Former Newcastle United captain Kevin Nolan's goal in the 39th minute has West Ham United leading Newcastle 1-0 at halftime at St James' Park. Nolan converted a back post cross after top-rated defender (in certain circles) Mike Williamson lost track of him.
Apart from the goal, West Ham have enjoyed the best chances on goal, though the Magpies finally displayed some attacking tenacity in the waning moments of the half. Their game has been characterized by some desperate long ball chances, and they only seemed to generate chances on the ground when Hatem Ben Arfa and Davide Santon were on the ball.
Each team was forced to burn a substitution in the first half due to injury. Newcastle Captain-for-the-day Jonas Gutierrez, who took Cheik Tiote's place as holding midfielder, was removed in the 24th minute after colliding with Yossi Benayoun. Vurnon Anita took his place, and Demba Ba took the armband. Matt Jarvis was also removed with a hip problem, and former Toon target Modibo Maiga came on in his stead.