The Toon Army were a credit to football at Ewood Park

By Lee Ryder on Oct 27, 11 04:29 PM

Not for the first time in history, Newcastle United on the pitch failed to match the support to their team off it.

Before the kick-off assistant boss John Carver had led the appreciation towards the Darwen End as the Geordie punters simply took over Ewood Park.

As Gael Givet's late header was bundled beyond Tim Krul, the word "empty" was the only way to sum things up for the masses that travelled to Ewood for the Carling Cup exit against Blackburn.

For 120 minutes they had watched on in sheer disbelief as a match of twists and turns unfolded in front of them.

The fact that Newcastle had looked far from the team that had surged through the season so far unbeaten and unscathed was the first thing which seemed hard to take in.

And the fact that United may have been three or four down in the first half alone, must have been a bitter pill to swallow.

But there were some positives for the Toon masses to take away from it.

Hatem Ben Arfa did not shine in Lancashire while Sylvain Marveaux didn't make the most of his opportunity.

However, Alan Pardew these days can turn to a bench of eager replacements and that proved the case at Ewood, with Sammy Ameobi - who fans had requested to the pitch - Gabriel Obertan and Peter Lovenkrands all making an impact.

Ameobi showed flashes of brilliance down the left flank to underline his rapid progress.

Obertan hit back at his critics with an impact display, making some good runs and crosses, and playing a big part in the move that led to Lovenkrands' penalty.

For sheer drama, you couldn't beat the scenes towards the end as the Darwen End celebrated as if they'd won the Carling Cup there and then.

Danny Guthrie's strike had looked like no more than a routine strike.

But Yohan Cabaye's sweet, sweet free-kick suggested it could be Newcastle's night with 95 minutes and 34 seconds on the clock.

That should have been enough to drain the belief out of any team.

But Blackburn refused to give in and after nudging 3-2 up, even Lovenkrands' penalty kick could not force penalties.

Givet's winner was a sickener.

However, two things stick out in my mind after events last night.

Firstly even before Guthrie lashed home, the 4,000 or so Newcastle fans were poised and ready to applaud their team off.

And while this wasn't the best performance by a long stretch by Pardew's men, there seemed to be no sign of negativity flowing in the direction of the players.

United have crashed out of cup competitions at various stages down the years.

But this was just plain cruel.

Always next year eh?


Yorkiegeorge said:

A thrilling game but not the result we all hoped for, I see many positives so all is not lost. All that is needed now is a very good and positive game against Stoke. What we don't want is all the info coming out of the Daily Mirror suggesting that KD is seeking to get his hands on Colo. But then you read the piece where KD suggests money is no object, that will make the fat contorllers eyes light up. Now lets see if he has the bottle to firmly reject Liverpools approach. If he hasn't well we may well end up looking at 4th bottom rather than 4th top

b jobson said:

Must take back my comment from start of season. I suggested our manager was "the smiling assassin" ..... Re: losing our Cen.forward.... capt. & best full back in the country...... not to mention JOEY,what
we've had since is fantastic togetherness even better than coming up from winning the lower league. The signings are fab. Still waiting Obertan, but expect it will arrive.
Mr. Pardew.... prove our new capt. is staying......please. bjmagaloo


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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