Newcastle 1-0 Sheffield Utd: Joe Willock makes history on memorable day at St James’ Park

An emotional day at St James’ Park as a 10,000 crowd returned to see Newcastle United come away with a 1-0 win against Sheffield United.

It wasn’t the goal-fest some hoped for or a particularly impressive performance, but it was most definitely 90 minutes of football that will live long in the memory – whether you watched inside the stadium, on your sofa at home or at a pub in the city centre.

The match-winner was that man Joe Willock, with the midfield goal-machine scoring yet AGAIN to set a new Premier League record and Allan Saint-Maximin running rings around an already relegated Blades side.

Our second half display was a poor one and there were a few injury concerns – ASM and Willock limped off and Dubravka was holding his hamstring – however that won’t take away from a day that saw supporters make the headlines for the first time in 15 months.

The win takes us up to 42 points and sees us leapfrog the likes of Brighton and Burnley ahead of our final game of the season at Fulham this Saturday, giving us chance to beat last season’s tally should we come away from Craven Cottage with another victory.

Bruce named an unchanged side, picking the 11 that pushed Man City all the way in last Friday’s 4-3 defeat at St James’ Park.

It was good to see Matty Longstaff back in the squad, but a real shame that Elliot Anderson didn’t make it – suggesting he’d failed to recover from a recent hip injury.

The players came out and the atmosphere was electric. I couldn’t get a ticket and was instead sat on my sofa watching on Sky Sports, but that didn’t stop the hairs standing up on the back of my neck and my eyes just ever so slightly filling up.

Football has felt stale, lifeless and lacking in so many departments for well over a year now. It’s nothing without fans and this was an overwhelming and indescribable reminder of how brilliant it felt to see supporters back where they belong.

The game kicked off and we looked lively in the opening few minutes, with Almiron full of running to force a corner and Saint-Maximin immediately getting fans off their seats with a mazy run down the left.

It didn’t take long, however, for the Blades to get a foot hold in the game. McGoldrick found space in the box via some statuesque defending and dragged a shot just wide. An early scare and a chance the visitors’ top scorer really should have put away.

Saint-Maximin laid on a half chance for Joelinton soon after, however the Brazilian’s shot was blocked and the Blades reset. We flew out of the traps in the first 60 seconds, but we’d allowed Sheffield United to get too comfortable in the opening 20 minutes and had to up the tempo.

Thankfully, Willock took the bull by the horns a few moments later, pinching the ball off Norwood and driving at an exposed back three. There was an option out wide, but just as the Arsenal loanee was about to release the ball he was hauled down by a pink shirt. Norwood booked and a free-kick in a decent position.

The result set piece was hit straight at the wall by Murphy, however this was the start of a much improved five minutes.

After Almiron did brilliantly to keep the ball in, he combined with ASM to release Ritchie. The wing-back swung in an inviting cross and Shelvey rose highest. The Gallowgate were off their seats and expecting to see the net bulge, only for Ramsdale to pull off an outstanding save to keep the scores level!

Another corner came our way and this time it was Fernandez who got his head to it – but the Argentine’s header was pretty tame and gathered easily. The crowd were up and we were smelling blood – enter Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Frenchman brought the ball down in his own half with a sublime touch, burst past three pink shirts like they weren’t even there, latched onto his own pass quicker than Joelinton could and was cynically brought down by Egan. Another free kick in a dangerous area and another booking for the away side, however the resultant ball in was overhit by Ritchie and the chance was gone.

Joelinton went down off the ball and with that we went a little flat again. He got back up and played on after treatment, but soon signalled to the bench to suggest he was still struggling.

A real shame for our recently improved Brazilian who’d scored in each of his last three home starts against Spurs, West Ham and Man City – yet he had a huge chance to make it 1-0 before any change was made, heading over a superb ball first time ball in from Murphy.

Almiron then put ASM in behind seconds later. He looked offside, but picked out Willock with a brilliant ball across the box, only for Ramsdale to smother our loan star with another smart stop. The flat then went up and ASM was shown to be off, yet it wasn’t long until he helped create another big chance for our midfield goal-machine with just minutes remaining of the first half.

After resisting an easy ball back to Shelvey, our electric Frenchman picked out a superb reverse pass to Murphy, who’d timed his run well to get in down the right. Our winger turned wing-back still had plenty to do, but delivered a superb ball into the box. Who was there to head it home? THAT MAN JOE WILLOCK!

Another perfectly timed run into the box and another ice-cool finish – only this time it was able to be met with brilliant scenes at The Gallowgate – “JOE WILLOCK, WE WANT YOU TO STAY”.

