2015-16

15.05.2016… Spurs (h)…

Newcastle United 5 Tottenham Hotspur 1spurs

St. James’ Park… Sunday May 15th… 3pm

Attendance:52,183

Ticket: £39 – Programme: £3

You really couldn’t make it up. Another nine months of underachievement drew to a close with a 5-1 hammering of Champions League bound Spurs. Whilst for us, for the second time in seven years, it’s back to the Championship we go…

It was rather  fitting that we should bow out against a club with which we should be looking to compete, one whose fortunes have been rather different to ours in the time since Mike Ashley lumbered into St. James’ Park…

newcastle v spurs...

Second Half Action: 52,183 Fans Watching a Relegated Team…

A sunny afternoon, a capacity crowd, some cracking counter-attacking football and five goals. It all added up to the strangest relegation finale that I’ve witnessed…

Was it the atmosphere…? Was it because the pressure was off…? Were players attempting to put themselves in the shop window…? I don’t really know and I don’t really care, it was just refreshing to enjoy the football, at times I honestly forgot that we’d been relegated …

At the final whistle Rafa took the entire squad to the centre circle, applause echoing around the ground, all rather surreal…

newcastle v spurs...

Post Match: Saying Goodbye…? Rafa and His Players…

And that was it… Sadly, Rafa couldn’t quite save us, in the end we just ran out of games. Much now hangs on whether the club can persuade him to stay, current noises appear to be positive but let’s wait and see, we’ve been here before…

We reconvene in August, with Rafa at the helm, and with a good start, it could be quite a ride. Without Rafa…?  Well let’s not go there……

Newcastle United; Darlow, Janmaat, Taylor, Mbemba, Dummett, Tiote (Shelvey 62), Colback, Wijnaldum (Aarons 76 (YC)), Sissoko (Sterry 84), Townsend, Mitrovic (SO)

Not Used; Cisse, De Jong, Perez, Woodman

Goals; Wijnaldum (19, 73pen), Mitrovic (39), Aarons (85), Janmaat (86)

Tottenham Hotspur; Lloris, Walker (Chadli 71), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Mason (YC) (Carroll 46), Lamela YC), Eriksen, Son (Onomah 46), Kane

Not Used; Rose, Vorm, N’Jie, Wimmer

Goals; Lamela (60)

As usual, More pictures on flickr…

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07.05.2016… Aston Villa (a)…

Aston Villa 0 Newcastle United 0

Villa Park…… Saturday May 7th… 3pm

Attendance: 33,055

Ticket: £42Programme: £3.50

Five games unbeaten then, but no heart and no fight. We had to win today, based upon this performance, no one would ever have guessed. Down with a whimper, in a ground full of empty seats…

I wasn’t able to get a ticket in the away end, so ended up sat with the Villa fans in the Trinity Road Stand. At least we appeared to give the locals something to smile about, and a chance to air their bedsheets…

And when the match got really dull, you could always pass the time by counting those empty seats…

villa v newcastle...

Second Half: Newcastle ‘Attack’…

villa v newcastle...

Post Match: Still Obsessed…

More words to follow, when I can be bothered…

Aston Villa; Bunn, Bacuna, Lescott, Clark (YC), Hutton, Westwwod, Sanchez, Gueye, Toner, Ayew, Sinclair (Hepburn-Murphy 90)

Not Used; Guzan, Richards, Traore, Gil, Lyden, Grealish

Goals; None

Newcastle United; Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Mbemba, Dummett (YC), Tiote (Perez 68), Colback (de Jong 90), Townsend, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Cisse (Mitrovic 52)

Not Used; Shelvey, Janmaat, Taylor, Woodman

Goals; None

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

30.04.2016… Palace (h)…

Newcastle United 1 Crystal Palace 0

St. James’ Park… Saturday April 30th… 3pm

Attendance: 52,107

Ticket: £33 – Programme: £3

The weekend didn’t start well, a five hour train journey from New Street. My initial train was taken out of service at Derby, the following train saw us all packed in like sardines. A further thirty minute delay at Sheffield just added to the fun. With hindsight though, it was worth it…

It was another nervy first half but Palace certainly had the better of it. When they weren’t wasting time, Karl Darlow was called on to make a couple of good saves.  Going Forward? Well, Sissoko and Colback missed a couple of half-chances…

No panic though…

newcastle v palace...

First Half Action: Dummett Taking a Throw In…

A much better second-half performance followed, an initial period of pressure being capped off by Andros Townsend’s free kick, straight into the top corner. All we had to do was hold on…

Twenty minutes left. A Palace corner, an innocuous looking cross, and then the referee blew. The assumption throughout the ground being for a home free kick, but he was pointing to the spot ( later replays showed a Sissoko handball). Up stepped Cabaye, and following quick look towards the Gallowgate, he hit it to Karl Darlow’s left. Darlow went left, he saved it, chaos ensued. I like to think that the apparent weakness of the effort was for old time’s sake but it wasn’t, it was on target, he meant to score…

The clock counted down, nothing silly, what we had we held. Five minutes of injury time passed without incident. The referee blew for full time and for the first time since February, we were out of the bottom three.  Rafa went to each of his players in turn, still coaching, taking nothing for granted. It’s still an outside chance but it’s getting bigger…

newcastle v palace...

