Football

Ameobi inspires Newcastle

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Shola Ameobi's hat-trick handed caretaker boss Chris Hughton a first victory at St James' Park as Newcastle continued their positive start to life in the Coca-Cola Championship with a 3-0 win over Reading.

The home-grown striker headed the opener eight minutes before the break and then powered home a second with 61 minutes gone to effectively seal what was just the Magpies' second league win in 15 attempts.

Having been denied a third by Royals keeper Adam Federici, Ameobi made no mistake from the penalty spot 14 minutes later to cap a fine evening's work.

The Magpies should have been in front with 13 minutes gone when Jonas Gutierrez ran on to Kevin Nolan's through-ball to home in on Federici, but the Argentinian inexplicably failed to shoot and the attack ebbed away.

Andy Carroll looped a header on to the roof of the net seconds later, and Jonas forced the first real save of the game eight minutes before the break when he collected Jose Enrique's return pass and shot.

But the opening goal arrived a minute later when Ameobi got his head to an Enrique cross and guided the ball past Federici.

Ameobi came close to a second five minutes after the restart when he beat the offside trap to run on to Carroll's intelligent pass, but his shot flew agonisingly wide of the far post.

Only Jem Karacan's last-ditch challenge prevented Joey Barton making it 2-0 on the hour after Ameobi had headed down another Enrique cross, but the second goal was only seconds away.

Kevin Nolan found Ryan Taylor wide on the right and his cross was expertly headed home by Ameobi at the far post.

The striker was denied a headed hat-trick by Federici's fine 69th-minute save, but he completed his treble 15 minutes from time when, after Shane Long had handled in the area, he converted the resulting penalty.

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Topics:
Joey Barton
Reading
Football
Ryan Taylor
Kevin Nolan
Championship
Jem Karacan
Newcastle United
Adam Federici
Jose Enrique
Shane Long
Jonas Gutierrez
Shola Ameobi
Ryan Taylor

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