Last Updated: 21/04/12 4:52pm
Thanks for joining me and I hope you enjoyed the game. Stay tuned to Sky Sports for all of the post-match reaction.
Newcastle 3 Stoke 3. Impressive and very comfortable win for the Magpies. They move into the Premier League's top four and will have a close eye on the Tottenham game. For Stoke, they need to go back to the drawing board and make sure their season doesn't fizzle out.
Walters with one last break for Stoke, but he is forced backwards. Newcastle stand firm and will collect a clean sheet. Crouch being flagged offside could be the last action of the game.
Over 52,000 in attendance this afternoon. Great turn out for a side that deserves this wonderful support. Newcastle are happy to see out the last few minutes by playing keep-ball.
St James' Park starting to empty. The locals have seen enough and can head home happy. Their side are inside the top four, for a few hours at least. On the field, Stoke see another attack come to nothing.
Jerome prepared to settle for a corner off Perch. Whelan's delivery drops inside the area, but there is no red and white shirt on hand to provide a finishing touch.
Another corner to Newcastle. Ben Arfa whips the ball into the six-yard box, but Begovic comes through the crowd to claim. Stoke's keeper has been solid enough this afternoon.
Ba takes the free-kick, but fires into the wall. The ball breaks to Tiote, who returns it with interest. A stunning save from Begovic sees him tip a stinging effort inches over the crossbar. The corner ends up back with Tiote, who tests Begovic from distance again.
Gutierrez invited forward by Stoke, before running into Shawcross. He is awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal. He did appear to just run straight into the Stoke man. Slightly fortunate to get the decision.
Crouch rises for another ball, but this time has slipped a yard offside. He looks bewildered, but he was beyond the last man. Smart stepping up from ther Newcastle back four.
Jerome in space on the Stoke left, but Crouch can't find him. The Potters remain in the front foot, but Williamson and Perch combine to slam the door in Jerome's face.
Perch now filling in at right-back. His versatility makes him a useful asset to Newcastle. He also gives his all every time he takes to the field and has let no-one down so far.
Walters misses a glorious chance to pull one back for Stoke. He breaks past Coloccini and down the channel. When faced with a sight of goal, he hammers over the top.
Ba being held again, this time by Shawcross. He ends up going down, but gets nothing. He is unfortunate as he can't do anything with an opponent on his back.
Wilson all over Ameobi, but gets away with it and ends up winning a throw. Shawcross with a hopeful lump forward, with Crouch wins again. Stoke forced to play backwards, with Newcastle back in numbers.
The game has slowed right down now. Newcastle have it wrapped up and Stoke know they are beaten. Just a case of going throught he motions.
Coloccini feeds the ball back to Krul. Crouch is sniffing around, but isn't close enough to cause the Magpies keeper a problem. Newcastle counter, with Ben Arfa breaking into the box. He goes down, claiming a shove, but gets nothing.
Ameobi thinks he has won a throw, but the officials disagree. Newcastle not happy. They don't want to give anything away today. Stoke fail to build on the platform offered to them.
Still no way through for Stoke, with Jerome unable to keep the ball in play on this occasion. The Potters are moving the ball around well, but still lack a cutting edge.
Right idea from Wilson as he cuts inside Gutierrez and threads a pass into the path of Walters. The Stoke man has man a clever run, but he is unable to catch up with the ball and Krul watches it behind.
Wilson whips in a dangerous cross from the Stoke left. He drops just over the head of Jerome, where Perch is waiting to clear. Fine margins, and Stoke haven't had the rub of the green.
Shotton somehow digs out a cross from the right flank. In digging the ball out, he ends up sending it behind those in the middle. The ball skips away for a Newcastle throw.
Misunderstanding between Ben Arfa and Gutierrez. Usually that would produce groans from the stands, but no-one seems to care. These are happy days on Tyneside and no-one is going to spoil their fun.
