Newcastle United 1 Leicester City 0
Published 01/09/2009 | 00:00
Danny Guthrie fired Newcastle United to the top of the Championship as the Magpies edged their way past Leicester City.
Guthrie's 52nd-minute strike was enough to secure a fourth successive league win in front of owner Mike Ashley, prospective buyer Barry Moat and would-be manager Alan Shearer on a night when a New York-based consortium claimed they were ready to open talks over a deal.
The home side triumphed despite injuries reducing caretaker boss Chris Hughton's options to virtually none — his seven substitutes did not have a league start between them.
A crowd of 38,813 left St James' Park delighted with the result, but wondering just how long the run of results will continue with the squad looking thinner by the day.
Newcastle were without Fabricio Coloccini after he joined up with the Argentina squad and injured quartet Nicky Butt, Jonas Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi and Andy Carroll and Hughton paired teenager Nile Ranger with Kevin Nolan in attack.
The Magpies went close with four minutes gone when Geremi and Guthrie broke at pace to set up Nolan, whose shot was saved comfortably by Chris Weale.
They had appeals for a penalty turned down when Ryan Taylor's 15th-minute cross clipped Paul Gallagher's arm and Wayne Brown was fortunate to escape after a more blatant handball a few seconds later.
However, it was Steve Harper who had to make the game's first real save six minutes later when Newcastle supporter Steve Howard met Matt Oakley's corner with a bullet header.
Ranger whistled a right-footed shot just wide from 25 yards within seconds of the restart, and the youngster played a part in the opening goal with 52 minutes gone.
Nolan laid off Harper's clearance to him and he fed Guthrie to step inside Jack Hobbs and smash the ball past Weale.
Geremi might have doubled his side's advantage within three minutes with a swerving drive which went just wide.