A late Joe Willock goal saves Newcastle's blushes as the Magpies do their best to throw game away!
Newcastle United 3-2 West Ham United
Joe Willock would come off the bench again to rescue Newcastle as his 82nd minute strike would cancel a brilliant fight back from ten man West Ham who had fought back from two goals down to level during the second half.
Three absolute first half clangers from West Ham had gifted Newcastle a first half two goal lead. A gift they would do their best to throw away in the second period.
Two of those mistakes would come in the same passage of play, Craig Dawson hacking down Joelinton for a second yellow with the ball breaking to ASM in the process who would get the West Ham keeper and Issa Diop in a tangle leading to the latter netting into his own goal on 36 minutes.
And when, on 41 minutes, Fabianski dropped a Matt Ritchie corner at the feet of Joelinton when under no pressure, the Brazilian would smash home to make it 2-0.
But West Ham, who were much the better side in the second half even with 10 men, would get one back through a Diop header to go some way to rectifying his own goal in the first half before Lingard being able to level from the spot after the ball struck Clark's arm with just 10 minutes remaining.
But having just witnessed a Murphy effort being cleared off the line, Joe Willock would make no such mistake himself, powering a Matt Ritchie cross in off the underside of the crossbar to give the Magpies the lead again.
Lucky, lucky Newcastle, based on that second half performance.
Steve Bruce made just the one change for this one with Allan Saint-Maximin coming in for Gayle, with Joelinton moving central, allowing the Frenchman more of a free role behind the big man.
Some early good work from Miggy Almiron allowed Sean Longstaff to get an early sighter, only to see his effort deflected wide for a corner that came to nothing.
Newcastle's number 10 would come in for some 'attention' form the West Ham players. Some tackles wild and missing their target, one or two strong enough to leave our man in a heap but not lead to a booking as the West Ham players would seemingly take turns to rattle his cage a little.
A fierce strike just before the half hour, from 25 yards and from a difficult angle by Murphy would be the first effort of any note on target by either side.
ASM would certainly look the brightest player on the park in the early stages. And after one header on target by West Ham following a corner the Frenchman would again test Fabianski, but unfortunately straight down the keeper throat.
The game would steel into the pattern of West Ham dominating possession but with the Magpies certainly looking the more dangerous of the two sides in the opening quarter.
On 35 minutes two huge moments in the same passage of play. First Dawson, already having been booked would hack down Joelinton in midfield but the ball would break to Allan Saint-Maximin. This time ASM breaking into the Hammers box before scuffing a shot to the keepers right. The awkward nature of the shot would cause utter confusion however with Fabianski palming the ball into the trailing foot of Diop who watched in horror as the ball dropped into his own goal.
To his credit, the referee Kevin Friend, was a fried indeed and went back to give Dawson a second yellow and off he went. 1-0 on 36 minutes and West Ham down to 10 men.
And then, as if West Ham hadn't helped enough already, Fabianski then completely fluffed his lines, dropping the ball from a cross at the feet of Joelinton who would hammer home for his second goal in two games. On fire that lad :-)
2-0 up at half time and a game there for the taking.
The first effort of the first half would fall to Miggy, who's attempt was well wide. Bowen doing better moments later to at least test Dubravka would would get down smartly to comfortably save a decent enough effort.
Newcastle would start to get some real space going forward as West Ham had to commit players forward as they looked for a way into the game. The Magpies guilty on more than one occasion of being wasteful in the final third when breaking in numbers with the final pass or shot doing little to worry Fabianski again.
You couldn't help but thinking the way the game was panning out would have been ideally suited to a Fraser / Wilson combo. Fraser continues to be out with an injury of course.
The Hammers actually looking a better side in the second half, with 10 men, that they did for the entire opening period. Steve Bruce no doubt thankful that the visitors were a man light as the away side came close in 60 minutes with Ogbonna's header being deflected just wide with his team under real pressure part way through the second period.
A tired Saint-Maximin would hobble off on 65 minutes to be replaced by Callum Wilson, an man who had 8 goals in 9 games against West Ham leading up to this game.
Dubravka would be called into action to make a good save when Coufal escaped his marker, Ritchie, to get a free header on target just a minute later. Newcastle needed to wake up.
On 70 minutes Joelinton would epitomise the sloppiness in the home sides play. Almiron doing brilliantly to set the Brazilian clear on the right but, with Wilson totally unmarked in the middle, his cross was awful and miles over the head of his teammate.
And West Ham would make them pay. A free kick played into the Newcastle box would find Diop who was afforded all the space in the world to head down and beyond Dubravka to make it 2-1.
On 78 minutes West Ham would then be given a penalty. Clark finding his arm in an unnatural position when defending a cross. Lingard converting from the spot.
On 82 minutes Newcastle should have been 3-2 up. Only a Johnson clearance off the line preventing Murphy from hammering home.
But the Magpies would get a goal they didn't deserve in the second half moments later. Joe Willock again coming on to make a huge impact. Raising brilliantly to head strongly off the keepers dispairign hand and the underside of the crossbar from a Ritchie cross again.
A full 8 (EIGHT) minutes of injury time would give Newcastle fans plenty of time to worry about another give away. But the black and whites would hang on.