The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

NEW­CAS­TLE re­turned to the top of the Cham­pi­onship but the head­lines will likely be dom­i­nated by ab­sent strik­ers.

West Ham tar­get Scott Ho­gan was an un­used sub­sti­tute for the hosts while the league’s top scorer Dwight Gayle was forced off with an in­jury af­ter only half-an-hour of the game.

Brent­ford looked tooth­less up front with­out their main man and New­cas­tle’s sea­son may well de­pend on how long Gayle is out for.

The in­jury forced a change to a more di­rect style of play and al­though it paid off it was far from con­vinc­ing. Brent­ford’s poor fin­ish­ing was their down­fall.

Ay­oze Perez took a while to get go­ing but in the end showed he was a class above any­one else on the pitch, epit­o­mised by his inch-per­fect cross for Mur­phy’s win­ner.

It was a scrappy game in which New­cas­tle just about coped, manag­ing to win with­out play­ing any­where near their best – the sign of true cham­pi­ons.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.