Newcastle United were relegated from the Premiership last season and were a club in turmoil. They struggled on the field and off with players finding fame through arrests and not form and the owner trying to sell them to the highest bidder. The fans on Tyneside – some of the most passionate in the world – watched in disarray as the club they loved so much, and the club who had disappointed them for so many years by not winning any silverware, slipped into obscurity.
Anticipating a season in the Championship some players departed, the short-lived manager and former legend – Alan Shearer – followed them, but some remained as former caretaker manager Chris Hughton took over and tried to rally the team together.
Newcastle enjoyed an amazing season in the Championship. They officially guaranteed themselves promotion the other week and today, playing down on the South-West Coast against Plymouth Argyle, they were looking for just one point to declare themselves Champions with a couple of games still left to play.
The Newcastle team and fans made the longest journey in the Football league by Coach and car, traveling eight hours on the road due to the no-fly zone above the country, for this game tonight. Plymouth also needed points here to try to stay in the Championship and avoid relegation, but this was always going to be Newcastle’s night.
Newcastle began to trade at very short odds-on prices over on the exchanges, whilst Plymouth were as high as 3/1 for the win.
Plymouth started very brightly and forced themselves onto Newcastle early on, but it was Newcastle who opened the scoring when Carroll rose to head a looping ball into the net following a corner. With just under thirty minutes played Routledge found himself one-on-one with the ‘keeper and despite a tough angle he managed to skip round the Plymouth number one and slide in a second for Newcastle.
Plymouth finished the first half with more attempts on goal than their opponents but Newcastle were taking their chances whilst the home side struggled. This continued in the second half when Judge smacked a cracking shot off the crossbar from twenty-five yards. Newcastle also met with the woodwork when a shot from Best rattled the bar, but the Toon army cruised for most of this match, happily taking the three points which gave them the Championship title.
Newcastle will take most of the headlines from this game but whilst this results assures an advancement to the top tier of English football for them, it means the opposite for Plymouth who are now relegated to the third tier.