1-0 Newcastle and a goal that makes the 21-year-old star the youngest player in Premier League history to score in SIX consecutive games! The first to do it in the top flight since Jamie Vardy and a feat last achieved at Newcastle by former NUFC hitman Papiss Cisse.

Half-time came and there was one change made at the break by Steve Bruce, seeing Dwight Gayle come on for the injured Joelinton. Considering this was likely to be his last home game as a NUFC player, I thought we’d see Carroll come on for a St James’ Park send off, but Bruce went for the man close to signing a new three-year deal instead.

Aside from the odd run by ASM that ultimately came to nothing or blistering burst of pace from Almiron, the opening 20 minutes of the second half was shaded by the visitors.

That said, we had one or two openings on the counter that could and should have put Sheffield United out of sight, with Saint-Maximin failing to get his head up in time for an almost certain Gayle tap-in.

Sadly, that was ASM’s last major involvement, with the Frenchman falling awkwardly just shy of the 70-minute mark and signalling to the bench that he couldn’t continue after treatment. The St James’ Park crowd took a reluctant sigh of disappointment to see our star man forced off early and Sean Longstaff came on with 20 on the clock.

Our outlets in attack were diminishing, yet it wasn’t long until our two remaining speed merchants combined on the counter. Joe Willock skipped past his man, drove at the Sheffield United defence and released Almiron down the left. The Paraguayan did well to take such a direct route to goal and ghost past several pink shirts, but he chose to cut the ball back rather than take the shot himself – a decision that turned out to be the wrong one as Longstaff and Gayle got in each other’s way.

The Blades hadn’t given up and were enjoying a decent spell of possession. We were sitting too deep, relying on fleeting counter attacks and almost got punished, with McGoldrick’s superb strike from range beating Dubravka and cracking the cross bar.

Another injury scare then came our way 82 minutes in as Dubravka pulled up holding his hamstring. It surely wasn’t worth the risk keeping him on – especially with the Euros coming up – but Bruce opted to take a limping Joe Willock off instead to give Andy Carroll one last send off before he’s released this summer.

Willock did a lap of honour after being forced off at the other side of the pitch and was met, once again, with chants of ‘WE WANT YOU STAY’. I sincerely hope this is not the last time we see him in a black and white shirt at St James’ Park.

We survived a few awkward balls into the box and held on to secure a 1-0 win, with the final whistle met with that roar of relief from 10,00 Toon fans.

Forget our 2nd half approach and those injury concerns – this was a memorable afternoon where off-field emotions mattered most.

This was a magical taste of normal life and that indescribable buzz thousands of Geordies can create when inside St James’ Park together

Next up, a final day trip to Craven Cottage this weekend!

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

48 thoughts on “Newcastle 1-0 Sheffield Utd: Joe Willock makes history on memorable day at St James’ Park

  1. Summary:

    A little bit boring but good to see the fans back in the ground.

    A win, will take it.

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  2. Bindippers go 1 up.

    It had seemed obvious to me that they would get CL and Leicester would lose out and I said it on here. I also said West Ham would be 6th and Kane would leave. Pretty obvious stuff so dont ever call me Mystic Eric 🙂 I also said Rooney was done at 26 and Wilshere at 22, you can call me Mystic Eric for that 🙂

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  3. I still stand by my MYSTIC ERIC prediction that the T-Rex Mackem will cost us a game at the Euros. Hopefully it will be a group game and he will be dropped as he should not be anywhere near the team in the 1st place.

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  4. I never thought we would go down after we got Wilson. Worst I ever got was 50/50 after Brighton when everybody on here, The Mag, The Chronic said it was a certainty.

    Said West Ham would finish 6th.

    Said Red Bindippers and Chelsea would be above Leicester even a week ago.

    Said 2 promoted teams would be relegated.

    My only misstep was I thought Burnley would be relegated. Not us! We have better players and a cabbage could not even fck up that badly!!!! A Schteve and a Rafa did, but lightning doent strike 3 times.

    MYSTIC ERIC.

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  5. Down 2-0 in 1st Leg gives SMBs about a 10% chance of promotion.

    I am not totally Mystic Mag but I am close. SMBs fck off ths yr and alwys.

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  6. A welcome win that gets us over the magical 40 point mark marred by yet more injuries.

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  7. THIS IS SO EASY!!!!!!!!!!!

    Man City sign Harry Kane for 100 mil. They win at least 1 of the next 3 CL and 2 of the PL.

    Man U have Cavani for another season and then Greenwood.

    It is so easy.

    Spurs sink. Fck off Spurs.

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  8. I’m still baffled by the decision to renew Gayles contract. His record in the PL isn’t great, Bruce has spent most of the season not selecting him even when Wilson was out injured & Joelinton couldn’t buy a goal, and then when he has played him he has done nothing to warrant a new contract from what I’ve seen?!.

