Shay Given And Michael Owen The Hero's As Toon Edge Bolton

Andrew BarrySenior Analyst IAugust 23, 2008

Fourth in the table and unbeaten after two, sounds good but let's remember Big Sam Allardyce was in a similar position. Yet the way Keegan's men have gone about their business is encouraging.

They came up against a dire, uncreative, rock in Bolton Wanderers but Newcastle never gave up. Always searching for a hole in their back line, N'Zogbia's testing crosses were always getting closer to Oba Martins head and you felt this team was made of stronger stuff then the shambles Keegan inherited from Allardyce.

Although Keegan is indebted to Irishman Shay Given who saved a Kevin Nolan penalty at 0-0. Steven Taylor handled not once but twice, the first a stray hand and the second throwing himself at the rebounded shot. Botlon's captain stood up and hammered the ball low and right.

But Shay got across and knocked the ball out and completed the save with his feet to deny Nolan revenge. The crowd was lifted, after being amazing in the first half, the SJP faithful were going quiet until Given's intervention. The crowd seemed to lift the players and the Toon began to create more chances.

Michael Owen was eventually the saviour but he missed a guilt edge chance moments earlier heading straight at Jaaskelainen and the Finn denied Coloccini from the rebound with a great reaction stop.

Newcastle weren't to be denied though, after a corner broke down, Geremi showed his excellent ability at crossing and placed the ball on the England hitman's head. Owen was in a similar position to his miss but this time he guided the ball past the Bolton keeper.

St. James's Park erupted and now we were rocking, another goal would put this contest to bed but James Milner missed a good chance as did Charles N'Zogbia. Bolton attempted to make us rue those misses as Nolan and Davies missed half chances.

But the final word goes to Steven Taylor, forget Jamie Carragher who everybody knows loves Liverpool for life (pity he supported Everton as a teenager!). Taylor is a Geordie and would do anything for his beloved Toon. It's easy to see his effort, he regularly throws himself in front of shots desperately and often clears the danger.

Kevin Nolan hammered a volley towards Given's far post that looked goal-bound but Taylor put his head on it and ensured Bolton went home with nothing and KK retained his unbeaten start.

Looking at Arsenal's lame performance at Fulham, the trip to the Emirates holds none of the fear it might have three months ago. Howay the lads.