MATCH REPORT: Newcastle United 1 Crystal Palace 0, St James’ Park, 30/Apr/16, KO: 3pm. Att: 52,107

by • April 30, 2016 • Match reportsComments (8)3406

United pulled themselves out of the relegation zone on what could turn out to be a pivotal afternoon in the survival race.  Wijnaldum for Perez was the only change from Anfield and the game was preceeded by a lovely rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ by the home crowd.

Despite the enormity of the game, the first half was largely played out at half pace and the visitors probably had the best of the first 45 minutes.  Lascelles made a goal saving tackle from a portly looking Conor Wickham early on and Bolasie fired an effort just over the bar and we looked like we lacked a spark.  We fashioned a chance of our own when Sissoko seemed to turn his back on a Dummett cross when he had the goal to aim at and despite a general muttering of ‘Don’t fuckin shoot man’, Mbemba forced a decent save from Hennessey with an effort from fully forty yards.

At half time, things looked pretty bleak for us – we’d created nowt, the Mackems Lascelles2were level at Stoke and it was difficult to see where we were going to create something from but we came in a much more positive vein in the second half.  Townsend had been carrying most of our attacking threat when he was fouled on the edge of the box just before the hour mark.  He lined the ball up from a long way outside the box and a shot looked optimistic but he stepped up and curled a fine effort into the top corner beyond a flat-footed Hennessey to send the crowd into raptures.

With news that Sunderland were losing at Stoke and Palace seemingly going through the motions, our whole season seemed to be turning around in the space of 15 minutes and we took control of the game after the goal.  We seemed to be coasting when from absolutely nowhere, Palace were awarded a spot kick.  Cabaye had been abused when he came over to take a corner but his flighted ball was adjudged to have been handled to Sissoko to general bemusement around the ground.  It took me about ten seconds to realise that the ref had awarded a spot kick but the hush around the ground contrasted with the lack of protest from our defenders.

Cabaye himself stepped up to take the penalty but his weak effort was saved by Darlow and all of sudden it felt like we were actually going to stay up.  I can’t actually remember the last United keeper to save a spot kick (answers on a postcard please) and it capped an excellent second half by Darlow, who was flawless from every ball into the box – I’m pleased for the lad and as good a season as Eliott has had, I see more in this lad for the next few years.

Mitrovic came on from Cisse, who again grafted his bollocks off to little effect and Perez and Shelvey were also introduced late on but with nerves jangling, we managed to hold on with a bit to spare to great celebrations that were dimmed slightly by news filtering through of the Mackems late penalty equaliser at Stoke.

I’d said all week in the run up to this game that if we were out of the bottom three by Saturday night, we’d stay up and I’m as confident as I’ve been for the whole season that we are going to avoid the drop.  This was a great win for us and if we can follow it up at Villa next weekend, we could conceivably be 4 points ahead of the Mackems and Norwich going into the final week of the season which would be a huge gap for the others to haul back.

The fact that we’re even in with half a chance is testimony to having a proper manager in the dugout and a side that finally look like they’re playing for and the next two games are as important as any in our modern history.  We can do this.

Keep the Faith

NEWCASTLE UNITED  – Darlow 9, Anita 7 (Shelvey n/a), Mbemba 7, Lascelles 7, Dummett 7, Tiote 7, Colback 7, Sissoko 7, Wijnaldum 6 (Perez n/a), TOWNSEND 9, Cisse 7 (Mitrovic 6)

Ref – Dean – 6 – No major decisions but still a pain in the arse

Our Fans – 8 – Excellent in the second half again and the YNWA was a lovely touch

Their Fans – 7 – I like Palace, decent turnout when they’ve got nowt to play for and contributed to the atmosphere

GARETH HARRISON – Follow Gareth on @truefaith1892

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8 Responses to MATCH REPORT: Newcastle United 1 Crystal Palace 0, St James’ Park, 30/Apr/16, KO: 3pm. Att: 52,107

  1. Nick says:

    Seems the mackems are a bit upset about the missed penalty and are making some lurid claims about conspiracies and getting the FA to investigate. They might also ask them to investigate why they played Adam Johnson for a year when the club knew the full nature of his crimes.

    • Ashy says:

      We might ask why it was awarded in the first place, Dann wins a clear header he is the only player to claim it, Sissoko does not touch it, you can’t give it for intent?

  2. Andy bee says:

    Haha the unwashed are great entertainment muppets the lot of them. Cabaye would have given his left nut to net the pen and he would have milked it in front of us. Quite rightly we roasted the greedy little twat when he took ggate corners, his nervous little smile didn’t hide anything for me he was shitting his French knickers!
    Well done Rafa and the boys the escape is still on, special mention to andros for me great work rate fella .
    Loved the fact we blanked pardew……an irrelevant man at an irrelevant club.

  3. Janie Jones says:

    Loved the fact we blanked pardew……an irrelevant man at an irrelevant club.
    THIS.

  4. Bob says:

    Great 3 points. I thought Lascelles has shown more in his few games than Colo all season and Taylor for a few years. I couldn’t see either Colo or Taylor putting in the shift Lascelles did yesterday. Great goal and penalty save. Jenas on MOTD said the last penalty save was Krul 4 years ago. I don’t recall many at all. The last minute loss at Norwich and the home draw with Sunlan, may just be our downfall. All the other points dropped as well but particularly those two as that’s who we are fighting with. Lets hope not.

  5. David Finlinson says:

    Palace, dusted next up Vile. take each game as it comes, lets not worry about other results or who may help us, with results going in our favour? keep plugging away and if Leicester have won the league before Tottenham roll up then maybe we can nick 3 points from them??

    Keep believing!!

  6. Ian Summers says:

    A lot depends on Watford and Everton. I hope nobody who saw Cabaye’s winner at Old Trafford abused him yesterday?