    My only hope is that they see him as a sellable asset to a championship club, or a make weight for a player we want – coz if he’s what we have to rely on when Wilson gets injured, that’s not good.

    I’m also disappointed with Sean Longstaff. The lad runs round a lot but contributes so little in games it’s pointless him being in there half the time.

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  9. For me signing Willock is the biggest bit of business we could this summer. If we were prepared to blow £40m on Joelinton then a good prospect like Willock who’s young has to be signed. Sell Gayle and put some of that towards Willock fee.
    Trouble is Willock is probably just what Arsenal have been missing. 🙄

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  10. We can probably do a deal with Arsenal on Willock as they want Woodman… I cannot see us using Woodman regularly when he comes back from Swansea so possibly a swap for Willock? I’d like to see Woodman stay and be our future number 1 but I don’t think he will.

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  11. A team with ambition would definitely bring in Willock and keep the likes of Woodman. …. but we are not a team of ambition …. unless you call striving for 17th and survival as ambition! 😡

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  12. There was Rafa chants and booing for the cabbage.
    I have moved on Sharpy but it’s a great way the annoy the cabbage.
    Hopefully that’s the very last time we see the Donkey!!

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  13. Watching a replay of Spurs/Villa. It is great to see Grealish back but I have a suspicion that Southgate wont play him. We have a few difference makers with him and Kane. Even the full backs and Mason Mount. We have to play them and we have to find a way to fit in Foden. No more of this stodgy defensive crap. The semis and final are at home so this is our best chance since 1996.

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  14. Sorry to bore people with Spurs but it is quite funny now. Andy Townsend who is commentating said it would be UNTHINKABLE that Spurs wouldnt qualify for Europe. Really! It has happened quite a lot in the PL era and it took a last minute goal to get to the CL final. I think he is equating a shiny new space ship stadium to a big club. Arsenal are bigger, so are City, Man U, Liverpool and maybe Chelsea. That’s yer top 4 though all of you Spurs pretenders!!!

    Then there is Kane. He did a sort-of lap of honour on his own after the game. Spurs denied it was a farewell. The fans stayed for 40 mins and did some anti-Levy chants until eventually the players came back out. I am quite enjoying this for reasons I have said before, mainly the Southern Press spaffing about Spurs whenever they “heroically” come close to doing anything.

    Kane is leaving but Levy might continue the agony. I dont see Man City paying 100 million but I reckon they would pay 80 and pad it with add-ons so Levy can say he got 100 mil. He is supposed to be this great negotiator but all he does is say no. He got an extra 3 million from Man U for Berbatov using his used-car-salesman tactic. Is it worth it p!ssing off the whole fan base with Kane when they already know he is gone?

    We have lost better players than Kane – Beardsley, Gazza – and knew we couldnt do anything about it. Are Spurs really a big club?

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  15. I have mentioned Grealish in the past in the context of his cheating. But he will be OUR cheat at the Euros (if played) so I will be cheering for him.

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  16. So, Super Sunday eh!

    It is really about that 4th CL spot.

    Spurs play Leicester. That’s the big game and will they even make Europe? Lose and they could be 7th! Not sure if that qualifies or not now with this new Inter-Toto-Type tournament they have set up?

    But Spurs are European Royalty now according to Levy, their fans and the Super League. “We have a shiny-new-space-ship-stadium now that we dropped on North London” so we deserve it!!!

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  17. Sorry again to blab on about Spurs. I have just been hating the Sourthern Press for years now and their love for them. And Kane will be a big distraction at the Euros. But I dont mind that really because he is such a good player. Best English CF since Shearer by a mile.

    England have the best team if Southgate plays them:

    Grealish
    Kane
    Foden
    Mount

    The most talented group of any team there, including Belgium.

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  18. What has happened in the past is that we Ingerlanders have been accused of bigging up our players. Probably rightly so!? This time I think between Klopp, Pep and Tuchel there is a reason to do it. They play Foden and Mount etc. Kane and Grealish have obvious skills. So this time, for once, I am hopeful.

    I THINK WE WILL WIN THE EUROS.

    #NotTheSongContest

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  19. Was watching Wraith’s podcast with Supermac and Gibson.

    Supermac hates Joelinton. It is really funny. I grew up watching McDonald and it is quite funny to see what he says about Donkey.

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  20. I am pleased and delightfully degighted. Pleasingly pleased and even more delighted.

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  21. Eric, why do the US tv companies keep giving the narcissists that are Meghan and Harry air time? For a couple who want privacy and no press intrusion why do they keep doing interviews with the biggest and most famous tv interviewer in the world? Why is Harry trashing his family and calling them cruel and dysfunctional (I’m paraphrasing) at the same time as basically being dysfunctional and cruel?

