|The Hallgarth Manor was my chosen destination for what could hopefully be the first of many European nights. Imagine the look of disappointment on the slack jawed mackems faces who had forgone their usually night time activities of cheesy chips and writing FTM on internet football forums to venture to the pub to watch the match only to find the dodgy channel wouldn’t work. No party with fu**ing Marty for them tonight and what is it with them and watching us? Mind you the only place they ever go to watch football is the pub. Ask Niall Quinn. Anyway the smell of Brut and talk of “sewper kev” was becoming unbearable, best get to the club.
A total of eleven changes were made by Alan Pardew for tonight’s trip to the Greek capital and after missing the first 15 minutes all I can gather is it took the back four half an hour or so to settle. James Perch aka The Longbenton Beckenbauer could of done with putting his foot through the ball a couple of times rather than trying to play his way out of defence, but it was the long ball between full back and centre half that seemed to be causing us the most trouble. On 24 minutes the home side took what, in balance of possession was a deserved lead. The long diagonal ball caught out Taviner who lost sight of his man allowing Epstein to nip in behind to poke the ball past Harper into the far corner. Newcastle regrouped and went on to dominate the rest of the half. A free kick deep into first half injury time saw Ryan Taylor once again knock one over the wall and neatly inside the post.
Second half saw Newcastle continue to dominate possession with out making any clear cut openings, Cisse failing to capitalise on the best of the half chances. With the team that was selected it was clear that the fringe players were been given their chance to shine. Obertan continued to challenge Usain Bolt as the fastest man over 100m without ever delivering at the end of it and Dan Gosling kept pretending to be a professional footballer without ever looking like one. Somebody found Sylvain Marveaux after his disappearing act before the Spurs game on Saturday, but probably should have left him in Tup Tup Place for all he created. Central midfield pair of Anita and Bigirimana seemed confident and competent at what they were doing all game rarely putting a foot wrong. Seventeen year old Adam Campbell made his Newcastle debut coming on for the last 15 mins. Campbell looked lively and linked up well with Amalfitano in one of the best pieces of football in the game. He’s ginger and from North Shields, Pardew might want to send him into have a word with Gosling and Marveaux about bucking their ideas up.
All in all a tidy performance, an away goal and no injury concerns. Newcastle should be more than capable of seeing off Atromitos back at SJP next week.