Season 2005-06 Result
Newcastle United 1-0 Southampton
 K.Dyer 68.
Date: 18/02/2006  Venue: St.James' Park  Competition: FA Cup
Crowd: 40,975
Match Report Submitted on 20/02/2006 by Sean
So at last I get to report on a match without the dreaded ‘Sou’ at the helm, what a relief it has been since he went, around the pubs and the ground it’s like a weight has been lifted from everyone. So when Smike texted me on Friday night to take responsibility for the FA Cup tie with Southampton, I was elated, certain progression and maybe a few goals and some exciting footy.

Then it dawned on me that it was Keiron’s birthday and we were going through early and with kick off set at 5.40pm it meant a ‘loose’ report could be expected at best.

Saturday arrived and after much ringing around it was agreed to meet in ‘the bridge’ at 1.10pm for a train at 1.30, needless to say once the first drink was down we decided on the 2.20 train. Upon arrival we headed for the sport café for buckets of Carlsberg and mad Mick spinning some classic tunes which is reason enough for everyone to go there pre-match never mind the ‘other’ entertainment.
So we set off on a mission to enjoy ourselves and six strong (excepting John who was drinking Guinness) we managed to polish off (according to Wilf’s mathematics) 42 bottles of the norse nectar, at this point I reminded Wilf it was actually 5 bottles for £7 and not the other way round which brought us back to a more reasonable 30 bottles between the five of us in 1½ hours! However many it was it was the atmosphere was great and the soundtrack really got everyone in the mood.

At around 4.30ish we decided to head closer to the ground and to meet up with everyone from the bus but on the way managed to bump into Micky Cleary and a load of Carrville couples out for his 40th birthday, it only seemed right that we enjoy a drink in good company so into ‘Players’ in the gate it was for another couple of quickies. Whilst I was talking to the birthday boy (Michael that is) he revealed he was sure we would win with a comfortable 3-0 scoreline so I told him I would stick a fiver each on for the both of us for his birthday.

Anyway we still hadn’t got to the match yet and a quick phone call located the lads in the ‘Irish centre’ so I bluffed our entry and a last pint before kick off ensued although most of the lads were just getting ready to leave as we arrived (maybe because we arrived?)

We then decided it was time to make our way to the ground and a somewhat ‘happy’ match reporter made his way to his seat ready for the action to begin.

A comfortable but fruitless first half saw a combination of great goalkeeping and slack finishing give a well drilled Saints some belief for the second half despite the fact that we should have been at least two goals up going into the break. Southampton obviously took heart from our inability to capitalise on the chances we were creating and to their credit had a real go after the restart leading to a couple of outstanding saves by Shay. A mention must be made to their 18 year old keeper who pulled off a string of incredible saves before finally being stretchered off after a bad fall whilst making a catch. In truth despite a couple of edgy moments we were always good for the win, and whilst we didn’t play really well we didn’t really need to. Charlie boy was direct and put the ball in early at every opportunity and was deservedly MOM, Dyer showed why he is a complete enigma, combining brilliantly with Nobby who is obviously tuned to the same channel and putting in a great performance terrorising the saints back four, why can’t he do it every week when he is playing regularly? Is it confidence? Fitness? Psychology? If the new manager can master Dyers demons then he yet might still achieve his potential.

68 minutes gone and Dyer splits the defence latching onto a great slide rule pass from Zog beating the offside on the way and finishing with aplomb into the bottom right hand corner. The result never in doubt after that.

There we go into the quarter final draw which has just handed us the perfect trip to Chelsea, so if big Al is serious about silverware in his last season the he is going to have to inspire and lead and do it the hard way, just the way he likes it!