REPORT: Tyneside Triumph
Newcastle United 0
Wolves 2 (Mbemba-og 29, Costa 62)
In front of a huge crowd at St James Park, Wolves shook off the disappointment of the midweek defeat against Barnsley to beat a Newcastle United side that had won six consecutive games but were no match for Walter Zenga’s men on a sunny Tyneside afternoon.
The head coach gave a debut outing to Roman Saiss – one of five changes following the Barnsley game.
Newcastle kicked-off attacking the Leazes end of the ground that housed 3,200 travelling supporters in its upper tier.
Wolves showed no nerves in the opening stages and after Carl Ikeme had confidently taken a dangerous cross from the right, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson got in a header that was easily claimed by keeper Matz Sels.
Saiss headed over from a Helder Costa corner before Wolves went as close as they could have done to taking the lead. Costa sprinted into the box before laying the ball off to Bodvarsson whose shot was blocked as was the follow up from Costa.
Newcastle couldn’t get the ball clear and when Matt Doherty returned it into the heart of the goalmouth, Bodvarsson and Dave Edwards had efforts blocked before Bodvarsson clipped the top of the bar with his third attempt of the move.
It took a magnificent save by Ikeme to maintain parity in the 22nd minute. Matt Ritchie’s low cross went straight to Ayoze Perez who looked certain to score from 12-yards but the keeper showed tremendous reflexes diving to his left to push the ball away.
A low centre from Dwight Gayle flew dangerously across the Wolves goalmouth before Wanderers stunned the home crowd by taking the lead in the 29th minute. Bodvarsson took the ball to the by-line and hit a hard cross that Chancel Mbemba headed past his own keeper from inside the six-yard box.
Danny Batth was booked for a tackle on Mohamed Diame when he clearly looked to have won the ball and Saiss, in stressing the point to the referee, also had his name taken.
Paul Dummett was the next to incur the wrath of the official with a trip on Costa some 25-yards out from the Newcastle goal. Saiss wasn’t far away from marking his debut with a goal when he took the free-kick but Sels made a fine save at the expense of a corner.
Just before the break Diame’s crude challenge on Matt Doherty, right in front of the dug-outs, saw another yellow card and treatment for the Irish defender.
Half-Time: Newcastle 0 Wolves 1
The Magpies made a lively start to the new half and Batth did well to block a low drive from Jamaal Lascelles.
The bookings continued with Ritchie cautioned for kicking the ball away and Joao Teixeira for a foul on the Newcastle man shortly afterwards.
Wolves went two up in the 62nd minute when Edwards won possession and fed Costa who advanced to the edge of the box before planting the ball into the bottom left-hand corner from 20-yards out.
Almost immediately, Rafa Benitez made a double change switching Christian Atsu and Aleksandar Mitrovic for Ritchie and Isaac Hayden respectively.
Gayle was too high with a free-kick and then, after a probing run by Doherty had set up the chance, the tireless Bodvarsson was inches away with a shot on the turn. Ivan Cavaleiro then replaced Teixeira for the final 20 minutes.
Jonjo Shelvey wasn’t far away with a 20-yard effort after Batth had headed out a cross, before another Wolves change saw Joe Mason taking over from Costa.
Sels almost fumbled a Cavaleiro cross into his own net at the near post but the corner conceded was cleared and when the ball went to the other end a misplaced pass put Mitrovic in the clear but Ikeme ran to the edge of his box and spread himself to save with his legs.
Edwards became the fourth visiting player to go in the book, for a tackle on Gayle and, after Shelvey had struck a free-kick wide, Vurnon Anita was shown a straight red card after a challenge that left Cavaleiro in need of attention.
In the six minutes of stoppage time Cavaleiro almost grabbed a third with a drive from the edge of the box.
Newcastle: Sels, Dummett, Lascelles (capt), Anita, Gayle, Ritchie (Atsu 63), Shelvey, Hayden (Mitrovic 63), Diame, Perez, Mbemba.
Unused subs: Clark, Colback, Gouffran, Yedun, Darlow.
Bookings: Dummett (39 – foul), Diame (45 – foul), Ritchie (51 – foul).
Sending-Off: Anita (87 – foul).
Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty, Borthwick-Jackson, Edwards, Batth (capt), Iorfa, Saiss, Oniangue, Bodvarsson (Coady 88), Costa (Mason 75), Teixeira (Cavaleiro 71).
Unused subs: Lonergan, Saville, Gladon, Hause.
Bookings: Batth (35 – foul), Saiss (35 – dissent), Teixeira (56 – foul), Borthwick-Jackson (72 – time-wasting), Edwards (80 – foul).
Referee: T. Robinson.
Newcastle Academy Under 18s 4 Wolves 1 (Allan)