Everton 2 Toon 2
It wasn't pretty most of the time. for a while it looked like a thrashing, so all in all it feels like a fairly good result. At least a point has stopped the decline and for the first time in a over a month Newcastle have started to climb the table. After the same game last season this was certainly much better.
For the first 40 mins it looked like a typical inept and gutless display. But a goal just before half time (Taylor scored it apparently, I completely missed it, it was at the other end to the Newcastle fans and seeing as I was standing at eye-level to the pitch I had very little chance of seeing it - ah, the joys of watching live sport) changed the complexion of the game. The icing on the cake was a goal by Duff just after half time (this time I did see it!!) which was made this time by Taylor. You could see the confidence surge back into the team and for a lot of the second half it felt like the game was ours to win, and that Everton were hanging on. I'll be watching MOTD later on to see if I was right. For me one of the main differences today was that Guthrie was back. He's a ball winner and an unfussy midfielder, he reminds me of Butt in has younger days. Oh, and Butt had a poor game.
As I mentioned The Favourite Nephew* came to his first away game. He was a giddy kipper by the end of it. Well, and truly hooked now - he's learning the words to The Blaydon Races (although explaining the cultral significance of the song was a challenge, for me) and the Geordie Boot-Boy chant. We both chuckled at "If Shola scores, we're on the pitch" and howled with laughter at "Joe Kinnear, he's got tourettes" which was kept up for most of the 2nd half.
As ever, sods law struck again - I've written in the past about how strongly I feel about the group of supporters who have felt the need to characterise the Ashely/Wise regime as "Cockney Mafia" and have had the banner "Cockney Mafia Out" made up. It parochial at best, inaccurate at worst. Anyway, I noticed halfway through the first half that the guy next to me had a large plastic bag with him. Sure enough just after half time him and his mate unfurled the self same banner. I just know that there is going to be a picture somewhere this... With me looking as though I'm part of this protest.... Typical.
The other piece of news today, is that it looks as though Ashley is going to have his own 'Super Tuesday' with 7th Oct being the closing date for bids for the club... I'll believe it when it happens. Seeing as JFK is bringing in another member of the coaching staff, Gerry Francis - it seems to me that he's preparing for a long haul, rather than just a few weeks holiday in the North-East.
Still, a point today was a good start for our new interim manager - despite the fact that he missed both of our goals.
*BTW - The Favourite Nephew isn't as much of a compliment as it seems - he's my only nephew...