Newcastle 0-1 Brighton: A disastrous day at St James’ Park – NUFC now bottom of the league

I said before the game that a draw in this one would leave most of St James’ Park feeling flat, but to lose it is an absolute disaster – a result that leaves us bottom of the table on just 2 points after Cardiff’s win over Fulham today.

Brighton hadn’t won a game on the road since November (failing to win any of their last 17 away from The Amex), so that says everything you need to know about how poor this defeat is.

Perez had a huge chance early on, but after their goal they wasted time, got 11 men behind the ball and continually frustrated us – with us having no answer despite almost 70% possession. We were too slow, lackadaisical and lacking that flair and urgency needed to unsettle them.

Shelvey and Kenedy had a go and tried to make things happen, but the thread ahead of them was non existent, with Dunk and Duffy cutting out just about everything that put into the box.

Ryan may have made a few decent saves, however just 6 of our 27 shots were on target. We had plenty of the ball in the second half, but we looked lost, with no one able to take the game by the scruff of the neck.



We look like a side visibly low on confidence and it’s no surprise really. This result leaves us without a win in our first NINE game – the first time this has happened since 1898.

We know who’s really to blame for the mess we find ourselves in, but Benitez and the players can’t escape from criticism here. Rafa had to take Perez off and change it up when things weren’t working and the players had to do more against a very ordinary Brighton side.

Southampton away next. To say that one’s massive is an understatement.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

135 thoughts on “Newcastle 0-1 Brighton: A disastrous day at St James’ Park – NUFC now bottom of the league

  1. Just read on Football365 that Ayoze created 6 chances on Saturday, the most of any player in the PL. You could say that it is his job also to score.

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  2. Southampton have had 124 shots this season and scored 6 goals. That is a conversion rate of 4.8%. They are as bad as us. What’s the betting on a nil nil? At least it would put a thumb in the dyke.

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  3. Rafa’s answer to adversity is to work harder. I totally applaud him for that but it will not change Ashley’s attitude and get him more money. But I disagree that Rafa has not made mistakes. I think I would rather have gaps in the squad and a few better players because at the moment the quantity of players has left us with not enough quality. What’s the point of a full squad if they are not worth playing?

    I still think he is spreading himself too thin and should have asked Ashley for more help. An outside scout who knows the Spanish and German markets. Someone local and not an outsider like Nixon.

    Carr was an outsider as well but he was smart enough to have Mondial do some of his scouting. Of course they had a vested interest in recommending their own clients but they were the premier sporting agency in France so they attracted the good players.

    A Director of Football reporting to Rafa. Someone to bounce ideas off and to give Rafa new ideas and a different perspective. He is trying to do it all on his own.

    Rafa had extra training on Sunday and has cancelled an appearance on Monday Night Football to try to work his way out of this mess. There are only 24 hours in a day though and maybe he needs some help.

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  4. Rafa has been reported as saying he is not willing to play any of the youngsters preferring to rely on experienced players. I think that shows a lack of flexibility in Rafa’s approach. I would not rate Murphy or Atsu as experienced players and who wants Joselu ‘s experience? Other teams blood youngsters sometimes with surprising success. I wouldn’t advocate starting any of the youngsters but it might be refreshing to see some different subs rather the same old roundabout of unsuccessful faces.

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  5. Groucho: the last 2 games have been peak frustration. Man U under the cosh, a penalty that would only not be given against us with the prospect of 3-0 and game over.

    27 shots and no goals.

    Only Newcastle.

    Only NUFC.

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  6. So we have a young Danish lad playing in the U23s who has 11 goals in 11 games – and scored 2 hat tricks already this season – and our first team can’t buy a goal 🤔.

    I honestly think that Rafa needs to consider getting some of these youngsters involved – I’m not saying throw this lad straight in, but have him on the bench instead of Joselu. Not only would it encourage him to believe he has a chance of a place in the first team, but hopefully it would give senior players a kick up the hint end.
    I’d bring through the likes of Longstaff, Sterry and Roberts too – not immediately or all at the same time necessarily, but I’d be getting them involved.

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  7. I’d give the young kid a go. I wouldn’t start with him but I’d get him in the match day squad. Not because he should be playing but if you’re performing that well you should get noticed and get a carrot. Although let’s be honest, there’s a huge difference between under 23’s and PL.

