By Chief Sports Writer, Marley Anderson

Newcastle United won their first game in eight attempts and sent Harry Redknapp to his first defeat as QPR manager to give themselves a much needed win at St James’ Park. Shola Ameobi came off the bench to bag the winner nine minutes from time in a forgettable affair in the miserable Tyneside weather.

Ameobi’s introduction was probably the most interesting thing that happened all afternoon on Tyneside, as the withdrawal of Papiss Cisse angered the locals. The Senegal striker wasn’t happy either, refusing to shake Alan Pardew’s hand as he was replaced by Ameobi.

Quite why he was annoyed is beyond me however, as Pardew has shown more than enough faith to his misfiring striker, who didn’t look like improving his miserable goal tally all afternoon. The closest he came to catching the eye was when he played a neat one two with Demba Ba, only to be caught before he could fire home by Fabio Da Silva.

The neat move all but ended the goalmouth action in the first period but the game was almost lit up early in the second half. Adel Taarabt, fresh from his wonder goal against Fulham last week, skinned three Newcastle players before threading a pass through for Djibril Cisse, who could only fire wide from an unlikely angle.

No side looked like scoring as the game threatened to peter out into a goalless draw and it was left to Pardew to change things from the bench. On came Sylvain Marveaux for Cheick Tiote – who will miss the Boxing Day trip to Old Trafford thanks to his fifth booking of the season – just after Ameobi had replaced Cisse to displease the locals.

However, the manager’s decision was proven when the two subs combined after Davide Santon had dribbled into the middle. Marveaux – who may be leaving St James’ Park if rumours are believed – found Ameobi on the far side of the box and watched as the Nigeria international cut inside a desperate tackle and curled a precise finish inside the far post.

QPR tried to respond by throwing men forward but almost self-destructed when Marveaux broke away on the counter attack. The former Marseille man threw Ryan Nelsen off the scent before firing a tame effort at Rob Green who saved comfortably and ensured the points stayed in the North East and QPR stayed in the bottom three at the turn of Christmas.