Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Blood, Sweat and Finally Cheers as Dream's Realised; MATCH ANALYSIS: NEWCASTLE UTD 4 PRESTON NORTH END 1 CHANTS OF 'GEORDIES IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE' RING OUT AT ST JAMES'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Blood, Sweat and Finally Cheers as Dream's Realised; MATCH ANALYSIS: NEWCASTLE UTD 4 PRESTON NORTH END 1 CHANTS OF 'GEORDIES IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE' RING OUT AT ST JAMES'

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER Chief Sports Writer lee.ryder@trinitymirror.com @lee_ryder

AT 9.36pm at St James' Park last night something changed for the better in the world of Newcastle United.

Just 348 days after being relegated by their bitter rivals Sunderland their hard work throughout what has been a testing campaign paid off. For a moment, all the blood, sweat and tears of an arduous season seemed worth it.

Let's face it, the Sky Bet Championship is an unforgiving division that is tough enough for most clubs at the best of times.

But for Newcastle it seems to have been an even sterner test, with so many teams out to make a name for themselves when heading to St James' Park aiming to make it a day to remember.

For a lot of clubs, playing Newcastle United has been their cup final this term.

Visiting teams work harder, run faster and players are desperate to score a goal they'll never forget in front of a 52,000 crowd at St James.'.

Preston played like that at times in the penultimate home game of the season.

Although United got off to a flying start.

Newcastle won a corner on five minutes when Aleksandar Mitrovic's shot was deflected wide.

Matt Ritchie's corner was swung in, with Jamaal Lascelles flicking on for Ciaran Clark, with the ball dropping for Perez who applied the finish at the back post to put the Magpies 1-0 up on seven minutes. But four minutes later Newcastle had to rely on the recalled Rob Elliot as Daniel Johnson raced down the left, with the Ireland international making an excellent block with his legs. And Newcastle seemed determined to do it the hard way.

After Aleksandar Mitrovic had been upended in the box, Preston broke on the counter, with Tom Barkhuizen supplying a pass for Jordan Hugill, who flicked home on 14 minutes to level the game up.

Newcastle's response was poor as they struggled to work Chris Maxwell in the Preston goal.

On 25 minutes the Lancashire side broke down the left, but Barkhuizen scuffed his effort into the Gallowgate End.

The first half proved to be a frustrating affair.

Newcastle won a series of corners, but all too often Shelvey's set-plays found their way into the hands of Chris Maxwell. …

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