Newcastle United 1 - 1 Everton

Well, what a night of initial frustration followed by emotion that turned to sheer relief at the end. Only Everton can do that to you in 99 minutes of football.

It started with a long journey up from Kings Cross that never seemed to end. A quick one in the bar across from the station. Full of very noisy Evertonians belting out the classics. Given the recent circumstances, the enthusiasm of our supporters never ceases to amaze.

We navigated the streets and took our places in the skies. I have to admit, you get a great view over the city of Newcastle from up there.

For me, the match had everything. Hit wood posts on both sides. Okay, they’re not made of wood anymore but it’s a phrase that I’m sure you all understand.

Once we woke up after the poor first-half performance, we grew a pair and went toe-to-toe, and it was a very open game. Not one for the faint-hearted Evertonian. I wish I’d taken my inhaler and not just because of the height where my seat was located, more to calm the anxiety.

Newcastle used the width. We were more compact. We go a goal down early doors and I was worrying about how we get back in the game given the (until then) under-par performance.

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I know I’ve criticised our absent midfield, but I’m not sure the tactics are using them… so should we be blaming them? We just continuously bypass them as the ball flies over their heads.

I had the usual Garner debate with my brother. Centre-midfield or right-back? Is he a Phil Neville type? We disagree. I would rather he was played central. He says right-back. It would be interesting to get other supporters’ views.

Mykolenko often goes unnoticed and does take a bit of criticism. But his defending is often instinctive. That goal-line clearance from his head on the line was unbelievable and breathless. Where was my inhaler? He gets back when he knows the keeper is committed. Some are not convinced, but I see a solid young defender, with more potential to develop.

Onana may not be the most creative, but his recovery tackles and reading of danger are an asset to the team. Sometimes, I worry he’s going to get a red, but mostly his timing is perfect. I just wish he would be involved more. To my previous point about the midfield. We lack creativity and Gomes can't do it for a full game.

Beto may also split opinion but, in that first hour when we were struggling, he was the only one pressing and trying. It is a lonely existence being an Everton striker right now. I think he can come good. Maybe not brilliant, but good. He bullies defences.

For their goal, I initially thought it was Godfrey who had let it go over his head. Turns out it was Tarkowski who got caught flat-footed. It’s hard to tell from up on level 7 at St James’ Park. An unusually poor game for our de-facto captain, who had an off day.

Total respect for Pickford. He didn’t rise to the bait he received from the home supporters. We all do the odd red and white shite chants, but the abuse he received last night was relentless from start to almost finish. Unlike on previous occasions, he kept his head and focus.

As well as the 3 great saves (as I counted them), he deserves the accolade for Everton’s Man of the Match for the way in which he conducted himself and blanked out the constant tirade of abuse –  as much as he did for the performance and saving us from defeat.

On their phantom second. Initially, I thought it was a tight call and held my breath. Once again, note to self: inhaler. But the VAR did his job. It was clear and obvious that two, possibly three of their players were offside when you look at the replay.

The penalty. Why did that need the VAR review for several minutes? It wasn’t even questionable. Most of us could see it without the need for binoculars. The referee was metres away.

Anyway, at that point, I sat down, which most don’t do at away matches. But by now I was a nervous wreck, praying to the Evertonian in Heaven, so sat with my head in my crossed hands staring at the floor. I couldn’t watch.

Then the Everton end and those around me erupted, so I knew it had gone in and the kind lady next to me tapped me on the shoulder and told me to get on my feet. I wasn’t going to argue with her so complied.

I didn’t really see much of the match after that. I had my eyes on the clock ticking away on the big screen to my left, especially when the 9 minutes of additional time went up. It seemed to take another 90 minutes.

The players came over. Obviously no shirt handovers. Jordan was particularly pleased. He should have been.

A worrying spot of trouble as we left when a couple of hundred Newcastle supporters tried to come at us. Fair credit, the Police intervened quickly and charged them away with the horses.

