Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Magpies beat Blues

Leon Best

Newcastle registered their first victory of the post-Andy Carroll era as goals from Peter Lovenkrands and Leon Best ensured a comfortable 2-0 success against Birmingham at St. Andrew's.

Lovenkrands opened the scoring after two minutes and then Best struck early in the second period to wrap up the points for the Magpies.

Birmingham enjoyed a fair share of possession but lacked a cutting edge as they suffered their first defeat in six games.

Newcastle got off to a dream start in the rainswept conditions with Lovenkrands putting them ahead.

Jose Enrique's original cross was cleared after he had skipped past Sebastian Larsson but Jonas Gutierrez pounced on the loose ball and delivered a testing low centre to the near post.

Lovenkrands was first to react and he slid in front of Roger Johnson and drilled his shot past Ben Foster.

Blues midfielder Craig Gardner came close to equalising five minutes before the interval but he hammered a 20-yard drive just wide after being teed up by Larsson.

But Newcastle doubled their lead four minutes into the second half through Best's fifth goal of the campaign as Birmingham were again caught cold.

Gutierrez delivered a left-wing cross to the far post and Best got above the normally-dependable Johnson to head home.

Nikola Zigic had a great chance to reduce the arrears but headed over from Liam Ridgewell's pinpoint cross when unmarked.

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