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Season 2015-16
mackems (h) Premier League


In association 


Date: Sunday 20th March 2016, 1.30pm.

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Perilous/unbearable


Newcastle United


1 - 1




44 mins Wabhi Khazri's flag kick from the South West corner reached Fabio Borini, whose strong shot was blocked by Rob Elliot. Chancel Mbemba's weak clearing header fell to Jermain Defoe who shot through a gang of players at the Gallowgate End from just outside the six yard box. 0-1

Half time: Magpies 0 mackems 1

83 mins Gini Wijnaldum jinked inside and out before centring from the right flank for Aleksandar Mitrovic to head in at the Gallowgate End. 1-1

Is that the Geordie Dancer?

Full time: Magpies 1 mackems 1

We Said



Rafa Benitez said after the game:


"The positive thing for me is we have eight games to play and the reaction today from the players was positive.

"To win would have been perfect but when you are losing in the first half and keep the same gap, it's positive.

"The main thing was that the fans supported us today and we want that in every single game.

"I think we can stay up. We have to keep working, I believe they can play better and from what I have seen today in the second half, they can do well.

On the goalscorer:

"The positive thing was he (Mitrovic) wanted to play. The good thing about the doctor is he was stopping him, just in case. 

"I think he was right because he lost his consciousness. You have to protect the player.

"He has the potential but we have to help him a little bit with better crosses, better deliveries, and being closer to him. 

"He will score goals if we can do that.

"I am here because I have to give the team confidence and we have to improve things.

"Again I will say at Leicester, you could see a lot of good things; still not enough. Today in the second half, a lot of good things; not enough.

"We have eight games to play and we know they will be incredibly difficult. We know it will be difficult, for sure. I knew before.

"We are creating chances, we are attacking and we can be there, so we have to improve this part of the game and create more chances and Mitrovic or Papiss Cisse or the other strikers will score more goals and we will be fine.

"We didn’t have the best first half. We created some chances, they created some, and then we conceded at the end.

"For a team at the bottom of the table maybe it would be a disaster, so I had to give them confidence and an idea how to play in the second half. They did really well.

"Full-time, it was much better (the mood).

"There was a little bit of frustration because we could have done better and were pushing and pushing to win the game.

"I tried to take the positives. You cannot be talking about the negatives all of the time because you will change nothing.

"We made two or three fouls that we didn’t have to.

"That was the main thing, it allowed them to put the balls in the box and win the second balls.

"That was something we have to improve for the future. We have an idea and know how they play, we did it in the second half and that is how I want to see the team play in future.

"I like this type of game with a stadium full of passionate fans. It is good for the game.

"Now we have an international break to keep working with the rest of the players that will be here.

"We have eight games to play, and we know it will be difficult. It will be difficult, for sure. What we have to do is prepare the next game, try and analyse what was bad and try and change things.

"We are creating chances and attacking and we can be there. We have to improve this part of the game.

"If we have to fight until the last game and the last minute then we have to do it.” 

They Said

Big Sham said:


"It takes a lot of getting over to concede a goal late in the game, just like we did against Southampton. We controlled the game and dominated our local rivals, creating chance after chance but we only converted one, we just couldn’t see the game out to the end and it has ended 1-1.

"The turning point in the game was Rob Elliot’s save on Patrick van Aanholt in the second half; that would have been a great time for us to kill off Newcastle, but a brilliant piece of goalkeeping kept them in it.

"I think Newcastle were fortunate to get a point from the game, going off their performance and the amount of chances we created. We are disappointed in the dressing room; it almost feels like a loss.

"I thought performance wise we looked strong, we’re not a side that looks like we’re going to get beat, but we need to start turning these draws into wins We’re four games unbeaten and we’ve got a difficult run ahead but we need to start turning these performances into results.

"We end up hugely frustrated with a point instead of three and that makes life again so difficult for us. It happened at Southampton and now it's happened here today - that's four points thrown away.

"But those four points on the board now and we are feeling like we are going to be surviving and we are going to stay safe. Now we are going to go right to the wire to try to stay safe, and that's the bottom line.

"While I can be content with the players' performance and taking control of the game today, I'm a little frustrated about the fact we have not won enough games and again should have won this one and didn't.

"We have got another two weeks to wait before we play again. We had a long wait to play this one when I wanted a game next week. Now we have got another two weeks for football associations to make money with stupid bloody friendlies."


United recovered from going a goal behind to avoid defeat for the first time in nine games, since a 3-3 home draw against Manchester United in January.

Today's point ended a four game losing sequence in the Premier League this season, Mitrovic's goal meaning that the last three we've managed have all come in the final 10 minutes.

Newcastle ended a six game losing run in derbies stretching back to October 2012 and prevented a fourth successive home defeat by the mackems since a 1-1 draw in March 2012.

However, the Magpies have now failed to win any of their last five home meetings with the red and whites and are winless in nine derby fixtures since Ryan Taylor's over the wall goal at the stadium of plight in August 2011.

Aleksandar Mitrovic netted for the sixth time in our colours to notch our first derby goal anywhere in five games (476 minutes), since Mathieu Debuchy in a 1-2 away loss back in October 2013. 

And the Serbian's goal was the first against the mackems at SJP in four games (353 minutes) since Shola Ameobi earned a point in a 1-1 draw during March 2012.