Good job as 3,000 Everton fans were descending. I don’t like that type of behaviour. It has no place. I ended up back at the station with my brother in a bar full of Newcastle supporters. No issues whatsoever.

My final mention goes to all those thousands who packed that upper section and wouldn’t give in at the home of the Sky backed and self-proclaimed best supporters in the land… My arse. It was good to see Neil, albeit briefly when we found each other on the packed concourse at half-time. Sorry, I didn’t catch anyone else.

Back to my brothers and up for the early train. He took me to the station, and it was raining. He's maybe 17 years my junior, but he told me off for being stupid and not having a jacket! A wet journey home, but I just slept all the way.

Burnley, Brentford, Sheffield United and Luton. We may get something out of Chelsea and I will never go into a derby thinking we are going to lose. Anything is possible.

Belief and confidence. It’s not done yet no matter what they throw at us.

Reader Comments (21)

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Jeff Spiers
1 Posted 03/04/2024 at 15:45:02
Great post, Danny.
Paul Birmingham
2 Posted 03/04/2024 at 15:55:45
Superb write-up, Danny, with true grit, and spirit.

Key to make good and beat Burnley to build a decent safety-net in view of any further points deductions.

Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 03/04/2024 at 16:08:01
Good story as usual, Danny, there in all weathers. A tip, Danny, buy a lightweight 3/4 Mac, one you can roll up and carry in your pocket.

As for the penalty, I thought Dominic was focused on it but I had my doubts, kept my eyes on it wishing it home, thought the keeper got a touch on it but it was hit with real power and was too strong for him.

I thought the subs changed the game, that first hour was woeful and I had given up when Newcastle scored their goal. In fact, I said to myself out loud “It's over.”

My wife, who hasn't got a clue about football and isn't interested apart from wanting Everton to win, said “Is it over? It's finished a bit early hasn't it?" I gave her one of those looks and said "No, it's not over, but it's 2-0 and that's us finished."

Luckily that lovely VAR (sometimes) saved our bacon and Ashley Young gave the referee no escape later on and made him consult one of our best players on the night, VAR (Vast Amount of Respect) and he gave the nod for that penalty which got us the draw.

I think Dyche needs a lot of respect for getting us 31 points with squad early in the season but, over the last few weeks, I've had my doubts. Maybe last night's game is a turning point for the rest of the season and we will finish where we want to be.

One thing the players could take a look at: our supporters last night and every game, they never gave up from start to finish — not for just the last 39 minutes — what a crowd!

Jack Convery
4 Posted 03/04/2024 at 16:08:27
As usual, a great report, Danny. I was so pleased you and the rest of the Blue Army who travelled saw us get something, which we actually deserved.

Let's hope we can keep the momentum up for Burnley, where 3 points and a few goals would not go amiss.

Mark Murphy
5 Posted 03/04/2024 at 16:22:01
Thanks Danny.

You know me and that, like you, I am supportive of these players as long as they show they care. I can forgive lack of skill but not lack of heart nor effort.

Early in that match last night, I saw Onana barely walking towards a Newcastle attacker that he was closest to as they attacked our box. He strolled to his nominal position outside our box whilst Newcastle were behind our line.

I've said this before, he's not playing for the team, he's playing for his stats. I know he's a class player. I know he's probably the best footballer we have in our squad. But he's not playing for us and he's not what we need for these last 9 games.

Personally, I don't want to see him in the starting 11 for the rest of this season and, if he really expects one of the big boys to come in for him, then maybe he'll pull his finger out if he gets to come in as sub.

Harrison, Beto, Godfrey shouldn't start because they're not good enough. Onana shouldn't start because he doesn't give a shit!

Stephen Vincent
6 Posted 03/04/2024 at 16:28:21
Nice report, Danny. Just got back after a good night with some old friends.

One thing that L7L Row N gives, is that like the Top Balcony at The Old Lady, you get a very good overall perspective of the game. I cannot believe how narrow we play, pretty much all Newcastle had to do was aim the ball in the general direction of either wing and they were away.

