Supporters have their say on Newcastle defeat
North End can count themselves extremely unlucky after leaving Deepdale empty handed in the second instalment of the Newcastle United affair.
We were the better side in the first period and, crucially, we had the better of the midfield battle in a slightly niggly encounter with not a great deal of quality football played. After the break we slowed down a little and Newcastle had about 20 minutes when they were winning the battle in midfield and this, ultimately, proved critical in the outcome.
There was much controversy, though, with the Whites having two penalty appeals, the last one being an absolute stonewall spot kick when Beckford was pushed in the back only for referee Kavanagh to, incorrectly, wave play on and for Newcastle to escape with a fortunate victory. To add insult to injury the second goal for the Magpies came less than a minute after Robinson had been pushed in the box for what looked like a penalty for Preston.
We started off with a pretty straight forward 4-4-2 and it worked well with the midfield pressing quickly and not allowing Newcastle to get control of the ball as they had the other evening in the North East. Man-of-the -match Ben Pearson made two or three penetrating runs and his tussle with Jonjo Shelvey was one of the highlights of the afternoon. Pearson is growing into an important player for North End but he will get a week off next week as he was booked in the second half taking his tally this season to five.
Half chances from both Hugill and Gallagher and a good header from Baptiste were just about all we had to show in the first period but at the other end the Magpies offered little as a well disciplined North End defence were coping well with what the league leaders could throw at them. North End started the second half quite well with Pringle, Gallagher and Hugill all making Darlow, in the Newcastle goal, earn his money.
The visitors did start getting a hold on things and just before the hour mark they took the lead when a ball from Diame just beat Greg Cunningham’s head and Mitrovic scored with a classy finish from the inside right position. North End quickly retaliated but we were losing the battles in the middle of the park that we were winning in the first half. The shout came for the Robinson penalty but the ref was having none of it and Newcastle were two up when a Mitrovic header was only partially saved by Maxwell and the striker prodded home. Enter the North End subs and we started to move into the ascendancy again.
Pearson’s shot looked goal bound but was blocked and fell to Tom Clarke who unfortunately hit the side netting. North End were throwing everything forward and were rewarded in the last minute when Beckford flicked in at the near post. Six minutes of added time turned out to be nine and right at the death Beckford was clearly pushed in the back inside the box but the ref just shook his head. For my money we were absolutely worth a draw and Simon should be proud of the performance the boys put on against a team with a squad worth well over £100m.
It all counts for nothing, though, and this mini series versus Newcastle has seen us leave empty handed despite a really good effort on Saturday. One really sour note on the game was the throwing of coins at a Newcastle player near the end of the game. Which mindless moron does this type of thing at a football match.
The player could have been seriously injured or even lost an eye. So ‘the month of death’ is over then and for those predicting doom and gloom, I am glad to say those predictions were a little off. Take aside the thumping on Tuesday evening and North End have taken 10 points from the five league games against Aston Villa, Huddersfield, Brighton, Norwich and Newcastle. A return which is promotion form never mind play-off form. Long may it continue into November.
Four days earlier our ship had been sunk without a trace where in my opinion there was not a single positive to be taken from the 6-0 mauling inflicted on us up in Tyneside in the first match of the double header with Newcastle.
However, in contrast, this game was totally different and although the boat came in once again for our opponents who left the stadium dancing with delight, we can count ourselves unfortunate not to have taken a point our display against arguably the best team in the division deserved.
We started the opening quarter of an hour slightly on the back foot but once we settled, we became more of a match for the newly relegated former Premier League side. In the second half we had grown into the game so much that we had become the more dominant side in the opening exchanges and our opponents were starting to look like they could be vulnerable.Shortly before the hour mark Newcastle got the all important first goal on a counter attack.
The turning point in the game came 20 minutes from time when appeals for a penalty after Robinson appeared to be bundled over in the area fell on deaf ears and The Magpies raced up field to double their advantage with their next attack.
We must take great credit for finishing strong and pulling a goal back in the games closing stages.
Although we lost the match it showed we could compete against the best in the league with the performances of Pearson and Johnson in a lively midfield giving us hope that if future performances can match this standard we will get our reward with points on the board.
The final 2-1 scoreline flattered Newcastle and we could have and should have got at least a point.
Most of the team had a good game especially Ben Pearson and Daniel Johnson in the middle of the park and Jordan Hugil worked his socks off chasing lost causes all game. The only player I was unimpressed with was Ben Pringle.
The first half ended 0-0 and the game was fairly even with us slightly edging it. Then in the second half we were very dominant and the ball was mainly in their half until they got a goal out of nothing. A long ball over the top and Cunningham headed it into their striker’s path who finished well.
Shortly after they got their second from a standard header from a cross. Chris Maxwell got to the initial header but palmed it towards the centre of the goal and their striker tapped it in.
This was around the 70th minute and things started to die down. We didn’t look defeated but it didn’t look like we would get anything from the game. Then in the 90th minute, Jermaine Beckford slipped a cross into the back of the net and suddenly there was hope. Injury time lasted for ages and for the whole of it, we were booting it up to Simon Makienok and Tom Clarke who had become a makeshift striker.
We were hoping for the best and we nearly scored a few times. We had a few decent shouts for a penalty as well. Marnick Vermijl hit the post from an overhead kick in the very last kick of the game.
It was so close, but the team did themselves proud and can be happy with their display against a team who appear destined for promotion.