Steve Bruce again, a trip up to St Geordies Park for Aston Villa in the Friday evening slot and the match guaranteed almost one thing – we could expect Newcastle United to park the bus.
That’s pretty much how the game began, we were open and attack minded and the hosts did their best to make it scrappy and just hit us occasionally on the break. We were on top with very little to show for it in the opening 15 minutes and short of a few shots on either side, the unfortunate highlight was what looked like a serious rib injury to Bertrand Traore after he was barged past the byline.
Cue Anwar El Ghazi as his replacement.
As the half wore on, Newcastle did a better job of pinning us back and putting some pressure on but we weren’t really in trouble – it was just dire to watch.
Would the second half be any better?
Well, we seemed a little brighter but still way too easily found ourselves under the cosh with crosses coming in and you couldn’t help but think at some point they would get lucky. Although with that said, Ezri Konsa had a great chance to get us ahead but his header went well wide of the target.
The next best chance for Newcastle fell to Matt Targett, but sadly he was unable to beat Emi Martinez – but at least it gave us all something to finally smile about.
As the game drew to a close we did put them under some pressure but again with no final ball or shot and they went down the other end after more suicide play by Barkley and rattled the woodwork and then we started tackling ourselves.
A total shambles of a game from our point of view – when’s it too late to try something new instead of persisting with a system and some players that don’t suit?
And I’ve deliberately not mentioned Mr Yellow in the middle as it looked like he was getting a bonus for showing the yellow card after what he let them get away with in the first half.
But then, who cares – a great run by Ollie, a great cross by Targett and an own goal from Agent Ciaran Clark and 1-0, jobs a goodun.
And it should’ve been 2-0 as Ollie went through again but didn’t place it well enough, but our luck hasn’t changed that much it seems and then Newcastle equalise.
There’s no denying that’s a fair result based on the horror show that was the game from both sides.
It doesn’t change how well we have done so far this season, but the problems with the team and the insistence on one up front are really showing themselves now and we continue to have no answer.
St James Park
12/03/2021 8:00 pm
Referee: Paul Tierney
|Clark (og 86)