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  8. Stuart79:
    I’d give the young kid a go. I wouldn’t start with him but I’d get him in the match day squad. Not because he should be playing but if you’re performing that well you should get noticed and get a carrot. Although let’s be honest, there’s a huge difference between under 23’s and PL.

    Agree. Problem is there is also a big gap beween the Premier League and Joselu Atsu and Murphy.

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  9. Fulham have conceded 26 goals in 9 games. If you extrapolate that out for the whole season they will concede 106 goals! Maybe there is hope for us 🙂

    Let’s just have a quick look at the stats. Last year we scored 39 goals. Fulham are on pace to concede 106. Combine the 2 and you have a minus 67 goal difference. I don’t know why I find that amusing, but I do 🙂

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  10. This from NUFC.com

    “The home side took a ninth minute lead when a Harvey Knibbs shot rebounded off the post and Callum O’Hare knocked the ball home.

    Back came United though and they were level on 24 minutes, a great run from Sean Longstaff finding Elias Sorensen on the edge of the box and the striker steadying himself before firing home.

    And the visitors were ahead just three minutes later, Matty Longstaff’s effort on goal handled by a Villa player and Callum Roberts obliging from the spot.

    That lead proved to be short-lived, O’Hare grabbing his and Villa’s second with a 20 yard thunderbolt that gave Freddie Woodman no chance on 29 minutes.

    Within five minutes though that effort had paled into insignificance, Sean Longstaff unleashing a simply unbelievable 25-yard strike that beat the ‘keeper at his near post following a corner kick.

    Six minutes before the interval Ben Dawson’s Magpies increased their advantage, Sorensen heading home a fine right wing centre from Roberts.

    A goal-laden half then ended with Villa’s O’Hare shaving the post with a low drive and sending an acrobatic effort just wide from the next attack.

    After ten minutes of the second half – during which an explosive shot from Matty Longstaff felled Jacob Bedeau and left him needing treatment – the black and whites opened up a three goal advantage.

    Roberts again supplied the assist, Sorensen nodding in to complete his first bona fide hat trick”

    Roberts and Longstaff starring again. They should at least be on the bench at Southampton.

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  11. You know who is available in a couple of months – Wayne Rooney? He has adapted better than I expected to MLS. I thought it would be a bit hot for him in places like Atlanta and when Gerrard was here he just couldn’t deal with the travel. Is he rejuvenated as his Pals will say or has he found his level? I think the latter but someone might take a punt on him. He used to be a good player and I would still take him over Joselu 🙂

    I don’t think he would have to give up his DC United contract they just have to allow him to play like LA Galaxy did with Landon Donovan and Everton.

    It would be quite funny. I haven’t really slagged off Rooney as much as his defenders in the media who were saying he was the same player as he was 5 years ago when he obviously wasn’t. The fact that he moved to MLS proved me right but the pundits and journos are right back on the Rooney Bandwagon.

    I would say the quality of MLS apart from about 5 teams is about between League 1 and Championship.

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  12. Shearer came over and interviewed Rooney but I haven’t seen it yet. I know he isn’t as dumb as he looks because I saw clips of his Monday Night Football appearance. I will watch it if they play it again.

    I am not sure if I could take it if Ashley tasked him with saving NUFC. It would be the cheap option so you never know.

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  13. Carragher thinks we will survive and he knows Rafa quite well. He usually makes sense but I much prefer to read what he says – THAT VOICE. It is like nails on a chalkboard for me. And he should have got a 5 year ban for that spitting incident.

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  14. I am glad to see that most fans are still behind Rafa. In my opinion we are where we are 90% because of Ashley and 10% because of Rafa. There is no denying that Rafa has made some bad recruitment choices, but all Managers do. I will say it again that he is spreading himself too thin but if he was given even Huddersfield’s budget we would not be in this position and I do not believe we would have played with the same tactics.

    Water under the bridge and I do not believe he will be sacked. We need to get to about 15 points by Christmas to have any hope. That is only 4 wins so it is still doable, but not easy. I think the Fatman will invest if we get there or thereabouts. Much less and I think he will throw in the towel and accept The Championship which is what he has been setting our payroll up for anyway.

    Who would be the manager is anyone’s guess. I facetiously said Neil Warnock but I wouldn’t be surprised.

