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Match Review: Newcastle United FC 0-2 Blackpool FC

We think it's safe to say that the lads disappointed us all on Saturday. Even the most conservative guesses had the lads winning 2-1. But, it was not to be, and Blackpool made sure of that with organized defense and excellent goal tending.

Though Harper was good and The Toon had their chances, the unbeaten streak came to an end, and we take one more cheep shot.

The Game: Blackpool came out swinging, that's for sure, but it seemed that after their initial pushing the lads were able to settle everything down a bit and get them on their heels. And though Alan Smith's entirely ill advised tackle in the box that resulted in a walk to the locker room down 1 instead of even is what most will mark as the moment of the half, what the first half really boiled down to was missed chances. At this level of play every team from the bottom of the table to the top will eventually come calling for cash on your missed chances. Not to take anything at all away from a Blackpool squad that stayed disciplined and a Keeper in Gilks that indeed kept a clean sheet, but too many times we beat the man, without beating the post or booting it out of play all together. Those chances have to be on target, in this league you must work the Keeper. Out of twenty-two shots, seven were on target. Seven! Too many times in that first half we were thinking: it should be 1-0. Instead Alan Smith's gaff in haste puts us down 0-1 in the 45th minute of all times. And it was a gaff, wasn't it? We'll have none of this speculation that he may have gotten a piece of the ball, it was a stupid tackle, ill timed and ill fated as it turned out. It doesn't matter one bit that Lee Mason's interpretation of the rules seemed, well, liquid to put it mildly.
The second half showed us more of the same. Lovenkrands came on and was sprung free only to shoot directly at Gilks on the right side of the goal when to his left was nothing but 15 feet of open net. And when Routledge beat Gilks only to have the ball swept off the line, it started to feel like it was going to be one of those days.
HBA did get into the game in the latter part of the second half, and showed some of the skill that we can see will be an asset in future. It'll take some time to learn how to play with that guy we're afraid. He danced around several defenders on one run only to find himself alone in the box. Then, as tends to happen when a team is pushing so hard for an equalizer, Campbell countered and put an end to any last minute hopes.

The Takeaway: There are a couple of ways to look at this match going forward. You could decide at this moment, that this team is doomed to relegation again, like I've heard from a few already. If you do I dub the nottruefan. You could also dispense with all the panic and overreaction and realize the following: this is a lost game. Singular. To a side that is playing well above their level. We've 4 points from 4 games. We've showed great poise at times and great promise. We've also shown areas in definite need of improvement.

Speaking of improvement, I think Alan Smith may have signed himself a ticket to the bench. It isn't just the bad tackle, but the fact that he doesn't seem to be contributing. As we've been thinking more about the midfield we noticed that he has been one of those guys of which you say, well he hasn't been doing anything wrong has he. But studying more closely we think hasn't done anything wrong because he hasn't done much of anything at all. That blunder in the box will have to cost him.

NUFC Side: Harper, Perch-Booked 47, Williamson, Coloccini-Booked 72, Enrique, Routledge (Ameobi, 81), Smith (Lovenkrands, 63), Barton, Gutierrez (Ben Arfa, 73), Nolan, Carroll
Unused Subs: Krul, Campbell, R Taylor, Tiote

Blackpool Side: Gilks, Keinan, Earley, Evatt, Crainey, Vaughan-Booked 25, Adam-Booked 71, Ormerod (Harewood, 65), Grandin (Carney, 85), Varney, Campbell-Booked 90
Unused Subs: Halstead, Euell, Phillips, Edwards