Second Half Action: Townsend Preparing to Score…

I was sat behind David Kelly’s strike in 1992, in the Milburn Stand, as his shot sailed into the Gallowgate goal. Today I was sat in the East Stand, behind Andros Townsend’s free kick. Kelly’s strike proved to be pivotal, let’s just hope that Townsend’s proves to be just as important…

A sell out crowd, three points gained, we fight on…

Newcastle United; Darlow, Anita (Shelvey 88), Mbemba (YC), Lascelles, Dummett, Tioté, Colback (YC), Townsend, Sissoko, Wijnaldum (Pérez 80), Cissé (Mitrovic 72)

Not Used; de Jong, Taylor, Woodman, Mbabu

Goals; Townsend (58)

Crystal Palace; Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare, Jedinak, Cabaye, McArthur (Sako 61), Bolasie,  Puncheon (Gayle 73), Wickham (Adebayor 74)

Not Used; Mariappa, McCarthy, Ledley, Kelly

Goals; None

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

23.04.2016… Liverpool (a)…

Liverpool 2 Newcastle United 2

Anfield… Saturday April 23rd… 3pm

Attendance: 43,837

Ticket: £47 – Programme: £3.50

An awful first half performance, followed by a fantastic second half comeback. My legs are currently covered in bruises following a bout of over-celebrating when the the equaliser went in…

Spent the last few minutes waiting for the late Liverpool winner to arrive, as it usually does. This time, it didn’t…

liverpool v newcastle...

First Half Action: A Rare Newcastle Attack…

Anyway, and most importantly, that sliver of hope remains intact for at least another week…

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Second Half Action: The Away End, Post-Equaliser…

Liverpool; Mignolet, Randall (Coutinho 71), Lovren, Toure, Moreno, Stewart, Allen (Lucas 72), Milner (YC), Firmino, Lallana (Ojo 83), Sturridge

Not Used; Ibe, Skrtel, Smith, Ward

Goals; Sturridge (2), Lallana (30)

Newcastle United; Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Mbemba, Dummett, Tiote (Shelvey 83), Colback, Townsend, Sissoko, Perez (Wijnaldum 46), Cisse (Mitrovic 75)

Not Used; De Jong, Aarons, Woodman, Mbabu

Goals; Cisse (49), Colback (66)

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

16.04.2016… Swansea (h)…

Newcastle United 3 Swansea City 0

St. James’ Park… Saturday April 16th… 3pm

Attendance: 48,949

Ticket: £33 – Programme: £3

Three goals, three points and a clean sheet. A pleasant change…

Not the greatest of games but then, who cares…? It may be a cliche, but this was definitely one of those days where the result was of far more importance than the performance…

newcastle v swansea...

Outside St. James’… 2.30pm…

First half, and the atmosphere was understandably muted, nerves coupled with an underwhelming game. Things took a turn for the better as half time approached, Jamelle Lascelles heading us into the lead from a corner. Yes, a corner…

The second half was suitably nervy, Swansea had a really strong twenty minute spell where they managed to waste a number of good chances, Gomis (on as a substitute) being the main culprit. Into the last ten minutes and the stress levels were reduced, Moussa Sissoko firing a second, again (really) from a corner. Into the last couple of minutes and Andros Townsend finished it off, finishing cooly following a lovely run and pass from Mitrovic… 3-0…

Mitro could have made it four late on but pulled his shot wide. It didn’t matter though, he was obviously keeping his powder dry for when it does…

newcastle v swansea...

First Half Action…

The result, coupled with Sunderland’s 3-0 win at Norwich meant that we were back in the hunt, albeit only just…

If we can only get something against Citeh on Tuesday night. Then maybe, just maybe, that dreaded ‘hope’ thing may start to return…

Newcastle United; Darlow, Anita (YC), Mbemba (YC), Lascelles, Dummett, Tioté (Shelvey 66), Colback, Townsend, Sissoko, Wijnaldum (Pérez 73, Cissé (Mitrovic 80)

Not Used; de Jong, Obertan, Aarons, Woodman

Goals; Lascelles, Sissoko, Townsend

Swansea City; Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Cork, Fer (YC) (Barrow 57), Ayew (Gomis 71), Sigurdsson, Montero, Paloschi (Routledge 84)

Not Used; Amat, Britton, Nordfeldt, Naughton

Goals; None

As usual, more pictures on flickr…