Huth goes for pure power and hammers the ball into the Newcastle wall. Not the best of efforts. More good hold up play by Crouch, bringing others into play. He really should be on the plane to Euro 2012.
Ameobi's first involvement sees him nudge Whelan in the back and concede a free-kick. Chance for the Potters to go for goal from 30 yards out.
Shotton pressing again. He has been full of rinning. He is able to get a cross in on this occasion, and Williamson has to head behind for a Stoke corner. Etherington's delivery is poor.
Should have been four. After Be sees another shot deflected behind, Coloccini ambles forward for the corner. He rises unmarked to nod goalwards, but puts his header wide of the target. He holds his head in his hands.
Ba trying his best to get among the scorers. On this occasion he ends up scuffing an effort down the throat of Begovic. Have to admire his work rate.
Gutierrez tangles with Whitehead on halfway. Appears to be six of one and half a dozen of the other, but the decision goes the Newcastle man's way. It has been that kind of afternoon for the hosts.
Nice one-touch football from Stoke has Shotton racing down the right wing. He is unable to deliver after getting into a position to do so. Stoke try again, but Walters is muscled out of the way by three Magpies defenders.
Newcastle looking to set the pace of the game. They are in no rush to get anything going. They have picked Stoke apart without forcing the issue.
Perch straight into the action. A Stoke corner finds its way to Crouch at the back post. He appears to control the ball with his arm, but gets a snap-shot away. Perch throws himself in front of the drive to block.
Wilson hangs a cross to the back post, which Walters nods down. Crouch in the wrong place to collect. Newcastle spring clear. Cisse again causes problems and feels he deserves a penalty after going down in the box. He is waved to his feet.
Jerome leaves the ball behind, before then being halted by Coloccini. Yet more cheers from the home support, who are enjoying their afternoon.
If this game wasn't already finished as contest, it is now. Newcastle are on their way into the top four, and they will be full value for that lofty standing.
GOAL NEWCASTLE - CABAYE. It appears as though Ben Arfa has taken too long to get a shot away as he is picked out on the edge of the box. In the end he gives the ball to Cabaye, who bends the ball around Begovic and into the bottom corner.
Cabaye with a free-kick from wide on the Newcastle left, which Crouch heads clear. Stoke fail to get the ball to safety though and it ends up back with Ba. He spins on the edge of the area and sends a low drive skidding past the post.
Cisse has the ball in the net again, but it won't count. Ba's deflected shot squirmed away from Begovic and Cisse was on hand to put the ball into an empty net. He was, however, offside when the initial shot came in.
Crouch with another towring header. He has done his job this afternoon. The loose ball breaks to Williamson, who sees his clearance loop off Walters and into the arms of Krul.
Whelan with a hopeful punt forward, that ends up finding Walters. He can't get past Santon. Newcastle counter at pace, but Cisse makes his move too soon and is caught offside.
Etherington outnumbered as three Newcastle defenders close him down. The Magpies continue to work really hard when not in possession. Break in play as Whelan takes a knock and needs a breather.
Williamson does really well to get the ball down and hack it up the line without sending it out of play. Ba can't keep it in. Stoke trying to edge their way up their left flank.
Shawcross the latest to have his name taken for a pull on Ba's shirt. Ben Arfa's delivery from the set-piece is not the best.
Crouch drops off Williamson and wins an easy header. Shotton is wide of him, but darts down the wing just as the ball heads in his direction. Not Stoke's day.
Etherington whips a great delivery past Simpson and towards Crouch. The Stoke striker climbs highest, but fails to get a touch. Santon can run the ball clear for the Magpies.
Ben Arfa with another teasing delivery. Cisse takes it down on his chest and appears to get nudged in the back as he prepares to shoot. He gets nothing and loses the ball.
Stoke return first, closely followed by Newcastle. We are now ready for the second half and I get the feeling we might get a few more goals.
Dean Laidler says: "I think Newcastle shall win 4-0 Cisse will get one and Ben Arfa will get the other."
