Last Saturday saw me return to St James’ Park to witness Newcastle take on Wolves.
I couldn’t have wished for a better start, 6 minutes into the game Papiss Cisse scored a wonderful goal that sent the stadium into raptures of noise. The lead was doubled on 18 minutes when Jonas Gutierrez took a shot from 25 yards that flew into the back of the net. Needless to say the second half was not what I expected and I left the ground feeling a little disappointed with the result.
Bearing in mind that I live about forty-five minutes from Cambridge, I don’t often get to many games during a season. The last time I was up at the ground was a Carling Cup fixture against Arsenal in 2010 that saw us lose 4-0. That night Chris Hughton was in charge and Andy Carroll came on from the bench and demonstrated why he was a top player for the team. How times change!
My day started with waking up at seven so that I would be ready to leave the house at half past. I put my orange shirt on and a couple of other layers and at half seven me and my dad left the house and walked to the train station. We then caught a train to Peterborough and once we arrived there I had a bacon roll and a hot chocolate. There was a bit of a wait whilst we waited for the East Coast train to arrive but when it arrived I couldn’t wait to get on. I was very excited to be going to a game again, nothing can describe the feeling of anticipation that I had on the two and a half hour train journey to Newcastle.
Once we had arrived in Newcastle we met up with some friends who live just outside Newcastle and had a lovely big meal before the start of the match. After that we made our way up to the ground, I walked past were the sign of St James’ had been taken down. That was a sorry sight to see, it still is St James’ Park to me and will always been called that every time I speak of it.
Settling into our seats in the Sir John Hall Stand we had a very good view of the pitch and it was only a matter of minutes before the game was to start. The following ninety minutes that ensued were a mixture of emotions to say the least, I went through joy, anger and disappointment with the team’s display. At half-time it was all looking rosy and I thought we would push on straightaway in the second half. Well that didn’t happen and there had been many warning signs to the team during the first half that Wolves could cause us a lot of trouble.
Wolves managed to claw back two goals to level the scores up, it was disappointing to say the least. Yohan Cabaye and Tiote never really seemed to have a tight grip in the middle of the park and at times, Wolves were allowed to run the show from the central area of the pitch.
At times I had my head in my hands with the way that Mike Williamson had played throughout the match. When defending he couldn’t make his mind up whether to head the ball or volley it instead, I didn’t feel comfortable with him alongside Coloccini and I held my breath whenever he was on the ball or dealing with an attack. For a player who has presence due to his height he should be a commanding CB but this was not the case and this was epitomised when he headed the ball straight into the path of Kevin Doyle, for the Irishman to calmly slot away Wolves’ second goal of the match.
The last ten minutes saw Newcastle try to muster efforts on goal, a couple went close but it was to be one of those days and the final whistle went seeing Wolves gain a point and Newcastle dropping two from a match that they had thrown away.
It was only a short walk back to the train station and once there we had to wait about half an hour for our train back to Peterborough. Needless to say the train was packed and only really emptied after Doncaster, at least we had managed to get to our seats. Then the train took a different route that saw the speed limit it was allowed to do restricted and added an extra hour to our journey but it all worked out in the end as when we got back to Peterborough the train to Biggleswade had been delayed which meant no hanging around and that we would be back a lot earlier than expected. The train got back in to Biggleswade around ten o’clock and we were back in the house by quarter past ten ready for Match of the Day.
The day had been a very long one and although the result had not been what I wanted, I was pleased I hadn’t seen the team lose again. Being able to see the likes of Cisse, Ba, Cabaye and Tim Krul in the flesh was brilliant, I’m usually watching a stream or listening to a radio feed for each game and nothing can beat being able to see my beloved team at St James’ Park.
No matter the outcome of the result I had a brilliant day up in Newcastle!