sooner he goes the better.

          • KennySamsung

            Marvellous Wor Lass even the living in a bubble bit .. I myself live in semi detached bubble.. however I do agree with your view and yes Ashley will little by little change things at the club. I would say Keep the Faith but thats a mackem thing isn’t it?

    • KennySamsung

      You do what you have to do I respect that, I share a season ticket with my son and I go to probably about 6 or 7 home games, I wont be going to the Wolves game because I’m working but if circumstances were different I probably would boycott.
      Newcastle start winning people will want to be there its as simple as that. I don’t know what the answer is but something has to happen, unfortunately there aren’t enough people interested.

    • Ba ba.

      each to there own im staying away…i feel i have to do something.

  • nufcslf

    Go and look at the league table. It isn’t as rosey as you seem to think. 3rd bottom has 8 points, second bottom has seven, slip up and lose the next match combined with Cradiff and Huddersfield wins and then straight back in the bottom 3 we go. Fatty has to f**k off. Going to the Wolves is simply a joke and shows that all of you that do go don’t give a f**k about the future of the club. Well done.

    • David2211

      Yep. Win a few games and everyone seems pleased as punch again. It’s all sh*t

      • nufcslf

        Very worrying.