Newcastle United 4-2 Sheffield Wednesday (September 1993)

Goalscorers: Andy Cole 21, 76, Andy Sinton 26, 47, Alex Mathie 81, Malcolm Allen 88

Teams:

Newcastle United: Tommy Wright, John Beresford, Kevin Scott, Steve Watson, Barry Venison, Paul Bracewell, Lee Clark, Rob Lee, Nicos Papavasiliou (Alex Mathie 62), Malcolm Allen, Andy Cole

Sheffield Wednesday: Chris Woods, Roland Nilsson, Nigel Pearson, Des Walker, Graham Hyde, Nigel Worthington, Chris Bart-Williams (Gordon Watson 85), John Sheridan, Andy Sinton, Chris Waddle, Mark Bright

Referee: Roger Dilkes, Attendance: 33,519

Newcastle United were back in the top-flight of English football and Kevin Keegan’s side were determined to have a real attacking purpose to their game. However, it was an underwhelming start to their Premier League life. In their first six games, Newcastle had just one win against Everton and six points on the scoreboard. They took on Sheffield Wednesday in a Monday night game, who like Newcastle, had made a slow start to the 1993-1994 season.

The first incident of note happened before kick-off even occurred on Tyneside. Wednesday arrived with an away kit of white which clearly clashed with Newcastle’s traditional home strip. That meant Keegan’s side were forced to make a late switch into a blue away strip for the first time. It was a distraction but didn’t detract from what would turn out to be an entertaining contest.

It was the visitors who had the first opportunity of the night with John Sheridan clipping the post in the ninth minute. 12 minutes later, Newcastle took the lead with a fourth goal of the season for Andy Cole. Malcolm Allen’s shot was spilled by England goalkeeper Chris Woods and it left the 21-year-old rising star with a simple tap-in to open the scoring. Sheffield Wednesday were never going to be bystanders though and levelled the contest up just five minutes later. Andy Sinton scored his second goal for the club since arriving from Queens Park Rangers; picking his spot and finding the bottom corner.

It was 1-1 at half-time and more goals looked likely in the second half. It was Sheffield Wednesday who struck the first blow. Sinton, a Newcastle United supporter as a boy, scored his second goal of the evening with a simple header after ex-Newcastle player Chris Waddle produced a wonderful cross to the back post. The chances kept coming for both sides. Graham Hyde spared Des Walker’s blushes when he cleared his clearance off the goal-line whilst the usually prolific Mark Bright spurned a glorious opportunity in a one-on-one situation to increase the lead for Trevor Francis’ side. Hyde then hit the crossbar and Francis must have started to wonder if the missed chances were going to cost his side. His worries were to be proven right.

Substitute Alex Mathie delivered a neat cross into the danger area which Rob Lee reached. The midfielder teed up Cole, who spun past Roland Nilsson and scored his second of the evening. Newcastle had the momentum and they took the contest away from Sheffield Wednesday in the last 10 minutes. On his debut for the club, Mathie produced a magnificent finish to put Newcastle ahead before Allen wrapped the game up with a close-range header in the 88th minute.

Newcastle would finish a brilliant third in their first Premier League season and scored the most goals of any side in the top-flight. This was a night where their swashbuckling style was first made fully evident to the wider public.

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