Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Late Cisse strike stuns Potters

Papiss Cisse fires Newcastle further clear of the relegation zone

Papiss Cisse dragged Newcastle nine points clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone with a dramatic injury-time winner in a 2-1 victory over Stoke.

The Senegal international struck two minutes into stoppage time to complete a comeback after the Potters had threatened to snatch victory at St James' Park.

Jonathan Walters had given the visitors the lead against the run of play from the penalty spot with 67 minutes gone, but Yohan Cabaye's superb free-kick six minutes later set the stage for Cisse's last-gasp winner.

With Steven Taylor and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa up for the fight and keeper Rob Elliot accepting the responsibility to deal with his share of the aerial assault, the Magpies were largely untroubled during the opening 45 minutes.

Elliot had to field a third-minute volley by Peter Crouch, after he had been allowed to control Ryan Shawcross' long ball on his chest 25 yards out, and then pluck Ryan Shotton's tame effort from underneath his crossbar nine minutes later.

Cabaye sent a 16th-minute shot from distance across Asmir Begovic and just past the far post, and Jonas Gutierrez curled another effort similarly wide five minutes later. Davide Santon tested Begovic with a well-struck 33rd-minute drive after cutting inside Shotton, but the home side should really have been in front four minutes later.

Cabaye's through-ball took a deflection and evaded Sissoko but it fell nicely for Yoan Gouffran, only for the Frenchman to lift his shot over the bar. Cabaye saw a 42nd-minute strike deflected just wide with the keeper wrong-footed, but the black and white shirts had to close ranks as Glenn Whelan forced his way into the penalty area but could not find a finish.

The hosts' task grew in size with 23 minutes remaining when, after Cheick Tiote had felled Walters with a rash challenge inside the box, referee Andre Marriner had little option but to point to the spot and Walters, whose recent record from 12 yards has been dreadful, duly obliged to give the visitors a lead they scarcely deserved.

However, the advantage lasted barely six minutes as the game became increasingly lively both on and off the pitch. Sissoko was tripped by Whelan literally inches outside the box and after Mr Marriner awarded a free-kick, Begovic became embroiled in a row with Steven Taylor as the Stoke coaching staff took exception to Pardew's reaction on the sideline.

But once order had been restored, Cabaye curled the resulting free-kick over the wall and in off the underside of the crossbar to level. There was even better to come deep into injury time when substitute Sylvain Marveaux picked out Cisse in front of goal and he controlled and fired past the stranded Begovic to snatch victory.

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