THE NOTEBOOK: £60m Isak beginning to pay Newcastle back and Toon have now hit the woodwork 16 times

THE NOTEBOOK: £60m Alexander Isak is beginning to pay Newcastle back, Eddie Howe’s men have now hit the woodwork 16 times this season… and Gary Neville’s batting impresses England bowler Stuart Broad

Alexander Isak scored an injury-time penalty as Newcastle boosted their Premier League top four hopes with a 2-1 injury-time win at Nottingham Forest, whose relegation fears were heightened.

The Magpies had looked like being made to settle for a draw but Isak’s spot-kick earned a deserved three points, which sees them move to within a point of fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.

Forest had gone ahead midway through the first half through Emmanuel Dennis’ first goal for the club, but Isak levelled in superb fashion on the stroke of half-time when he volleyed home.

It was Isak who had the final say from the spot after Moussa Niakhate’s egregious handball to keep the dream of Champions League football next season firmly alive.

Sportsmail’s AADAM PATEL takes a look at some of the things you may have missed. 

Newcastle striker Alexander Isak scored an injury-time penalty in 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest

Isak is beginning to pay Newcastle back

A £60million price tag meant Alexander Isak was always going to face pressure when he moved to Newcastle.

A hamstring injury hampered his early progress, but the Swede is now adding a different dimension, leading the press and showing quality in front of goal.

Eddie Howe said Isak was getting better every week and his well improvised finish and late penalty here means he averages a goal every 104 minutes, behind only Erling Haaland (76). 

He was also robbed of an assist when VAR ruled out Elliot Anderson’s goal. 

Isak might make the difference for the rest of Newcastle’s season.

Neville’s batting impresses Broad

It came as little surprise to see ardent Nottingham Forest fan Stuart Broad supporting his team at the City Ground on Friday night.

The England bowler donned a coat that looked like one he’d picked up from Del Boy and at 6ft5in, towered over Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher pitchside.

Sky Sports viewers were even treated to footage of Broad bowling to Carragher and Neville in the nets.

Neville, who once put on 236 at the age of 17 with Australia’s Matthew Hayden, held his own and even got applause from Broad after middling one through the covers, but Carragher had his off stump taken out by the seamer.

England bowler and Nottingham Forest fan Stuart Broad at the City Ground on Friday night

England bowler and Nottingham Forest fan Stuart Broad at the City Ground on Friday night

Home form vital to Forest

Despite defeat, Forest have now won 20 of their 26 points this season at home, which is a league high of 78 per cent. 

There’s no question as to how important the City Ground is to Steve Cooper’s hopes of staying up. This was their first loss at home since September.

Woodwork denies Toon again

Newcastle hit the woodwork twice in the first half. 

Both Alexander Isak and Sean Longstaff’s deflected efforts hit the bar before Isak levelled in first half added time. 

They’ve hit the woodwork 16 times in the league this season – more than any other team and would have nine more points if those had gone in. 

Luckily on this occasion, they weren’t made to regret their missed chances.