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Season 2019-20
Watford (h) Premier League


Saturday 31st August 2019, 3pm

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Underwhelming
Admission: Cheapest tickets were £35




1 - 1




2 mins Tom Cleverley's strike deflected for Will Hughes to knock the ball into the Gallowgate net. 0-1

41 mins The origins of Newcastle's equaliser were deep within their own half, when Joelinton took possession and headed infield. The move developed further and when Emil Krafth's cross from the right was knocked down in the box by Isaac Hayden, Fabian Schar forced an eight yard volley past Ben Foster at the Leazes End.

TV replays highlighted on Match of the Day seemed to show a possible handball by Hayden as he jumped and the ball rebounded off him. However that alleged transgression wasn't picked up by the VAR police

Half time: Magpies 1 Hornets 1

Full time: Magpies 1 Hornets 1

We Said


Steve Bruce said:

"A really difficult start for us. When you're playing against a team who've had a tough time, the one thing you don't want to do is let them score early. Three deflections for the goal - and we also had a deflected one the other night.

"We had to dig in for a little while but, the longer the game went on, I thought the big opportunities came our way. Let's be fair - we've had two or three wonderful opportunities and haven't taken them.

"Overall, I've been very pleased this week. It's been a tough week, but we'll take the results
(Spurs and Watford) we've got.

"I’m sure they’ll (the fans) be back when we win a few games. We have had three difficult games in a week and didn’t lose any of them really, in real terms, so I have got to be pleased with that.

“We can never take for granted the support this great club has got: all I can do is just hopefully going onwards and upwards with the team and the supporters,

“There has been Tottenham and Arsenal (so far), so I have got to be reasonably pleased. One point behind Chelsea and one point behind Manchester United or something, is it? 

"There you go, it hasn’t been such a bad start after all.”

They Said

Javi Gracia said: 

"It’s an important point for us. So far, in the first three games, we weren't able to get any points so it's a good point. During the game, you can have different point of view.

"It was a close game, an equal game and it could be a different for us and different for them, but it's a good point. We need to improve and look for the first big victory in the next game. Now we have a break and it's good time to work and prepare better for the next game.

"I think we started well, scoring a goal and dominating the game in the first half. At the end of the first half we concede a goal from a cross and after I think they were better in the second half. 

"They started better, they were dominating, creating some chances but after the changes we did we felt better, improving and creating our chances and with options in the end to win the game.

“We had a good performance. It was the moment to change something, playing against one team like Newcastle with three at the back. It was a good chance for us to play this way. We had a better balance, and I am happy with the performance. For sure we have to improve, as we didn't get the victory. I think the attitude was good.”


Isaac Hayden completed a century of games in all competitions for Newcastle (75 starts).

Fabian Schar scored his fifth goal in our colours, following four in his first season as a Magpie. They have all come in the Premier League and in 2019.

Hornets in Toon - all time:

2019/20 drew 1-1 Schar
won 1-0 Perez
2017/18 lost 0-3
2015/16 lost 1-2 Janmaat
2009/10 won 2-0 Lovenkrands, Pancrate
2006/07 won 2-1 Martins (2)
1999/00 won 1-0 Gallacher
1992/93 won 2-0 Peacock, Lee
1991/92 drew 2-2 Hunt, Clark
1990/91 won 1-0 Quinn(pen)
1989/90 won 2-1 Quinn, Gallacher
1988/89 drew 0-0 (FACR)
1988/89 drew 0-0 (FAC)
1987/88 won 3-0 O'Neill, Wharton, Tinnion
1986/87 drew 2-2 Anderson, McDonald
1985/86 drew 1-1 Gascoigne
1984/85 won 3-1 Megson, Cunningham, Reilly
1981/82 lost 0-1
1980/81 won 2-1 Hibbitt, Shinton
1979/80 lost 0-2
1931/32 won 5-0 Allen 3, Boyd, Richardson (FAC)

Games before first PL home win was achieved:

1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97, 1997/98, 2000/01, 2002/03, 2006/07, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2012/13

1993/94, 2001/02, 2007/08, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2017/18

1998/99, 2004/05

1999/00, 2003/04, 2005/06, 2014/15



2019/20 (2+ and counting)


It's now four points from their last two games for Newcastle, after they recovered from going behind with just 90 seconds on the clock to claim a draw thanks to Fabian Schar's equaliser.

However the smallest SJP crowd for a league fixture since 2012 witnessed a demoralising afternoon; United struggling to overcome a Hornets side who were bidding to avoid their seventh successive Premier League defeat and their worst-start to a season since World War II.

Clad in last season's green change strip due to their current efforts clashing with ours (albeit with this season's sponsor), Watford made a lightning start when Tom Cleverley's strike bounced off a home player for Will Hughes to knock the ball home at the Gallowgate End - further misfortune for Newcastle, after Leicester scored at the same end in midweek via another deflection. 

To say United's efforts to get back into the game were ponderous is an understatement: such was our lack of forward momentum it appeared that this was an exhibition game...of walking football.

Rare moments of peril for the Watford goal when Miguel Almiron had the ball at his feet were twice thwarted by an offside flag; although the first saved the player's blushes as he fluffed his shot and the second saw him net after a mazy run only to be pulled back.

An equaliser did arrive though for a Magpies side with two changes from that which started at Spurs - injury victims Matt Ritchie and Allan Saint-Maximin replaced by Jetro Willems and Christian Atsu respectively.

Just four minutes of the opening half were left when Emil Krafth's cross from the right was knocked down in the box by Isaac Hayden for Schar to force his eight yard volley past Ben Foster for 1-1.

Newcastle showed a noticeably quicker tempo after the break and Hayden almost marked his 100th game in our colours with a goal, Foster tipping over his strong shot from distance. 

While Willems and Atsu had their moments down the left, the right flank was deserted for most of the game and our crosses and set pieces were invariably pathetic.

A lack of imagination and intensity allied to a reluctance to make any changes from the bench saw United plod blandly (or perhaps blindly) towards a stalemate.

And the Hornets seemed to sense that, rousing themselves in the closing stages to create a couple of half-chances and force Martin Dubravka in action on several occasions.

The belated introduction of Yoshinori Muto came after both Javier Manquillo and Federico Fernandez had been deployed to bolster the defence; Jonjo Shelvey's elongated warm-ups in vain.

And although the Japanese forward ended one run by shooting into the side netting and just failed to get his head on a cross deep in added time, he couldn't replicate his midweek scoring feat and the contest ended in a draw that took us to fourteenth.

Although it's reasonable to claim - as Steve Bruce did - that four points from games against Spurs and Watford were a decent return, today has to go down as two points squandered, not one won.

Criticism has to be tempered with the fact that we were misfiring similarly at this point last season; as a spectacle though this was often unwatchable, involving two remarkably average teams.

Whether it's a work in progress or an emerging misadventure depends on your viewpoint. Given the diminished turnout and the apathy evident inside the ground, it's fair to say that the jury is still out.

Page last updated 13 September, 2019