Season 2005-06 Result
Newcastle United 1-0 Birmingham City
 Emre 78.
Date: 05/11/2005  Venue: St.James' Park  Competition: Premiership
Crowd: 52,191
Match Report Submitted on 07/11/2005 by Greavsie
A Brum Deal???

It was a regular Saturday afternoon. A scheduled 3pm kick off, and a regular leaving time of 1.30pm for the bus. The weather was OK, although it did rain later. The bus was outside the Sporties early, and left on time.. There was a large turnout, with a few people having to stand on the way through. The journey was good-humoured, with spirits high in anticipation of a continuation in our upturn of fortunes on the pitch. Even the self-styled legendary soul-singer, raconteur and wit, Mark Passmore came along to the match, with talk of a return to matches on a more permanent basis. Passy, himself on a winning streak, has his luck seemingly rubbing-off on the team. (Let's hope he doesn't want to rub off on anyone else ).

The journey to the match went well, with no hold-ups, and there was plenty of time, for those so inclined, to partake of the beverages on offer at the usual pre-match watering holes. Passy regaled us with stories of daring do and brinkmanship in the face of intense pressure and high rewards.

(This on-line snap phenomen sweeping the internet has to be stamped out. Itís like a plague, and itís not normal. Any normal person sitting up all night at his PC after the rest of the family had retired for the night, would have a completely different hand trick on his mind !!!!)

Even the trip back went well, with Guff providing the latest luxury addition to the fleet to ferry the lads back to the Sporties in style. Everyone behaved, more or less, no-one really working their ticket.

So, all in all a fairly normal uneventful trip. Yet, there was a sense of something missing, a smell of something fishy in the air. Had Johna been playing with his tiddler? Had Trapper been misusing his helmet & truncheon? Had Wilf been battering anyone around the ring? (Not that he ever managed to do that in his short, but illustrious pugilistic career) Had Passy simply forgot to wash.....again?

Well all of those could be true, who knows, but the real fishy goings on were many miles away.

The Mags are in the middle of their best run of the season so far, yet one leading light of Carrville Mags had decided to treat his lass to a romantic weekend for two. Fair enough you might think. After all, it was his anniversary, and his missus has a lot to put up with. So whisking her away for champagne, caviar and a moonlight serenade is the least he should be doing.

But no, our (ex)coiffeur to the stars had pulled out all the stops to book a no-expense spared luxury weekend break in the salubrious surroundings of the riviera on the North Yorkshire coast, that is Whitby. A quick fish & chip supper, and a bit of how's ya father - what more could any woman want? It is yet to be confirmed whether he went to the full expense of an electric hook-up for the caravan, but there were reports a disgruntled woman was beating a gangly bloke over the head with an umbrella in the queue for the Magpie Cafť, in the rain, at around the time the lads were getting back on the bus for the journey home. Apparently he got a slap, but didn't get the tickle to go with it.

Anyway, back to the match. A hard working performance, with not a lot of quality on show, but despite everyone treating the ball like a hot potato, Emre struck a powerful left foot shot from around 25 yards, that wrong footed Maik Taylor and nestled in the back of the net. 78 minutes gone, and relief all round really.

Birmingham worked hard, closed us down, and probably had as much of the ball as we did. Jarosik stood head and shoulders above everyone else in midfield, and also may have been their best player, hitting the bar from 35 yards. (after a handball that wasn't spotted by the ref, who was sh!te)

With Emre's 'ammer of a left foot doing the damage, another clean sheet, albeit slightly fortuitously, and a steady if unspectacular performance, you've got to be (Turkish) delighted.

The next game is Chelsea away, but our improvement overall would suggest that the european places behind Chelsea are not out of reach. There's only two points between us and a Champions' league spot. That's how tight the league is at present. Any team that produces a string of results is going to climb the table rapidly. We are starting to show a bit of consistency, so all may not be doom and gloom after all. I still don't rate Souness as a manager or tactitian, but most of his signings have been quality. Surely if we get enough quality players on the pitch, they will just go out and play, and then it won't matter what the manager's tactics are. (Which could be just as well)

So there we are. Another Saturday, another three points. Is there a danger of this becoming a bit monotonous? Don't put your house on it !!! With our club, the only certain thing is one game away from our last disaster, is another game closer to our next. But we'll enjoy the ride - unlike Smike's missus.

(Rumours of a fund being set up to provide a side order of mushy peas for next years anniversary meal are currently being denied. Pamela was unavailable for comment)