A night to forget for Newcastle United’s trip to Blackburn ended in misery and a 7th defeat of the season.
STARTING XI: Darlow, Anita (Murphy, 87), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Colback (Perez, 77), Gouffran (Atsu, 85), Diame, Gayle
On what should have been a routine night to Rafa and his men against a poor Lancashire side, despite a second game in 48 hours, Newcastle would dominate yet come away with nothing.
With Jonjo Shelvey missing his third game of a five match ban there would be another start for Colback in central midfield whilst Diame would get the nod over an out of sorts Perez in the nr 10 role.
And things started pretty well for Newcastle who would dominate from the first whistle. Indeed the visitors should have been out of sight by half time after a number of decent chances.
Perhaps the writing should have been on the wall as early as the 20th minute when, after a great turn of speed and a barnstorming run, Diame would unleash a wonderful stake from fully 30 yards. His effort had beaten Steele all ends up in the Blackburn goal, but to the keepers relief the ball would not quite dip enough and would come thudding back off the Blackburn crossbar.
And by half time the 6,943 travelling fans, making up more than a third of the overall 18,524 crowd, were left wondering how their side was not ahead.
I mean, just look at the stats.
Into the second half and it would be more of the same. Newcastle dominating in every area of the field but just not finding a way through. In fact either side of what would turn out to be one of only two shots Blackburn would muster all game, and the winner, Newcastle would have a string of chances. These would include two goals ruled out, one for offside from Gayle, and another bundled over the line by Clark after a disputed handball.
Gayle in particular would have another couple of great chances.
The deciding moment will perhaps hide the most undeserving 3 points of the season come its end. A free-kick needlessly given away in quite ridiculous fashion by a player who is sharp getting the villain tag at St James Park, namely Jack Colback. And when Mulgrew side footed the ball home from 25 yards there was a feeling of inevitability and frustration in equal measure.
Not the first one that Rafa will have to put down to experience and certainly one that will give him food for thought.
That is 2 out of 3 we've lost without Shelvey, who is getting better and better each time he doesn't even play!