Newcastle played well in the first half yesterday, and were a little unlucky to go in at the break 1-0 down.
Sol Campbell challenges Jermaine Pennant yesterday
Once Jonathan Walters had put Stoke ahead after 27 minutes, Newcastle came storming back and were a little unlucky not to have been level at the half.
From the Newcastle view, the goal was not good, and Walters beat Sol Campbell at the near post to head home in great style, but Sol’s defending was poor, and he was caught on the wrong side of the Stoke player.
But at the half Alan Pardew would have been okay, even pleased with the first half display, apart from that lapse in giving away the goal.
But then only seconds into the second half the usually safe Steve Harper made a complete hash of things, and from a simple pass back, rather than just kicking the ball away first time, he hesitated and stopped the ball.
And he caused himself all kinds of trouble with that decision, and 10 seconds later the ball was put into the back of the net by Jermaine Pennant, it was hari-kari from Steve Harper and Newcastle were 2-0 down.
And then a couple of minutes later Danny Higginbotham hit a great free kick straight into the net, and a great goal from Stoke’s viewpoint.
But questions will be asked about the Newcastle wall, as the ball was fired at some pace straight through it, and players like Kevin Nolan were seen to be taking protective action rather than trying to stop the ball.
So it was two catastrophically bad goals for the Magpies, and really all three were poor goals conceded by Newcastle.
The 4th goal was from a long drop kick from the goalkeeper that was headed on, and Ricardo Fuller fired the ball home – and there was no sign of the Newcastle defense anywhere to be seen.
It was schoolboy defending and maybe we do need to bring in another big center-back during the summer. Also apologies to any schoolboys reading this.
We thought the defense had improved since Alan Pardew came aboard but this was poor defending from the Newcastle side.
And if we cannot correct that very soon, then we will lose a lot more games like this during the run-in – and that’s something we just cannot afford to do.
Two relegations in two years is just too much to take – well it’s too much for me with my dicky heart, that’s for sure.