Remember you can also bet in-play at skybet.com. Newcastle are now 1/33 to take the spoils, with Stoke 66/1 and the draw 16/1. You can get 8/1 on Ben Arfa getting the next goal.
How do you see the second half going? Get your thoughts in to Chris.Burton@bskyb.com and @SkySportsChrisB.
Newcastle 2 Stoke 0. A brilliant opening from the Magpies has them in complete control at the interval. Cabaye and the prolific Cisse got the goals and Stoke have it all to do in the second half if they are to take anything from the game.
Pulis not happy as Tiote gets away with a full-blooded challenge. A free-kick is awarded, but no card given. Pulis feels it was as bad as Palacios', and lets the fourth official know his thoughts. That should be that for the first half.
Newcastle happy to pass the ball around among themselves as Stoke fail to press high up the field. They suddenly spring clear, but Huth gets across to cut out a pass from Cisse intended for Ba.
Cabaye has a tug at Palacios and concedes a free-kick on halfway. Stoke can't build any momentum. Pulis will have plenty to say at the interval I imagine. He doesn't look to happy!
Tiote back on his feet as he hobbles off. He should be okay to continue. Ben Arfa sportingly returns the ball to Stoke as they were in possession when play was stopped. He must have been tempted not to.
Tiote stays down after a challenge from Whitehead. Stoke refuse to put the ball out and play on. They work the ball from right to left, but Etherington's cross is hammered clear by Williamson. Tiote can now get treatement.
Nice pass with the outside of his boot from Shotton, but Walters lacks the pace to trouble Santon in a foot race. Newcastle look to spring clear, but Ben Arfa is too eager to play the killer ball and Huth slams the door in his face.
Santon allowed to carry the ball a long way, all the way into the penalty area. He is urged to shoot and, after working a yard of space, he does just that. Begovic is unsighted and does well to get down low and keep the ball out.
Newcastle prepared to be patient and wait for holes to open up. Their passing is crisp and precise. Oles start as Stoke struggle to win possession back. All too easy for the hosts after their flying start.
Stoke force a corner. Chance to load the box. Shawcross is among those to trot forward and it is he who meets Etherington's delivery. His glancing header is always heading off target, but is cleared by Simpson just in case.
Ba close to getting in on the act. Perfect whipped delivery from Simpson flashes across the face of goal. Ba stretches out a leg trying to get a touch, but can't grow enough.
Crouch wins another ball in the air, but again his efforts are to no avail as Newcastle hack clear. Shotton then hangs up a high cross from the right which Crouch fails to get on the end of.
Ba drops onto halfway, and is followed by Shawcross. The Stoke centre-half crashes into a challenge from behind and is rightly pulled up. He escapes a caution.
Crouch and Walters end up going for the same ball, so as the former flicks it on there is no-one to collect. Sums Stoke up at the moment - plenty of effort, but no end result.
Wilkinson replaced by Whitehead. Former Sunderland man gets a frosty reception. Wilkinson didn't seem to be limping.
Gutierrez upended and wins a free-kick as Shotton and Crouch try to pinch the ball from underneath him. Krul launches the ball downfield, but Ba's flick fails to find a team-mate.
Watching both managers down on the touchline, both are constantly talking and sending out instructions, but no-one seems to be paying them any attention. At least they feel involved!
Space for Tiote in the middle of the park, and he just keeps the ball moving. Newcastle in full control and have Stoke chasing shadows at times. Pulis out on the touchline barking orders at his side.
Gutierrez freed into space down the Newcastle right. He has to take the scenic route around Wilkinson and ends up running the ball out of play.
Party time as Ben Arfa gets out his bag of tricks. You can feel the excitement in the crowd every time he gets on the ball. On this occasion he feeds Gutierrez, who hammers high into the crowd from 25 yards.
