NEWCASTLE, England : A Callum Wilson penalty earned Newcastle United their first victory in four Premier League games as they narrowly beat Brentford 1-0 at St James’ Park on Saturday.
After a first-half of few chances, Wilson thought he had nudged Newcastle ahead just after the interval only for the referee to blow for a foul on Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken.
Flekken was the one doing the impeding in the 64th minute, however, as he felled Anthony Gordon in the penalty area and Wilson stepped up to covert from the spot.
Newcastle were awarded another spot-kick late on, but referee Craig Pawson’s decision was overturned following a VAR review.
Brentford never really looked like avoiding their first defeat of the campaign as Newcastle moved up to 11th in the standings, level on six points with Thomas Frank’s team in 10th.
Newcastle’s three successive defeats before Brentford’s visit had dampened expectations around St James’ Park after an impressive campaign last term, where they lost only three of their final 14 matches.
Against a well-organised Brentford, Newcastle looked every inch a team out of form, with Bruno Guimaraes’ close-range header their only real chance of note in the opening period.
Newcastle were vastly improved after the break, with Wilson at the heart of all that was good about them.
Flekken had no chance of keeping out Wilson’s expertly-taken spot-kick, as the English striker netted his eighth goal in his last seven league starts.
He has also now scored 15 of the 16 penalties he has taken in the Premier League, with only Matthew Le Tissier, Danny Murphy and James Beattie netting a higher share among players to have taken as many as Wilson.
A disappointing response from Brentford ensured they failed to score for the first time in eight leagues games and Newcastle kept only their third Premier League clean sheet since February.