One shot, one goal, three points.
“We need to build on good performances,” has been the buzz phrase echoing around the Benton training ground pitches for the last few weeks, but Saturday’s display was the polar opposite based on team performance.
Bournemouth dominated the full 90 minutes but it was United who left the South coast with all three points in what can only be described as a complete smash and grab result.
Stand-in goalkeeper Rob Elliot was certainly the only Newcastle player to leave Dean Court with any pride in his performance as the Republic of Ireland international shot-stopper mimicked a brick wall as the Bournemouth attacks came in quick succession.
It was a performance that many United fans would have thought was unachievable from a keeper who has dropped down to third choice in the pecking order.
Just like Stoke City’s Jack Butland last week at St James’s Park, Elliot could not be beaten: deflecting every single strike that came towards him.
Finger-tip saves, body blocks and fully stretched dives into the bottom corners were all on display as he denied the newly-promoted team from finding the back of the net.
It was certainly no surprise to hear that the man of the match award was rightfully placed in Elliot’s safe hands.
Newcastle have now achieved back-to-back clean sheets for the first time since November 2014, but now Elliot will face his biggest challenge yet between the white sticks as high-flying Leicester arrive on Tyneside after the international break.
The Premier League’s top goalscorer, Jamie Vardy, looks to score in his 10th consecutive game; which would be a truly remarkable personal achievement.
We now go into the break with a crucial victory despite the performance, but most importantly we are out of the relegation zone.
Let’s hope we keep on climbing the table and stay well clear of the dreaded bottom three for the rest of the season.
Gallowgateshots.com is a South Tyneside-based Newcastle fan site