After a crackers last match of the season and a ridiculously upbeat relegation with an increase in season ticket sales, I’ve been unable to wait for the season to start and see the Rafalution in full flow, so this match was eagerly anticipated for our football fix of a re-energised Newcastle United.
We had a bit of a minor panic when arriving on Friday the Barmaid told us Bohemians were playing that night, after a quick check thinking I’d got the wrong time and date (this has happened before and the tickets already had a 3:00pm K.O printed on them instead of 2:00pm) we learnt they were away at Shamrock Rovers (they lost 3-1) so we’d be playing a much changed team on Saturday.
Heading towards Dalymount Park in brilliant Sunshine United’s Irish following was out in numbers and in great voice. We were in the Jodi stand which a steward told me was sold out, we had yet another pre-match pint in the brilliant bar there which was more like a social club than the usual crappy concourse with fizzy piss in placca glasses that we’re used to at most aways.
Anyway on to the actual match after their week long training camp, we kicked off in the new purple and white way strip with Lascelles wearing the captain’s armband. Bohs made 8 changes to their team from the night before.
New signing Matt Ritchie opened the scoring on 15 mins with a great goal, curling a shot into the top corner form the edge of the box after combining with Sterry.
On the half hour Mitro won a penalty after being brought down in the box by the ‘keeper which he then converted to make it 2-0.
In the first half Bohemians had a couple of free kicks and balls into the box, these were quite rare and the new Goalie Sels didn’t have much to do. But it had been an enjoyable first half in a good atmosphere in our stand. We returned to the lovely bar again for a restorative pint.
Half time subs Darlow replaced Sels in goal and Janmaat came on for Sterry, Shlevey for Colback, Hayden for Mbemba and Dwight Gayle for Mitrovic.
Gayle added to the goals 5 mins after KO to make it 3-0 then forgotten man Florian Thauvin made it 4-0 on 55 mins after getting one the end of an Aarons cross, I had completely forgotten he was still on the books. How he’ll do in the Championship I don’t know but hopefully Rafa can improve him if he stays.
Aarons got the fifth a few minutes later from a Perez pass and Wijnaldum made it 6-0 in the 75th minute.
We were sat near the press box and Lee Ryder was the recipient of a slightly changed Keano dog chant and “if it wasn’t for the spellcheck you’d be f***ed” which he took in good grace.
You can’t really tell much from this match, Bohemians played a much changed team and it was a stroll for United, but it was a good work out for the team. Six different scorers is good, Matt Ritchie impressed and it provided a satisfying end to the week’s training camp in Ireland. Its nice to be at matches with the support in positive mood with the feeling the club is trying to be the best it can be and trying to build a team to do something.
It’ll still be tough next season, Norwich know what its about as does Di Matteo – at Villa he got West Brom promoted behind us last time we went up and Derby and Sheff Wed have came close. But since Rafa has been appointed I can’t wait for the season to start and I think we’ll be in for a great one and with the new signings in place and having a proper pre-season we’ll continue the upturn in form since Senor Benitez took charge.
Onwards and upwards, Viva La Rafalution, VAMOS!!!!
Newcastle United: Sels (Darlow 46); Sterry (Janmaat 46), Mbemba (Hayden 46),Lascelles (c) (Gamez 76), Anita (Wijnaldum 69); Saivet (Tiote 76), Colback (Shelvey 46); Ritchie (Thauvin 46), Gouffran (Perez 49), Aarons (Dummett 61);Mitrovic (Dwight Gayle 46)
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