KING OF ALL HE SURVEYS: Bournemouth striker Josh King (right) after scoring against Newcastle
A CONFIDENT Bournemouth team brushed aside a poor Newcastle side at St James’ Park today. The two teams have only played each other four times in the league and it was the hosts that started the game brightly. Moussa Sissoko delivered a lovely cross into Emmanuel Riviere but the ball was a fraction too high for the Frenchman.
Moments later Jonjo Shelvey pounced on a poor clearance from the Bournemouth defence and fired a shot from range that went a whisker wide of the left hand post.
Bournemouth, sporting a pink and white kit, settled down and it wasn’t too long before they threatened. Newcastle failed to clear a Matt Ritchie corner and the ball fell to Max Gradel in the penalty area but his shot was deflected over.
When it rains it pours as Newcastle fans will testify this season. Bournemouth’s first goal heaped more misery onto Magpie supporters. Gradel wriggled away from a challenge from Shelvey, looked up and played Josh King down the left. His low, driven cross looked destined to fall into Rob Elliot’s gloves but Steven Taylor inadvertently directed the ball pass his keeper and into his own net.
The visitors, who have only won four games on the road this season, went searching for a second goal. Newcastle didn’t deal with a cross particularly well and Benik Afobe looked to take advantage but slipped when he was mere yards from the goal.
Taylor nearly made amends for his earlier gaffe at the end of the first half in a rare Newcastle attack. Daryl Janmatt struck his cross into the ground, Taylor controlled the ball well with his chest and would have hit the target if it wasn’t for a last ditch block from Cherries captain Simon Francis.
Newcastle came out for the second period and enjoyed a spell of early pressure. Aleksandar Mitrovic replaced Riviere at half time and looked to make an immediate impact. He ran at the Bournemouth defence but fired his shot wide of the post.
It wasn’t until the hour mark that the hosts forced Artur Boruc into a save. Janmaat linked up well with Mousa Sissoko and played a nice one-two into the penalty area; Janmaat got plenty of power behind the effort but Boruc beat it away at the near post.
Sissoko was next to sting the hands of the Bournemouth goalkeeper. Mitrovic laid the ball off for the number 7 but his shot was straight at Boruc. At the other end Josh King delivered a few teasing balls across the hosts' penalty area but no one was on the end of them.
Just as Newcastle were building some momentum Bournemouth grabbed a second. Substitute Lewis Grabban played the ball to Ritchie, who slipped the ball into King and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net. It was the perfect way to cap off a great week for the Norwegian international who became a father this week.
Newcastle did manage to pull one back ten minutes before the end. Shelvey was arguably the best Newcastle player on the pitch and it wasn’t surprising that he had a hand to play in the goal. He went route one up to Ayoze Perez, who had got the wrong side of the Bournemouth defence and beat an onrushing Boruc.
There was no sign of a comeback though as the Cherries tried to re-establish a two goal lead. First Marc Pugh cut back into the area and forced a very good one-handed save from the Magpies' keeper. Only minutes later Grabban found himself with time and space in the United penalty area, but he dragged his shot wide.
There was more dismay for Newcastle fans as the visitors made sure of the win with a late Charlie Daniels goal. The full back picked the ball up 25 yards from goal, drove at the Newcastle defence who continued to back off him and he placed his shot into the far right corner.
Cherries' fans would have certainly enjoyed their first Premier League appearance at St James’ Park and the win lifts them to 35 points.
It doesn’t get any easier for Newcastle as they travel to Leicester next and they will need to put in a much better performance if they want to take anything from the game. The prospect of relegation is now a genuine for United. They now have 24 points from 28 games and are placed just one off the bottom of the table.