Newcastle fans full of praise for defender as he impresses on rare start

Newcastle United moved a step closer to an instant return to the Premier League as they beat Burton Albion 1-0 at St James’ Park on Wednesday night, but they had to go about it the hard way following a controversial decision.

Referee Keith Stroud chose to award the Brewers an indirect free-kick in their own penalty area – rather than the usual procedure of ordering a re-take – when Magpies striker Dwight Gayle encroached into the box as Matt Ritchie took a first half spot-kick for the hosts.

It was an unbelievable decision that was deemed to be wrong soon after, and an apology soon followed after the final whistle.

Ritchie did get his goal later in the game which moved Rafa Benitez’s side back to the top of the Championship table, and Toon supporters were particularly impressed with the performance of centre-back Chancel Mbemba after he was handed a rare start by the Spaniard.

Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction to the 22-year-old’s eighth league appearance of the campaign…