A thoroughly dejected Newcastle United trapsed out of the JJB yesterday having not won a game on Boxing Day for the past seven years.
Ryan Taylor continued his uncanny escapade of scoring against us, the opener being the third time in succession. However, it was Lee Cattermole who incurred the wrath of the Toon fans when his wreckless challenge on Habib Beye saw the full-back leave the game and Steven ‘Oops’ Taylor take his place.
A performance worthy of the stage was done by Emile Heskey who was clearly fouled outside of the box but managed to tip-toe his way in and promptly fall over. The referee gave the penalty even though the linesman had flagged for the free-kick.
With Bassong’s sending off you would think that Newcastle were on the rocks and would succumb. But no, they actually made a meal of it in the last fifteen minutes. Andy Carroll was felled in the box and a penalty was awarded by Mike ‘Respect my Authority’ Dean. Guthrie stepped up and slotted the ball away. In the dying minutes Newcastle had a penalty claim turned down, even though it was more of a penalty than the one that was actually given, and Damien Duff managed to miss a sitter from 12 yards. It’s never boring supporting the Toon is it?
The referees shockingly bad performance only papers over the cracks. The fact of the matter is we should be beating the likes of Wigan hands down. No disrespect to them because they got the job done, but putting in such a classless stint on the pitch should be a wake up call for all Toon fans. We’re not out of danger yet, and, until JFK spends a good few bob in the transfer window next month, we’ll be looking over our shoulders all the way until May.
Next up? The small fixture of league leaders Liverpool coming to St James’s tomorrow…