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PREMIER LEAGUE: Newcastle break winless streak with win over Birmingham

Newcastle United have ended a five-match winless streak with a 2-0 win over Birmingham City at St Andrews tonight.

Peter Lovenkrands struck in just the second minute before Leon Best doubled the advantage five minutes into the second half as Alan Pardew's men move to ninth on the league table.

The Blues tried in vain to get back into proceedings but were unable to do so and had to settle for their first loss in four matches as they remain in 14th position. Newcastle were just the fifth team to beat them at St Andrews since Birmingham returned to the top flight.

Birmingham City: 0 Newcastle United: 2 (Peter Lovenkrands 2', Leon Best 50')

Venue: St Andrews, Birmingham Crowd: 28,270 Referee: Lee Mason Yellow cards:BC - David Murphy 86' NU - Kevin Nolan 36', Joey Barton 62'

GOAL Things started well for the Magpies, but in quite chaotic fashion, as the match kicked off with most of the fans unaware as the players names were still being read out before Peter Lovenkrands smashed home a first-time volley from a Jonas Gutierrez pass.

After the goal, Birmingham got themselves into the contest and came close in the 19th minute when Seb Larsson found Roger Johnson at the back post but his header went wide. The home side were doing most of the attacking as they chased an early leveler.

Nikola Zigic had his 21st minute attempt saved by Toon keeper Steve Harper before Craig Gardner missed a perfect chance with six minutes remaining in the opening half after being found by Larsson who received the ball from a long Ben Foster punt to essentially wrap up the opening 45 minutes.

GOAL Just five minutes into the second term, the visitors took a two-goal lead through Leon Best who headed home at the back post from another Gutierrez cross.

With the Blues scoring just 13 times at St Andrews this season, their chances of getting back into the match did not look good, especially when Zigic missed what is usually a customary header for him in the 73rd minute, which was really was their last opportunity.

But Alex McLeish's men kept toiling for an equaliser with Johnson's header in the 79th minute was directed straight at Harper before substitute Cameron Jerome snatched a late shot as the visitors completed a smash and grab job to take full points.

Starting Line-Ups

Birmingham Ben Foster (gk), Liam Ridgewell, Stephan Carr, Martin Jiranek (Mur[hy 73'), Roger Johnson, Barry Ferguson, David Bentley, Craig Gardner, Sebastian Larsson (Phillips 76'), Nikola Zigic, Obafemi Martins (Jerome 58')

Subs - Colin Doyle (gk), Cameron Jerome (58'), David Murphy (73'), Kevin Phillips (76')

Newcastle Steve Harper (gk), Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Jonas Gutierrez (Campbell 87'), Joey Barton, Cheikh Tiote, Kevin Nolan, Peter Lovenkrands (Ranger 65'), Leon Best (Guthrie 75')

Subs - Tim Krul (gk), Nile Ranger (65'), Danny Guthrie (75'), Sol Campbell (87')

 Click here for the No1 coverage of all the gossip and transfer news around Newcastle United.

 Click here for the No1 coverage of all the gossip and transfer news around Birmingham City.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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