It's now six derbies for Moussa Sissoko without a single victory (six defeats and one draw).

smb @ SJP - Premier League era:

2015/16: Drew 1-1 Mitrovic
2014/15: Lost 0-1
2013/14: Lost 0-3
2012/13: Lost 0-3
2011/12: Drew 1-1 Ameobi
2010/11: Won 5-1 Nolan 3, Ameobi 2 (1pen)
2008/09: Drew 1-1 Ameobi (pen)
2007/08: Won 2-0 Owen 2 (1pen)
2005/06: Won 3-2 Ameobi 2, Emre
2002/03: Won 2-0 Bellamy, Shearer
2001/02: Drew 1-1 Bellamy
2000/01: Lost 1-2 Speed
1999/00: Lost 1-2 Dyer
1996/97: Drew 1-1 Shearer

All Time Tyne-wear stats:

  P W D L F A
SJP 71 31 19 21 119 106
SoS/JP 71 20 25 26 92 105
League 142 51 44 47 211 211
SJP(PO) 1 0 0 1 0 2
JP 1 0 1 0 0 0
SJP(FA) 5 1 2 2 5 9
NR/JP 3 1 1 1 3 2
SJP(LC) 1 0 1 0 2 2
JP 1 0 1 0 2 2
Cup/PO 12 2 6 4 12 17
Tot 154 53 50 51 223 228



Our punning headline for this one was "Tyne-wear Mitro avoids points failure" but with less than 10 minutes to go, the chances of writing anything at all on the website post-match looked remote.

Instead our thoughts had turned to posting a blank page, with some sombre musical accompaniment of the type usually reserved for days of mourning after the death of a dictator.

Until our Serbian lump netted there was simply nothing worth saying; by that point in proceedings it was becoming increasingly difficult to think or even function. Not quite the end of the world, but a passable imitation of it loomed large at St. James' Park on Sunday afternoon.
Mitrovic's goal raised spirits massively and earned what could yet be a priceless point, but there was one clear winner in the 154th Tyne-wear derby.....Norwich City. 

The Canaries had boosted their own survival chances by winning at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday to get out of the bottom three and our stalemate then ensured Alex Neil's side clung to 17th spot ahead of our season-defining visit to Norfolk in a fortnight

Trailing to a Jermain Defoe strike late in the first half, Newcastle's continued lack of threat meant that a seventh straight loss to their deadly rivals looked inevitable as full time approached.

Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic had other ideas though and the Dutchman centred from the right flank for the Serbian to head in at the Gallowgate End on 83 minutes.

That was enough to halt a depressing sequence of derby results, but with just eight games remaining for both sides, the draw was cold comfort to either Rafa Benitez or Sam Allardyce despite their brave words.

The current United boss was without Paul Dummett and Fabricio Coloccini for his first home game in charge, but able to recall both Andros Townsend and Chancel Mbemba to the starting line-up - Papiss Cisse also returning after a three month absence.

Selecting an attacking line-up featuring both Ayoze Perez and Mitrovic, the Serbian blazed over when presented with an early sight of goal - but the green-clad mackems made and missed a trio of presentable opportunities of their own.

Entering our usual danger time of the moments leading up to the interval, Rob Elliot blocked Fabio Borini's shot but his defence couldn't clear when the ball bounced in the box and Defoe netted his third goal in as many visits to Gallowgate.

That left the home support shocked and silent to an almost funereal extent, the half time whistle bringing virtually no reaction as the prospect of our rivals saving themselves at our expense began to sink in. 

Those fans were sparked back into life briefly when a Perez effort was deflected away on the goal line by Yann M'Vila, but United failed to build on that and their passing lacked both imagination and direction as we made little impact in the last third.

They were also grateful to Elliot for a vital block to deny former Magpie Patrick van Aanholt, when conceding a second would have completely killed the game - and probably sealed our fate.

Benitez was forced into replacing both of his full backs, with Jack Colback booked and in danger of dismissal and Daryl Janmaat clearly limping.

Cisse came on for the last throw of the dice and instantly almost latched on to a cross, but was obviously lacking fitness and offered no threat. 

Forcing one save from Mannone, Mitrovic then did rather better to head home at the Gallowgate End, before hilariously indulging in some impromptu and unintended tumbling with a pitch invader.  

With the crowd in full voice sensing that a famous comeback was looming, Patrick van Aanholt went to ground in our half with a dubious case of cramp that suckered referee Martin Atkinson into halting a Newcastle attack.

Mbemba - who had struggled to adjust to the occasion after a five game absence - bemusingly started administering first aid to the alleged cramp victim while most of the ground urged otherwise.

Any remaining momentum then vanished when Mitrovic received a bang on the head as he contested another ball into the box, receiving treatment before being led off the field in some distress.

The Serb attempted to return to the fray but looked to be concussed and after being blocked by both Benitez and the club doctor eventually admitted defeat.

With all three substitutes already used, United played out the game a man short - the referee seemingly in a hurry to end proceedings and opting not to add any extra time despite stoppages after 90 minutes.  

So the rot has been stopped, but the probability of the next meeting of these two sides coming in the Championship has moved another step closer. If relegation can be avoided, the positives that can be taken from salvaging this point must be capitalised upon at Carrow Road in our next game. 

Defeat there really would leave United on the brink and mean that Mitrovic today merely postponed the inevitable - there's now no margin for error and much as we'd wish that it was, no genuine confidence that this is a turning point.


While compiling this report, news reached us that Dave Gascoigne had passed away. 

A founding member of the East Midlands Supporters Club, we had the pleasure of travelling to Dublin and Rome for toon games along with "Dave Gas." Present at the beginning of our European adventure in Rotterdam back in 1968, he journeyed from "way down in Cheddar" to watch his beloved Toon for many years until ill health kept him at home. Our condolences go to family and friends.

Page last updated 20 March, 2017