We said this game could be dicey in our match preview this morning, and so it turned out, as an unlikely mid-table Blackpool side beat Newcastle 2-1 tonight at Bloomfield Road.
We were never going to win every game this season, but it is very sobering that we have lost our first game away to Blackpool
And Newcastle were never at their best in this game and after Blackpool were, if anything, the better side in the opening half, Andy Carroll put Newcastle ahead with a header on 40 minutes, and we may have thought, with the defense so strong, that was it.
Danny Guthrie on the right, put in a lovely cross and Andy got on the end of it to head home from two yards out. The Geordie striker was booked after the goal for his bizarre celebrations in front of the Newcastle crowd.
But then this Blackpool side came back (dam it) and equalized in injury time with a really important goal.
Charlie Adam’s initial effort, a stinging shot from just outside the area, was initially saved by Harper, but the former Southampton striker Brett Omerod was there quickly to bundle the ball home to end Newcastle’s amazing clean sheet run,
Conceding just before the break is never a good time to concede and maybe it showed that Blackpool, like many more sides we will face this season, will not be frightened by the pedigree of Newcastle’s over-paid stars.
The Blackpool winner on 65 minutes was a similar story to the first goal, when Harper somehow kept out Jason Euell’s point-blank strike, only for the captain to blast into the roof of the net at the second attempt.
Newcastle threw bodies forward in the closing stages and came within inches of levelling when Nile Ranger’s goal-bound header was hooked from the line by Stephen Crainey.
But it wasn’t to be, and now it will be a test of the players’ character on whether they can come back big time against a mediocre Plymouth side on Saturday.
And there will be questions as to how much Alan Smith was missed tonight, but it’s almost certain Alan will return against Plymouth.
Attitudes and spirits can turn very quickly in this game of football, and the lads just have to get back on the winning track – but Blackpool have done it , and are the first team to defeat Newcastle this season, and they have the bragging rights – and well deserved.
And that will only give hope to other teams, especially on their home grounds – and make no mistake this will be big news in England if only because tiny Blackpool’s wage bill is probably a pittance compared to Newcastle’s £40M figure.
We hope the Newcastle players will come to terms with this result, because they haven’t got the job done tonight.
A very disappointing result, but we should not over-react too much.
Things are either feast or famine on Tyneside, and this will no doubt bring out the doom and gloom merchants and there are always plenty of those around, although they never do any good.
Perhaps we have to learn to not be too up when we win and too down when we lose.
We got the rub of the green on Sunday against Cardiff City, and probably didn’t tonight, as young Nile Ranger almost scored right at the end.
The team will need to recover quickly, and hopefully get back on track with 3 points on Saturday, but if we cannot beat Plymouth at home on Saturday, we could be in trouble.
We are 3rd in the league now, one point behind WBA and level with Middlesbrough on points.