Nov 3 (Reuters) – Newcastle United finally got their season up and running by beating Watford 1-0 at St James’ Park to record their first Premier League win at the 11th attempt.
Ayoze Perez flicked home a 65th-minute header from a Ki Sung-yeung free kick to claim the points and move Newcastle out of the relegation zone into 17th place.
The contrast between the teams going into the game could not have been starker with Watford enjoying their best top-flight start and Newcastle needing a win to avert their worst.
They negotiated a nervous opening when they struggled to cope with the pace of Gerard Deulofeu and Watford had several opportunities to take the lead before the interval.
Adrian Mariappa wasted Watford’s best chance, dragging the ball wide of the left-hand post before Roberto Pereyra went even closer by hitting the bar.
Newcastle. who lost key midfielder Jonjo Shelvey to injury at the start of the second half, gradually became the stronger side although they required an excellent block from Kenedy to deny Watford substitute Andre Gray an equaliser.
(Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Ken Ferris)