In May of 2009, Monday 11th May to be precise, in our third last game of the season – Newcastle had a monumental win, when we beat Middlesbrough 3-1 at St. James’ Park in front of a sell-out crowd, after going a goal down after only three minutes.
Alan Shearer – couldn’t save us four years ago
But Newcastle came storming back with a goal six minutes later when Steven Taylor brilliantly headed the ball home, and further goals in the second half from Oba Martins and Peter Lovenkrands gave us the 3 points.
We had started the game 3 points behind Hull in 3rd bottom place and level on 31 points with Middlesbrough, so at the end of the game we were 4th bottom, and it was the win that had saved us, or so we all thought.
With two games to go Newcastle were on 34 points, and 4th bottom above Hill City on goal difference – -17 compared to Hull’s -24.
Newcastle would play Fulham at home on the Saturday and then Aston Villa away in the last game.,
But Newcastle lost to Fulham 1-0, it was only Fulham’s 3rd away win of the season, and Hull got a 1-1 draw at Bolton, after losing their previous five league games, and they moved one point above Newcastle – unbelievable.
And then of course we went down at Villa Park 1-0 with an own goal from Damien Duff, and took the drop from the Premier League for the first time ever.
Newcastle are a bit better off this time with two games to play, being 3 points above Wigan and the goal difference of the two teams is exactly the same at -23.
But it’s a cautionary tale from four years ago, that we’re still not safe, and Newcastle need 4 points to be technically sure of staying up – independent of what the other sides do in their final two games.
In that sense it’s still all to play for on Sunday at QPR, and we should take nothing for granted.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org