Walters gets in front of Santon and in the right place to collect a Wilson pass. His touch lets him down and the ball runs under his foot and through to Krul. Not happening for Stoke at the moment.
The rain is back and looks like it might be here to stay. Bad news for those of us in the stands, but could lead to a few slips on the field. Already entertaining enough, but could get even better.
Cabaye leads a Newcastle counter. Simpson ends up putting the ball into the box and Shawcross is forced to nod behind for a corner. Gutierrez takes and Stoke struggle to clear his low, rather scuffed, delivery.
Cisse looks a threat every time he touches the ball and is dragging Shawcross and Huth into areas they don't want to go. Ba, meanwhile, is dropping deep and wide, which may explain why he is short on goals at the moment.
Shotton tries to outpace Santon, but the Italian gets his body across the line of the ball and ends up winning a free-kick after having his short tugged. More stylish defending from the hosts.
Long throw from Shotton into the heart of the Newcastle box. A group of bodies rise as one, but Crouch can only nod wide of the upright after getting the most telling touch.
Shotgton tries to trick his way to the corner flaf, but yet again a Coloccini-shaped wall is in his way. The Argentine is looking as reliable as ever today.
Long ball tactics from Stoke, but not towards Crouch. A lot is going through Walters. Coloccini has him in his pocket though and is giving nothing away.
That might be it for Stoke and we haven't even played 20 minutes yet. Mountain for them to climb now, with the crowd in high spirits and Newcastle looking every inch top-four challengers.
GOAL NEWCASTLE - CISSE. Brilliant again from the hosts as they edge further in front. Cabaye with a slide-rule pass to Cisse, who beats the offside trap and slides in to divert the ball past Begovic and into the bottom corner.
Newcastle have the luxury of being able to knock the ball around even more now, They have no need to force the pace, which will work in their favour.
No need for Stoke to panic just yet. They haven't really got going as yet, and find themselves behind, but they are the kind of team to roll over. As I say that, Whelan crunches into Tiote. Point proved.
I said Ben Arfa would burst into life, and he has done. Great work down the left and Cabaye was left with the simplest of tasks of nodding into an empty net.
GOAL NEWCASTLE - CABAYE. Brilliant from Ben Arfa as he skips his way to the by-line. He hangs up a perfect cross, which Cisse nods off the face of the crossbar. Cabaye is on hand to force home the rebound.
Ba with a smart dart towards the left flank, but Shawcross goes with him and blocks his path. Stoke have to keep their wits about them this afternoon.
Crouch dropping very deep to get a touch, and is forced to play back towards his own goal. Wilson goes long down the right again towards Shotton, but the ball skips off the turf and out of play.
Newcastle pressing as soon as possible when Stoke get the ball. Hard-working outfit with a touch of matc-winning creativity. Good mix.
Etheringtron unable to find a way around Simpson. He tries to force a cross through the full-back, but fails. Stoke seeing more of the ball now though. Wild effort from Crouch sails high into the stands.
Gutierrez looking to control possession in the middle of the park. Stoke standing off a bit and letting the home side have the ball. Could be dangerous.
Tiote back in the Newcastle side and snapping into tackles. He is setting the tone, with Cabaye following suit. Stoke managed to press though, with Walters winning a towering header. Etherington then fires narrowly over the top from the edge of the box.
Composed from Coloccini as he is forced into a tight corner, but wins a goal kick. Stoke yet to get going in the final third. Newcastle looking comfortable and confident.
Stoke supporters up in the sky making plenty of noise - more than the home support at the moment. Midfield battle going on at the moment.
Ba has gone a few games without a goal and is desperate to get one today. He tries his luck from 30 yards out, but gets underneath the ball and sends it high over the top.
Tiote sprays the ball wide to Ben Arfa but, for once, his first touch lets him down. Expecting plenty from the Frenchman this afternoon and expect him to burst into life at some point.
Better from Stoke, as Wilson tries to feed a ball down the line for Shotton. Newcastle sitting very deep. They need to press up the field and not invite the Potters onto them.
