Carroll shrugs off controversy to keep Magpies on title track
Doncaster Rovers 0 Newcastle United 1
Wednesday 24 March 2010
Andy Carroll has had an interesting few days, to say the least, but it doesn't appear to have affected his footballing skills. Last night the Gateshead-born 21-year-old, reported to be at the centre of an alleged training ground incident which left team-mate Steven Taylor nursing a broken jaw, rifled home a second-half winner at Doncaster to keep Newcastle five points clear at the top of the Championship.
The club's preparations had been overshadowed by the incident and amid speculation that furious owner Mike Ashley had launched an internal investigation, St James' Park insiders feared the row could undermine the Magpies' title run-in. Taylor, 24, out since January with a knee injury, has been discharged from Newcastle General Hospital.
Carroll, whose 16th goal of the season eclipsed another impressive showing by Sean O'Driscoll's Doncaster, faces a Crown Court appearance next month on an assault charge in connection with an incident at a city night-spot last December. But the bustling centre-forward justified Newcastle manager Chris Hughton's decision to include him in the starting line-up with another outstanding on-field contribution.
Doncaster's leading goalscorer, Billy Sharp, returned for the home side and he should have scored in the 30th minute but he shot straight at Steve Harper from six yards.
Carroll, set free by Wayne Routledge, then galloped into the left edge of the Doncaster penalty area and forced home goalkeeper Neil Sullivan into a flying save with a venomous drive. Newcastle midfielder Nolan was booked for failing to retreat from a corner late in the first half and Simpson followed him into Hertfordshire referee Keith Hill's notebook early in the second.
Newcastle broke with menace and took the lead with a rapier counter-attack in the 59th minute. Routledge slipped the ball down the right channel into Carroll's path and the big forward motored on to the ball, held off Gareth Roberts's desperate challenge and kept his composure to fire home a right-footed shot past Sullivan.
Rovers were denied an instant riposte by the assistant's flag when Sharp lashed home a rebound, while another devastating burst into the Rovers' area from Carroll almost resulted in the visitors' second, but one proved to be enough.
Doncaster Rovers (4-4-2): Sullivan; Chambers, O'Connor, Martis, Roberts (Mutch, 87); Wilson (Emmanuel-Thomas, 74), Oster, Martin Woods, Shiels (Spicer, 87); Hayter, Sharp. Substitutes not used: Smith, Lockwood, McDaid, Hird.
Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Harper; Ryan Taylor, Coloccini, Kadar, Simpson; Routledge (Pancrate, 88), Guthrie (Barton, 74), Butt, Gutierrez; Nolan; Carroll. Substitutes not used: Krul, Jose Enrique, Barton, Best, Ranger, Tozer.
Referee: K Hill (Hertfordshire).
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Chelsea transfer news: 'Eden Hazard will cost Real Madrid £100m - and a Galactico,' says Jose Mourinho
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election