Date: 1st February 2009 at 5:52pm
Written by:

By rolling up their sleeves, getting stuck in and never giving up, Newcastle avoided plunging further into oblivion by pinching a point off the mackems and stopping the rot, with a little help from Howard Webb.

The second half penalty won by Steven Taylor was nothing less than a dive but after a rotten run of decisions and injuries in the last few months it’s about time a decision went our way – and against the mackems it’s even sweeter.

The game was there for the taking once Ameobi smashed in the penalty but once again we lacked a cutting edge and ability to produce a quality final ball when it mattered.

Make no mistake about it, there was not a lot of quality on display at St James, with two average sides slugging it out, neither being able to argue in the end with a point each.

The two players that stood out from the crowd of huffers and puffers were Sebastien Bassong – who had Kenwyn Jones in his pocket all game, winning battles of speed and strength – and Jonas Gutierrez, showing skill and guile and being the only player who looked capable of beating a defender and taking the game to Sunderland.

Still defeat today was not an option and the work rate, effort and energy was encouraging. Let’s take it with us to the Hawthorns on Saturday.