NUFC 0 – 1 Blackburn

Glad I went to Newcastle on what’s apparently going to be the warmest day for at least a week. Temperatures peaking at a balmy 4 degrees was enough to make some of our squad almost break into a sweat…

To be fair, we should have buried Blackburn in the first half. Were it not for Friedel, I think we would have. Saves from Jenas, Shearer and Chopra on his first full Premiership start. Indeed, Chops managed to net the ball but was ruled offside – apparently a correct decision but I’ve not watched the replays yet.

Barry Ferguson was sadly stretchered off fairly early in the half, too. A 50/50 challenge with Gary Speed saw both players writhing and holding legs, but Ferguson stayed down. Apparently he’s out for the season with a broken and dislocated kneecap. Ouch.

Blackburn came more alive in the second half and were worth their goal, even if it was punched into the net by Gallagher. Andy O’Brien made a magnificent clearance off the line to deny Blackburn a second as the ball looped over Given. How on earth that didn’t go in, I’ll never know.

In all, a pretty depressing result. The one thing that shone out, though, was the performance by Chopra. I have two questions – why was he subbed (and for Lua Lua who just doesn’t seem to cut the mustard) and why haven’t we been playing him all season instead of Ameobi? Assuming today’s performance was usual fare for him and not just an attempt to make a really good impression on his first appearance, the kid has talent. And balls. Certainly one to watch for the future.

Oh, and for the record – the referee had a pretty good game. Aside from missing the two handball incidents. Almost without fail he let play continue after every foul to see if advantage could be given. As a result, the game flowed better than it would under many other whistle-happy muppets.

Current MP3 playing: Frankie by Sister Sledge

Leicester 1 – 1 NUFC

Bit of a round trip, and my first visit to the Walkers Stadium. My first impression is that they don’t want anyone to find it. Not a single signpost (road or path) directs you to it anywhere. Shame, as it’s not bad once you find it. Generic “new stadium” but pleasant enough.

Today’s match was Leicester’s 4000th league game, so the match program came in at a hefty four quid. Mind, it also came in at a hefty size and it’s worth a read through. Makes a decent souvenir of a fairly torrid game. The occasion is also likely to have had a positive affect on the attendance – a record for the ground.

Awful weather didn’t help, but in all fairness Leicester’s players were facing the same conditions ours were. The home crowd were pretty quiet aside from the occasional murmur until they went a goal up from what looked like a defensive shambles on our part. One of the guys near me (I was right on the border between home and away fans) responded to chants of “You only sing when you’re winning” with “And we only sing once a month”.

Prior to that, the game took a while to get going. At the end of the first half, I think we were edging it, but the home side took the game to us in the second and deserved their goal. We started to look desparate, even going as far as trying to concuss our own players to gain sympathy. Watching Bernard collapse like a puppet with its strings cut after a ball was hoofed at his head from close range was humorous for a second until we realised how serious it could be.

But with five minutes left (at a guess – the scoreboard clock had reset to zero after Leicester scored), Bobby elected to bring an attacking midfielder – Ambrose – and a junior striker – Chopra – onto the field. Throw everything forward. And blow me, if it didn’t work.

A goalmouth scramble got us the goal we should have scored in the first half, courtesy of Darren Ambrose’s head. Only his second senior goal for the club, if I’m right, the last being number five against FC Basle away in the UEFA Cup.

So honours even, but with Fulham winning, they’ve nestled nicely into fourth with a bit of a lead on us. Blackburn at home on Sunday should be interesting. They’ve got one of the worst defenses going at the moment while we’ve scored 10 goals in the last 3 home games.

Fingers crossed…

Current MP3 playing: Hallowed Be Thy Name by Anton Maiden. Yes, that’s Anton…

Getting There

And some people spend Chrimbo buried in turkey, pud and crap cracker jokes. I’ve been slaving over a hot keyboard to try and make this place a little more personal. Just the graphic banner across the top to work on. Shame my graphic design skills leave a little… erm… lot to be desired.

Let’s see what I can come up with, eh?

Current MP3 playing: Meaning of Life by Disturbed

Layout Update

Hey folks. I got a bit sidetracked this morning and decided to change the appearance of the blog. I had a nip round the web and found that the Official Spiderman Movie web site had some blog templates for Blogger. So I ripped one off, fiddled with it a bit and used that. The Spidey images will disappear once I find something a little better to replace them with.

Hmmm… and I may add a counter to the bottom of the page too…