    Harry’s counselling session on tv is the most hypercritical act I think I’ve seen ever and there is competition for that spot and it’s mainly from him and his wife.

    It really is a operation in self indulgence and narcissism. He will fit in in California for sure.

    Do you think Harry realises the only reason people are interested in him is because of who is family is? The same family who he trashes at every opportunity. The same family that has allowed him to have his incredibly privileged life where he can complain and come up with a million ways of saying pour me whilst living in a home with 12 bathrooms.

    The guy is delusional and he and his wife should be stripped of all titles. See how interested people are then.

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  22. All Diana had to do was say no.
    The lot of them need to get back in their Royal boxes and leave the BBC alone. We pay for all of it!

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  23. Stuart: I havent watched any the interviews but my guess is that it all about money. The Kardashians are worth hundreds of millions of dollars each based on their reality TV show and having giant arses. I think you might see a Royals in LA reality tv series soon.

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  24. I think we will beat Fulham. They drew at Man U but Man U had other things on their minds.

    That will get us 45 points which is more than Rafa. Brucie’s already giant heed will grow even bigger and people like the Dannys (Murphy and Mills) will say we the fans are delusional and Bruce will be pleased and delighted.

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  25. I am pleased and delighted to be delightfully pleased. It is pleasingly delightful to be still in the PL after a 28% win percentage. Hull fans are pleased with me. And Villa fans are delighted. Sunderland fans are pleasingly delighted, although not with their team after the 2 nil loss to Lincoln City FFS.

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  26. This is a bloody good team –

    Not TRex

    Alexander-Arnold Stones McGuire Chilwell

    Mount Foden Grealish Henderson

    Kane Greenwood or /Rashford/Stirling

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  27. FFS the boring Amigos are off again on Wraith’s show. I watched like 30 seconds of it and they are on about the takeover again. Nonstop. The Dentist is as boring as ever. He says he is 50 but looks 70.

    He lives in the middle east so thinks he knows all thinngs Geordie and Middle East. Hopefully he knows more about dentistry than he apparently knows about NUFC… He drinksduring the whole show so I wouldnt want his fcn shaking hands working on my teeth on a monday morning.

    STFU about this takepver lark FFS.

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  28. Eric , re Ashley taking legal action against the premier league for the failed takeover bid.
    Do you think the premier league will defend the action or do you think the premier league will settle out of court ?
    I think they will settle out of court .
    Don’t want to annoy you with this takeover lark – but I think it could still happen.

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  29. Sidekick mate. you wont annoy me with takeover talk. It is people who have brought it up every Friday night for 2 years saying exactly the same thing every time that annoy me. Geordie Dentist!

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  30. Plus, sidekick. You dont pretend to know stuff when you dont – Geordie Dentist/Middle East Dentist!!!!!

    I have never said anything on here about whether we we will be purchased or not. I dont have a clue about it. What I do know is that it will drag on for at least another 3 months because arbitration is not set to start until July.

    If dentists continue to yap on about it until then I think I might stab him in the cheek with one of those dental drills. What is the cost of a flight to Dubai?

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  31. Sidekick. I was taling about the geordie dentist and not you. I always like what you write.

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  32. Watching the play offs and really like Bryan Mbeumo for Brentford- 21yr old French lad who is a right sided forward.
    If Brentford don’t go up I’d take him. Him in the right & ASM on the left and Wilson through the middle.

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  33. I have lived in Chicago for 31 years. It doesnt mean I can make Chigago style Pizza or talk like I am an expert on it. Same as geordie dentist living in Dubai doent mean he knows about a mid-east takover of NUFC.

    He is a complete clown.

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  34. I see that Mike’s wealth has gone up by £750m this year, wonder what the arrangement with the Saudis re investment in Players. Has he go a ‘if I spend £100m you will reimburse me’ clause??

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  35. Are we really sure that the Saudis even want to buy us anymore??.

    They walked away when the PL dragged their heels and I’ve not seen any signs to suggest that they are coming back yet.

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  36. I’ve reached out to them, but weirdly those mackems that were telling me we’d be playing them in the championship next season don’t seem to be getting my messages 🤷🏼‍♂️

    I just wanted to pass on my condolences 🤫🤫🤫😂😂😂

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  37. Thoroughly enjoyed the mackem v Lincoln game. Thought the mackems luck was in when Lincoln fluffed their penalty and I expected the mackems to go and get to the final but it was a good result in the end.
    Sunderland consolidating their rightful place in league 1 as they go into their fourth season in that division.
    Such a shame for their supporters. 😆 😆 😆 😆

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