Newcastle United succumbed to their fourth defeat n the spin last night at Stoke City ran out 2-1 winners at the Britannia Stadium.
Another defeat it may be, but I actually feel better about this one than I have about previous losses. The result will take the headlines but it was the performance that heartens me as we saw a much improved showing from United.
With not much action to really write about in the first-half,aside from Peter Crouch having some teeth knocked out, the game kind of came alive in the second when Papiss Cisse reacted first to a parried Demba Ba shot and fired past Asmir Begovic via the post to give the away side a 47thminute lead.
Further chances followed for Demba Ba and Cisse once more but Begovic was equal to their efforts and kept his side in the game. Indeed the away side may have been unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty after what looked to be a handball by Ryan Shawcross but Howard Webb was unconvinced and waved the claims away. Maybe because we weren’t playing in Manchester United red perhaps?
However Stoke are a tough nut to crack at the Britannia and they pushed for an equaliser only to find blind alleys and blocked paths. Indeed Tim Krul hadn’t really had much to do on the night having just one effort to comfortably contend with.
That changed nine minutes from time however when Stoke equalised. Jonas Gutierrez allowed Cameron Jerome to cross for Jonathan Walters to head the hosts level.
Parity didn’t last long however and the home side were soon 2-1 up after Cameron Jerome got on the end of a knock-down from Kenwyne Jones to give Stoke an 85th minute lead which United couldn’t recover from.
The game against Wigan on Monday now is huge. We need a win at any cost although I can’t help wondering just how hard the defeat last night will have hit the players. They actually did enough to get something from the game in my eyes, perhaps not the win some may say, but almost certainly enough for a point and to have that taken away from them at the death could hit confidence further.
Howay the lads!
Stoke: Asmir Begovic, Geoff Cameron, Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross, Ryan Shotton, Glenn Whelan, Steven Nzonzi, Charlie Adam, Matthew Etherington, Jonathan Walters, Peter Crouch
Subs: Thomas Sorensen, Matthew Upson, Wilson Palacios, Dean Whitehead, Michael Kightly, Cameron Jerome, Kenwyne Jones
Newcastle: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Davide Santon, James Perch, Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez, Cheik Tiote, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse
Subs: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, James Tavernier, Gael Bigirimana, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Gael Bigirimana