Tarkowski is unbelievably slow both in his reactions and pace. He was totally at fault for their goal, getting caught massively out of position and then trying to head a ball going a couple of feet over his head.

Onana is, well, frankly I don't know what he is, but it certainly isn't a committed Everton midfielder, the lad needs a rocket under him. Too many times just jogging back having lost possession up the field and, in my view, while he has little passages where you think he is the best player we have, those bits are just too few and lead me to get hugely frustrated with him. Oh for a Bruno Guimaraes, who I thought was the stand-out player on the pitch.

I didn't go to Bournemouth but, if the performance was as bad as our first half last night, then I made a seriously good call.

Hope to see you on Saturday for more of the last 30 minutes. Although, as my friends pointed out, Newcastle had 11 of the first-team squad unavailable and still out-passed us and had substantially more possession than us.

Finally, what fantastic incredible support, I'm pretty sure that the non-stop noise from the heavens kept the team going. It would be great to replicate it at home.

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 03/04/2024 at 16:40:11
Thanks all.

I'll try and wrap up!!

Dave and Stephen, the supporters were immense. Before, during and after.


Mark, I know. We'll meet at Chelsea!!

Christopher Timmins
8 Posted 03/04/2024 at 17:26:53

Thanks, just thanks.

We are having a tough time at the moment but we will get through it once we stick together.

Rob Halligan
9 Posted 03/04/2024 at 18:14:17
Good read, Danny. Agree on the abuse aimed at Pickford for what was, literally the whole match. The Skunk Maggots seemed more obsessed with directing all their vocal energy towards Pickford rather than trying to support their own team. He just loves winding them up. I don't think the abuse has ever been as bad towards him as it was last night.

Overall, I think most of us were happy with the point, one we would certainly have taken when the ball hit the back of the net with only 2 minutes of the 90 left, even though the foul on Young occurred in the 84th minute. It was a blatant foul with the referee stood about 4 or 5 yards away, so why not give it and then let VAR confirm his decision which would have only taken a few seconds, and probably reduce that 9minutes added on time by about 3minutes?

I really thought the keeper had saved the penalty, as did Dave, but went ballistic when the ball did hit the back of the net! A great time to shut those Skunk Maggots up!

Walking down those steps also seemed to take an eternity, but at least you're not fighting for breathe or feel in the need for an oxygen tank at the bottom.

Upon leaving the stadium, there was no sign of any Skunk fans like there normally is, so you must have been out well before me. All I saw was a few police horses and loads of stewards. There was none of the usual slanging matches by the coaches either, which can sometimes be a notorious battlefield!

Danny, if you want, I can start a TW Fund giving page to buy you some weather protection clothing. Just let me know!

Barry Rathbone
10 Posted 03/04/2024 at 18:37:03
Wonder if we'll survive?
Mark Murphy
11 Posted 03/04/2024 at 18:37:04
On the Barcodes chants, I find the scouse Mackem insult hilarious.

They're basically saying we're the little Sunderland alongside the massive all conquering Newcastle.

They've won fcuk all since the '50s and “even” the very team they tag us with have won more than them. Deluded fuckwits!

Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 03/04/2024 at 19:02:18
Rob, they never end!! I kept looking down thinking if this was the last set of steps only to be presented with another!

A good point. We will be fine.

That will have given them confidence.

Ben King
13 Posted 03/04/2024 at 19:17:04
Unbelievable support away from home as always.

Pickford was superb. He owed us after a very poor game vs Bournemouth.

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 03/04/2024 at 19:27:38
A very good article followed by a lot of very sensible posts, up-to now, Danny.

I think we will survive, Barry, but I'm obviously still concerned about getting another deduction.

Hopefully we can beat Burnley, because I think besides a lack of creativity, the thing we are lacking right now is confidence, and the only way to change this is by starting to win a few games.

Eddie Dunn
15 Posted 03/04/2024 at 19:41:51
Loved the write-up, Danny. So pleased for the travelling faithfull that the team got it together in that last half-hour.