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  15. This is great even by Ryder’s standards. Purports to be the “inside story of Sorensen’s rise”. Lee basically says “I got nothing”. His great insight is that the 16 year old lad was a bit homesick when he got to SJP but after a couple of months he got over it. Fantastic reporting Lee, you should write a book. Here’s a working title – How to Steal a Living from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

    https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/inside-story-elias-sorensens-rise-15315810

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  16. More great reporting, this time from Waugh. He said Rondon was seen limping upon leaving SJP on Saturday and “whether this is due to the thigh injury or the UNUSUAL WAY HE WALKS, is unclear”.

    Has anybody else noticed his “unusual” walk? I have never seen it mentioned before and didn’t notice anything unusual when he was playing.

    If Waugh has concerns maybe he should ask, Rondon, or Rafa or the physios. They had pictures of him training by himself last week. Was he walking funny then as well?

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  17. Keys and Gray are in their own little bubble in the Middle East. They only invite (nobody else will go) guests that are their generation of ex-players/managers like Reid, Allardyce and Pardew. Most are a bit jaded and all are miserable and like to complain – imagine the 5 of them in a room, better still, a padded cell so you wouldn’t have to go far after listening to them.

    Then they have 15 minutes of Arsenal talk from the most boring man in the world – John Cross. And finish up with some non-story about the revival of an old brand of football boots (this was a story, I promise you), or how a non-league chairman is revitalizing a non-league club. Nobody else will go on apart from their old pals. Everybody else knows why they were sacked and that they are meaningless dinosaurs.

    Luckily they cancelled BEin sports here so I can’t watch their show any more. I am sure it hasn’t changed though.

    Rafa is right in what he said about needing to have 3 teams worse but I agree with Gray this time that he should have kept it to himself.

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  18. Sharpy17: Eric – I’d take Rooney in a heartbeat mate

    I think he will be available. The only question is that after moving his wife and kids to Washington, would he want to be away from them for 4 months?

    I know I have been disparaging about Wayne but that was much more about his friends saying he was still world class/deserved to say when he would retire/should be captain at the WC. It was also about Mr. Roy handing the running of the team over to him and Allardyce saying “Wayne plays where he wants”. He is probably still good enough for a bottom 3rd PL team as long as Rafa insists that he doesn’t come back to collect the ball at the half way line if he played him as a striker. He isn’t quick enough anymore to rejoin the attack.

    Rooney is still 10 times the player Joselu is and I would probably pick him ahead of Ayoze. I know that may sound strange given how I have made fun of him but, as I said, that was more to do with his Pals in the media, especially Martin Keown.

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  19. I think I am going soft in my old age because I also agree with something Robbie Savage says. That we are in desperate need of a striker but for one that would make a difference we would have to pay 150k+ a week on top of the fee. There is no way in hell Fatman would do that even if it meant PL survival and Rafa signing a new contract.

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  20. Stuart79:
    We have more chance of signing Micky Rooney

    You sure? He wasn’t good enough for Man U when Mourinho dumped him and made no sense for Everton who had aspirations for top 6 at the time and had just signed another 3 number 10s. We don’t have a number 10 and he might even provide a spark. I can’t believe I am saying this 🙂 Things have gotten pretty bad 🙂 I promise I won’t suggest Wilshere 🙂

    I have watched Rooney in a few games and he has been OK. Not the world beater the British press are predictably making him out to be but he has scored a couple of spectacular goals and is genuinely getting stuck in which is a lot more than you can say for the usual out to pasture MLS foreign stars.

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  21. Newcastle should look at Atlanta if they want a cheap option. The standard is getting better from an admittedly low base and what a lot of teams are doing is recruiting from South America. I am not sure what the rules would be to get them to the UK but Atlanta have a couple of strikers that are probably better than what NUFC have got. Definitely better than Joselu and would push Ayoze. At least they know where the net is.

    MLS have been hit and miss in the UK but some have worked: Dempsey, Donovan, Brian McBride and a lot of goalies. Then there’s Pulisic at Dortmund. Some haven’t, who was that one that went to the Mackems and didn’t score in like 40 games? We are desperate though and Fatty likes a bargain!

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  22. BTW, I am not pushing US players. Only Pulisic is any good and that includes Yedlin in my opinion. It is more the South American where previously the Spanish and Portuguese seemed to have a monopoly. Maybe it was scouting networks or different work permit rules but I do think we are missing out.

