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All bad things must come to an end...

By Lee Ryder on Dec 27, 11 12:56 PM


Victory at Bolton on Boxing Day not only marked the end of a run of six games without a win, but also a first road trip success on the day after Christmas since 1988!

Incredibly, many of the Geordie fans in attendance at the Reebok Stadium weren't even born when the Magpies beat Sheffield Wednesday in the dire relegation campaign if 88/89 in the old First Division.

Boxing Days have been pretty miserable since then for Newcastle when it comes to away games and with the fixture computer quite fond on trips to North-West on this particular day, there have been some despondent journeys back from the likes of Wigan, Bolton, Blackburn and Liverpool down the years.

This time it was different.

This time Newcastle turned up at the Reebok looking like a team capable of controlling the game and taking advantage of a team low on confidence in Bolton Wanderers.

With 4,000 Toon fans making it seem like a home game for United, a goal-less first hour suggested that perhaps that poor run was to continue.

Bolton though look vulnerable on the counter and after the Toon Army had called for Hatem Ben Arfa and got their wish, it was the Frenchman who proved why he was regarded as Marseille's talisman in recent years.

Whatever you think of Ben Arfa, he is the player who can create that moment of magic and illuminate a dull game.

With the help of his team-mates, the festive spark exploded at the Reebok thanks to great work from Jonas and Ryan Taylor down the left.

With Bolton shaking, Cheick Tiote fed Gabriel Obertan who kept his composure to deliver a fine cross for Demba Ba to stab home.

Obertan has had his critics in recent times but here demonstrated what he can do when he puts his mind to it.

After the game, Alan Pardew pleaded for patience with the winger and feels he is still learning the game,

As for Bolton?

Well under fire Owen Coyle must be wondering just what's happened to his side.

Coyle was flavour of the month last season and after an appalling start to this season, it just shows how quickly football can change.

The Boxing Day hoodoo is over, but now comes the Anfield hoodoo.

No wins since 1994, no goals since 2004.

There would be no time like the present...

2 Comments

hairball said:

I can just see it now as I look into my hairy ball.... Enrique own goal Bellamy sent off for bad mouthing and Carrolle is too drunk to turn up, meanwhile Demba nets another hat trick....

Come on!!

hairball said:

I can just see it now as I look into my hairy ball.... Enrique own goal Bellamy sent off for bad mouthing and Carrolle is too drunk to turn up, meanwhile Demba nets another hat trick....

Come on!!

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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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