Newcastle people are generally lovely, as are scousers, but unfortunately people become odious when they start to believe their own hype.

Geordies are not the best supporters in the land and of course neither are Liverpool's.

That mantle will go to fans who have gone through many divisions of relegations and still support their side through thick and thin, without the media fawning over them.

I hope the Barcodes stick with Eddie Howe. He's a likable fellow.

Dave Cashen
16 Posted 03/04/2024 at 20:03:22
Danny and Rob

You were labelled 'idiots' yesterday for travelling all that way expecting a result.

Well, you are idiots. All the logic you will normally apply to every other aspect of your lives goes out of the window where Everton are concerned..

God bless your illogical optimism. It`s fans like you who make me feel like we have half a chance.

Neil Copeland
17 Posted 03/04/2024 at 20:10:15
Danny, a good read that, thanks.

Good to meet up as always. We didn't see any trouble outside either, agree about the police and stewards' presence though.

It felt like a win after being second-best for much of the match. I thought the game changed with a combination of the second goal (which seemed to lift us) and the subs. So good to see Dom get a goal at last and he took the penalty well when under huge pressure.

Maybe this result will bring some much-needed confidence.

Pickford handled the whole situation like a true pro and got on with the job at hand. I think the constant barrage of abuse worked against Newcastle in the end and they were stunned when we equalised. We gave their support a fair amount of flak when reminding them of what they have actually won –fuck all!

All-in-all, a good result and better performance in the last 30 minutes or so. Keep believing; we can do this.


Danny O’Neill
18 Posted 03/04/2024 at 20:19:57
Absolutely Neil. They didn't like that chant!!

It wasn't serious and cleared up quickly. A Newcastle friend of mine said its been happening a lot, but just a lot of young idiots thinking they are hard.

Me and my brother walked back to the station with Newcastle supporters and had a drink amongst them.

A couple of young idiots on the train, but they got off at Darlington.

I wanted to tell them to get their shoes of the seats, but my more sensible brother told me to leave it!!

John Raftery
19 Posted 03/04/2024 at 21:11:54
Thanks for the report Danny. I rate Mykolenko highly and have done since he joined us. Last night I thought he was our best defender. Instinctive is a very accurate description of his approach, especially in the six yard box where he has made several last ditch blocks to prevent goals. He was badly missed on Saturday.

The discussion about Garner’s best position is one that might run for some time. He is very much an all-purpose player capable of doing a job in several positions but perhaps not excelling in any particular one.

In recent matches in central midfield he has failed to reach the standards he set in the autumn. In our current set-up he is one of our very few players who can pose a goal threat in open play. Therefore I would like to see him pushing into the final third having more attempts on goal as he did last night.

The problem with that of course is the need for someone else to provide a consistent supply line through the midfield. We badly lack a creative player capable of dictating the play, carrying the ball and opening up opponents with a through pass. Gomes can be creative in short bursts. Using him as a substitute might be the best policy for the remaining weeks he is with us.

Rob (9) You were right about the number of steps. There are only 140 not 147. I ran up them in 65 seconds last night. My mate took ten minutes in the lift.

The location of the away fans at Newcastle has been an issue for many years. Henry Winter mentioned it in his match report for the Times. He asserted that finding an area closer to the pitch is one which the Premier League and Newcastle need to address. Well we know the Premier League are too busy deducting points from struggling clubs while Newcastle have no inclination to change given the advantages of sticking away supporters as far away from the action as they can. One for the new regulatory body, perhaps. I won’t be holding my breath.

Danny O’Neill
20 Posted 03/04/2024 at 21:49:30
Dave Cashen, I'm a total fool when it comes to Everton. Let me me know the next match you can attend. We need to meet up.
Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 04/04/2024 at 07:36:55
John, yes, early signs are that he is a utility player who can operate in several positions.

I suppose we also have to remember that he is still relatively young like a few of our players right now.

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