    By the time a South American player makes his name in Spain or Portugal you may as well add a zero to the purchase price before he makes his way to England. I don’t think it would be a bad idea to look over here and they probably speak basic English so you wouldn’t have the MBemba problem for Rafa.

    We wouldn’t be bottom of the league if we had the new Aguero 🙂

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  23. The 2 obvious ones are the forwards at Atlanta. They are actually getting a lot of press and Atlanta is going a bit wild over football (soccer).

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  24. We will probably see an unchanged team on Saturday with the only difference being Murphy coming on for Kenedy as he inevitably tires on 70 minutes. I didn’t see the Brighton match but some reports say Ayoze played badly but he created 6 chances. How badly could he have played? You accept him giving the ball away if he creates 6 chances. We do with Shelvey.

    It is like Pogba. Man U fans complain but he plays exactly the same way as he did at Juve. The difference is that their defense covered for his mistakes and you only saw the moments of brilliance on the highlights. Maybe NUFC fans are doing the opposite with Ayoze and just seeing his mistakes? Lack of goals is a problem though and if that continues for 1 more game, I think he needs a rest no matter what he is creating. I am sick of non-scoring forwards.

    There you go, midweek, so I went on a ramble 🙂

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  25. There’s a big difference between wanting a player and paying for them or them wanting to come. Of the one’s being talked about in papers and on this site:

    1. Rondon. Fatty wouldn’t pay 20 million-ish for a soon to be 29 year old. We had to sacrifice Gayle to get him. A lot on this site don’t rate Gayle anyway so it was not a loss to them. I think Gayle would have made a difference and possibly got points from Cardiff and Brighton. I think Rondon’s injury was picked up here as he scored 2 for Venezuela.

    2. Dawson. Fernandez and Schar are probably better.

    3. Townsend: Palace were asking 25 million plus. Not worth that and we certainly would never pay it. So a non-starter.

    4. Plea: probably chose Gladbach ahead of us as it is an easier league and he was probably looking for his next move. If he continues like this it could be Bayern as Ribery and Robben are getting on, Muller has gone backwards and Lewendowski is looking for 1 last move at age 32.

    I know this is heresy but I don’t think you can blame Ashley or Charnley for any of this. The biggest mistake in my opinion was losing Gayle.

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  26. You can blame Fatty for not getting Townsend when we were in the Championship and triggering Rondon’s release clause which would have allowed us an extra loan and meant we kept Gayle. So I am not saying he didn’t mess up. He royally fcked up.

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  27. Don’t encourage these idiots on twitter and social media. Throwing tennis balls onto the pitch. What will that accomplish except delaying the game for 5 minutes. And they all won’t be thrown on on 15 minutes, they will be thrown for the whole game. And what if one hits a player? CCTV will be used and the fan will be arrested. What if some idiot decides it would be better to throw a tennis ball at Ashley? This is just idiotic.

    This is even more stupid than protesting outside the ground on gameday.

    There must be better ways to make a statement.

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  28. Do I have a better idea you may ask? I haven’t really thought about it. I don’t agree with mass protests on gameday or disrupting the game. Do what you like on social media, call SD, boycott the stores. Whatever floats your boat, but I think what is being suggested is self-defeating.

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  29. If you think you won’t get arrested for throwing a tennis ball at Mike Ashley you have another think coming. Last time I was in Newcastle I went for a beer with an old school friend. He’s a retired cop and for a few years was assigned to the anti-hooligan beat. He said they would go to the away and games and be semi-undercover but some knew who they were. He said they had quotas and if they hadn’t filled them they would arrest people for stupid stuff like swearing or “threatening behavior”. He said they didn’t exactly trump up the charges but at the end of the shift they were pretty strict about enforcing petty rules.

    He’s retired at 50 after a heart attack. He partly blames the undercover work as he would blend in by drinking 10-12 pints a game and they would try to hang out with known trouble makers. That was back in the 90s but the police don’t change so best not antagonize them with tennis balls 🙂

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  30. I think this tennis ball b0ll0cks is ridiculous!!. Protest before or after the game – Hell half time if you have to, but while the lads are on the pitch the fans should be there for footballing reasons only – support, rant, encourage or dig a player out – but only football.