Cisse almost through, but the ball towards him has too much on it and runs through to Begovic. Early warning to Stoke of how lively Newcastle's front two are.
Newcastle straight into their stride, knocking the ball around well.They are a side full of confidence at the moment and will be keen to put on a show.
The players are with us and we are almost ready for the off. Will have to leave the feedback there for now. There will be further opportunities to have your say at half-time and the final whistle.
Lewis Foskett says: "Once again a Newcastle win I think. Flying high, top 4? Cisse on fantastic form! Brace. Demba BA back to scoring ways Hat-Trick! Ben Arfa to score aswell! It won't be easy to start with BUT we will dominate and win 6-2... Crouchy to score a brace!"
Marvin Heng says: "Nice description of the ex-St James Park stadium, Chris. I am rooting for Newcastle. As usual a slim win but with perfect sheet 2-0. First strike from Alan's team will be very crucial towards the whole game plan."
Ed Irwin says: "Newcastle are on a high at the moment and Stoke are going to have a to be very strong at the back. Newcastle have a few injury problems and Stoke has been very weak playing away so I'm going for a 1-1 draw."
Josh Hawkes is the latest to get in touch and he is going for an away win. He says: "I think the game will finish 2 - 1 to Stoke with Crouch and Walters scoring and Cisse getting on the score sheet - tight game though."
Looking at Stoke warming up, the likes of Huth and Walters are out in shorts and t-shirts. You then have the Crouchs and Etheringtons in jumpers, then Fuller in a woolly hat. Not sure it's that cold in the North East today. Is positively mild!
Blue sky and sunshine now, which is more like it. Manchester City coach David Platt has just wandered past me. City are due on Tyneside on 6th May so he is getting an early look at the Magpies.
Half an hour until kick-off and the heavens are yet to open - thankfully. Plenty of drizzle in the air, but that will help to slicken the surface up. Hoping that it stays like this as I'm a bit open to the elements and could end up bringing you this commentary from a press box puddle!
Match programme today is in 3D! Blazing a trail in Newcastle. Odd looking around the stadium and seeing thousands of people in odd coloured glasses.
Michael Ewart agrees with Sophie's prediction. He says: "Howay the TOON keep our Champions League dream alive, could be a real open game so 3-1 to Newcastle!"
Sophie Issac is the first to offer an opinion on today's game. She says: "Newcastle will win this game easily - wish they could of got way higher in the table but it doesn't matter because there's always next season. Think the result will be 3-1 to Newcastle with Cisse scoring 2 and Ben Arfa, and Stoke shall nick a goal with Peter Crouch!!"
Newcastle players out on the pitch, all wearing t-shirts honouring the memory of Liverno midfielder Piermario Morosini who sadly passed away last weekend. Nice touch.
Stoke team: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Shotton, Whelan, Palacios, Etherington, Walters, Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Upson, Whitehead, Pennant, Jerome, Jones, Fuller.
Newcastle team: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Ba. Subs: Elliot, Ferguson, Perch, Gosling, Taylor, Best, Shola Ameobi.
You can also bet in-play throughout the game at skybet.com. Newcastle start as stromg favourites at 4/6, with Stoke 4/1 and the draw 11/4. You can get 100/30 on Papiss Cisse to open the scoring, or maybe you fancy Peter Crouch at 8/1.
Will Newcastle pick up a sixth straight win or can Stoke put a serious dent in their UEFA Champions League charge? Who will be the men to keep an eye on? Let me know your thoughts.
Feel free to offer your opinion on today's game by contacting me direct at Chris.Burton@bskyb.com or @SkySportsChrisB.
Stoke, meanwhile, will be setting their sights on a return to the top half of the division, with there little to choose at the moment between the mid-table pack.
With Tottenham not kicking off until this evening, Newcastle know that a point today will be good enough to take them into the top four - for a few hours at least.