In a game in which a win would have taken Newcastle 5 points clear at the top of the Championship, Newcastle elected to have this night be a time to drop their first league points of the season at home, and they missed a penalty too.
One of the things we didn’t have last season was mental strength and this result shows that we may not be too much better off this season, as we failed to get maximum points, with a rather mediocre performance, after a stunning display last Saturday night.
But we did come back from being a goal down and then missing a penalty, so to be fair that was good.
Newcastle started badly and conceded after only 7 minutes, when Newcastle’s sloppy play was punished, when Enrique’s clearance only went as far as Ben Watson, 30 yards from goal.
The midfielder took the ball forward and then hit a left-footed shot which was deflected beyond a wrong-footed Steve Harper, off the leg of Steven Taylor, and into the net.
But then on 18 minutes Newcastle had a great chance to draw level with a penalty. The ball dropped to Steven Taylor at the far post, and he managed to hit a shot on goal, and the ball cannoned off the hand of Mikele Leigertwood, and the referee, Rob Shoebridge pointed to the spot.
But Danny Guthrie’s penalty was poor and easily saved by the diving goalkeeper. We must be able to score from penalties – especially at home. At the end of the day Danny’s miss cost Newcastle 2 points.
Goals and penalty misses change games, and this probably put it in the players’ minds that tonight was not a night for them, and in front of 38,923 Newcastle fans too.
This is not a good result, although we did come from behind, and it was our new signing Marlon Harewood who got his first goal, and it got Newcastle a point.
The break came and Newcastle were down 1-0 but in the second half as expected Chris brought on Harewood for Ranger (61 mins) and Gutierrez for Butt at half time.
It was on 70 minutes when Danny Simpson lifted a high cross to the far post, and Andy Carroll towered to head back across goal, where Harewood arrived to bundle the ball home for his first for the club.
We cannot afford too many nights like this – and make no mistake – this was 2 points lost by the lads – and we’ll have to put it down to a bad night.
While we are probably being too hard on the lads, it’s important that the team failed to deliver the goods when it mattered tonight, and that’s what is disappointing with the overall display and result.
But now it means Newcastle just much win against Bristol City on Saturday at home, anything less will be unacceptable. If we can take Bristol to the cleaners on Saturday, we’ll feel a lot better.
Newcastle still go 3 points clear of QPR at the top of the league tonight.
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