Season 2005-06 Result
Newcastle United 3-1 Wigan Athletic
 A.Shearer 28 (pen),
 T.Bramble 36,
 A.Shearer 66.
 Bullard 5.
Date: 15/04/2006  Venue: St.James' Park  Competition: Premiership
Crowd: 52,302
Match Report Submitted on 18/04/2006 by Johna
……And they say the game is going soft….

Wigan at home gave us the opportunity to seek revenge and regain some pride for the 2 defeats that the egg chasers have inflicted on us this year, the cup defeat being possibly our most abject performance of the season.

It was vital then as Roeder stated that we started brightly and got at Wigan from the off. Whatever was said in the pre-match talk clearly worked as we came flying out of the blocks and physically more than matched them for every ball.

A good move involving Solano and Shola gave the re-instated Dyer an early chance which he unfortunately scuffed through to Filan. Worse was to follow however as despite a blatant hand ball, Titus man-handled the striker to the floor dead centre to goal 25 yards out. One thing we have all learned this season is that they are excellent on set pieces and with the wall set centrally they lined up with both right and left foot options and the resulting free kick from Bullard sailed straight into the top corner with Given wrong footed.

In games gone by, we might have rolled over but not today, Roeder has instilled a fighting spirit and boy did we show it. What followed in the next 20 minutes or so was bizarre in the least with 5 substitutions, and 2 yellow cards.

1). DeZeeuw off with a suspected broken collar bone, as a result of a late challenge by Carr who incidentally had no chance of winning the ball but obviously knew exactly what he was doing in the challenge….good effort!!

2). Bowyer limped off with a hamstring strain, shame as he really has been in good form since replacing the injured Parker

3). Shola escorted off after realigning his front teeth in a challenge with Filan: doesn’t he know that he is a centre forward and is supposed to be ugly with no teeth

4). Jackson carried off with a bad knee injury leaving Wigan without both centre halves.

5). McCulloch carried off with concussion

In between all of this, Shola had somehow managed to miss from one yard out following some excellent play and delivery by Nzogbia. Chopra then collapsed under a challenge from Ziegler and Al stepped up to send Filan the wrong way. Wigan were now all over the place with 4 full backs strung across their back line at times it would have been impossible to bend wire the same shape as the line they were trying to hold!!

Inevitably our second followed as Titus was left completely unmarked from a corner to power a header into the back of the net to give us a 2-1 lead. Shearer was now battering their makeshift centre halves and both Nobby and Charlie were providing real width and pace, Charlie at times running with the ball seemingly glued to his feet at full pace….looked like Wayne Fereday…without the ball. Dyer was also proving to be a handful with his tireless running, lets hope he can stay fit for more than a couple of games as he does bring us additional options with his pace.

The second half however did not live up to the standards of the first. Dyer faded and was replaced but not before Solano had forced a great save out of Filan at the second attempt and Shearer had run clear from 30 yards (yes 30 yards) to go around the keeper and score his second. His legs may be knackered but one on one, he is supreme at rounding most goalkeepers. He then missed a chance for the hat-trick screwing his shot across the face of goal but all in all we had a comfortable afternoon.

Wigan managed a couple of late shots just past the post but in relation to our outside European hopes, this was a good win lifting us above them in the table. At the back Titus had a great game against a tricky and powerful centre forward in Roberts who has caused concern for most defenders this season. Moore alongside him continues to impress, defending first and playing football second. He still needs to control his reckless urges however as he gives away stupid free kicks on occasion. Both full backs got forward to support with Fatty providing some excellent balls in although Robbie’s distribution was typically Robbie!!

So where does that bring us to? Four games to go 3 against sides in the bottom 4 and the other against what will be the already crowned champions when they arrive for our last game of the season. Are another 4 wins out of the question? Monday will be our stiffest test against the unwashed who now they are relegated (again) will be desperate for their only home win of the season. LETS STICK IT RIGHT UP EM, AND GIVE THEM HELL ALL GAME……WE’LL MEET AGAIN DON’T KNOW WHERE DON’T KNOW WHEN……

Who knows, if results go our way, we might yet salvage something out of a disappointing season. Oh and by the way Freddie, great financials for the half year… a loss of £6.2m compared to a profit of £9.7 for the corresponding period last year…now I wonder whose fault that is???

Ironic wasn’t it that the team that won comprehensively against Wigan was without £39m of “talent” procured by Sourmess. Could this be down to man-management and the ability to get the best out of players….hmmm food for thought…and why don’t you admit it Freddie…you got it wrong big style….this has to be your last chance, don’t let us down…AGAIN!!!!!