Premier League: Newcastle 2 Birmingham 1

Newcastle prevailed 2-1 against 10 man Birmingham in a dreary game at St James’ Park on Saturday.With two teams seemingly safe in the Premier League slowly limping their way to the end of the season , the game was pretty poor for the neutral until it sprang into life before the break.

Ten minutes before half time the rain stopped and the game sprang in to life.

Joey Barton’s superb corner caused havoc in the Birmingham penalty area, with Liam Ridgewell eventually handballing Fabricio Coloccini’s goal-bound header, earning the defender a straight red card.

Shola Ameobi stepped up and calmly dispatched the spot-kick to give the host the lead.

Birmingham goalkeeper Ben Foster had to be at his very best to stop the home side going further ahead first denying Peter Lovenkrands and then tipping over Nolan’s fierce shot.

From the resulting corner Newcastle stretched their lead, Steven Taylor powerfully heading in Barton’s corner.

Birmingham’s Sebastian Larsson seemed to help the ball into the net but Taylor will no doubt claim the goal.

Birmingham scrambled a goal back just before half time; Cameron Jerome’s power caused problems for the Newcastle defence and Lee Bowyer powered home the loose ball via deflection from Coloccini.

Ameobi should have had a second late on the game, but after good work from Nile Ranger and Barton, the big striker produced a tame effort that was easily cleared.

The three points mean Newcastle’s Premier League future is now secured, Birmingham however are still in a relegation battle.