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  31. Mike Ashley is not going to change the way he run’s Newcastle united and by January it will already be to late. However It’s getting to the stage now that I hope Newcastle get relegated and stay down for a couple of seasons. I have tried my hardest to support Newcastle under this terrible owner but enough is enough. I mean fake takeover bids, lack of spending , 6 defeats in a row to Sunderland, knocked out the fa cup 3rd or 4th round, fear of relegation, Rafa leaving at the end of the season.
    Ashley really has bought it all on himself so the fan’s definitely should protest imo.

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  32. Agree on protest but tennis balls ! wtf is that meant to achieve?, who ever came up with that crack pot idea has way too much time on their hands.

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  33. I really don’t agree with matchday protests because I think it distracts the team but Ashley Halloween masks might be funny. Just cardboard on a stick with maybe red eyes and Devil horns. The whole away crowd at Southampton holding those up would be funny.

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  34. I watched Woodman play for England in the summer and I have to say I wasn’t impressed. His kicking and positioning were terrible. I know it is a small sample but he is also now 3rd choice. Hopefully I am wrong.

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  35. looks like Lejeune might be back early in the New Year and we need him badly, maybe as a defensive midfielder. I knew that when he was walking after a day or 2 that he wouldn’t be out for the whole year as some said. Yes, I am looking at you Evening Chronicle.

    I am not a Dr. but I know there are degrees of this sort of injury. Some are tears and some are complete detachments and some even require grafts. I know about it from watching baseball where they are always talking about pitcher rehab because there is so much stress on one arm’s ligaments.

    https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/florian-lejeune-newcastle-united-return-15328484

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  36. To show how different these surgeries can be there is something called Tommy John surgery that most of you will not have heard of. This is named after the first baseball player to have it and involves taking a ligament from another part of the body and grafting it into the elbow. They even use donated cadavers’ ligaments in some cases. Of course The Chronic just assumes all of these surgeries are the same and assumed he’d be out for the year. I know, I used it to take a dig at The Chronic but they are just so useless and lazy in their journalism.

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  37. Paul Lambert is now favourite to get the Ipswich job. What do you have to do to not get another job in the football league if you are a British ex-manager? Kill someone?

    Big Fat Sam was caught red handed in a corruption sting. Whether he said it was hypothetical or not you know that if they would have pushed it later he would have given the journalists some names of people to contact.

    ‘Arry the Bung opening a bank account in his dog’s name in a tax scam.

    Phil Neville getting the women’s team job. If you have ever listened to his commentary you would know to do the exact opposite of what he says (he also talks way too much). He was a disgrace on Saturday when he was calling for the Chelsea assistant to be sacked. He was on live commentary over here in the US and I thought “what a [email protected]” and I wasn’t thinking of the Chelsea coach. Yes, Phil ruin somebody’s career for over-celebrating!

    I fully expect Pards to get another job at some point.

    Then there’s Roy Keane. I know he is Irish but the same rules seem to apply to him. He can be the biggest d!ck in the world and he still gets another job.

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  38. What happened with Neville is that his Man U bias came out. He tries to hide it but it is there in every Man U game. I am sick of him being picked as a commentator for their games. He has no awareness or self awareness. Everybody who remotely follows football knows about Mourinho’s knee slide at Old Trafford in front of Lord Ferg or gouging the Barca coach’s eye. Neville appears to think a fist pump in front of Jose, at home I might add, is worse.

    I’ve been stewing on this for a few days as I think Phil Neville is possibly the worst commentator since Tommy Smyth, an Irish leprechaun who used to do US games for ESPN.

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  39. Well well – Rondon passed fit for tomorrow. Of course that doesn’t mean he’ll get on the pitch though. 2 days full training. He might get ten minutes at the end.

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  40. georgio:
    Well well – Rondon passed fit for tomorrow. Of course that doesn’t mean he’ll get on the pitch though. 2 days full training. He might get ten minutes at the end.

    hopefully he gets a goal in them 10 mins mate, I’ve a feeling we’ll need it.

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  41. They are making Titanic 2. The 1st one was the most boring movie I have ever seen. Maybe this one will have – resplendent words of Mark Hughes:

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  42. I remember that movie. I smoked at the time. I went out and had a tab and when I came back Leonardo di Capario was still on the dock – 20 minutes later.

    Luckily there was a bar next door so I had a couple of pints before they entered the water.

    They were still there when I re-entered the cinema so I had another tab.

    There was something about a pendant and somebody died?

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