Two thousand Geordie fans watched their beloved Newcastle United go top of The Championship table via live beamback at St. James’ Park last night with a resounding 2-0 win over Barnsley to reaffirm their title credentials.
Nearly 6,000 traveling Geordie fans made the trip to Oakwell for the game and 2000 more back in Newcastle saw Dwight Gayle score a brace to put the black and whites on course for an instant return to The Premier League.
Tickets for away games have become even more highly sought after than ever among fans who have always loved away trips but after a barren few years on the road when wins at opposition stadiums became a rarity, Newcastle away wins are fast becoming the norm.
Following Newcastle even on TV or the internet has been a challenge this season as even foreign channels accessible in the UK do not automatically show games outside The Premier League while SKY Sports’ viewing figures are noticeably down with one of their biggest draws temporarily in The Championship.
With the greatest respect to the likes of Burnley, Watford, Sunderland et al, neutrals would rather be watching one of English’s football big clubs especially with world class manager Rafa Benitez at the helm playing increasingly attractive football.
Mike Ashley and the club’s response to supporter demand to see live games was swift & the beamback last night in The Nine and Terrace Bar meant 2000 more loyal fans could enjoy the away display to the max.
Chants of “We’re Newcastle and we’re going to win The League ran out” as Newcastle ground out another deserved three points with a combination of grit and quality with manager Benitez praising the collective:”
“It was a team effort.
“We made two changes, Ayoze and Colback to make sure we were physically stronger. We protected the centre-backs with Hayden and Jonjo was passing and moving the ball.
“Diame was working hard too, and the full-backs.
“We were solid because everybody knew what they had to do.”
Its not the first time away matches not on TV have been shown in Newcastle – in the mid-1990s the Odeon Cinema showed Kevin Keegan’s Entertainers games live including, memorably for those there, Tino Asprilla’s electric debut at Middlesbrough.
The Colombian Entertainer had an instant impact coming on as a second half substitute for Keith Gillespie, directly setting up Steve Watson’s equaliser of John Beresford’s own goal opener and had in hand in Les Ferdinand’s winner as he mesmerized Middlesbrough and Magpies fans alike with his skills.
Last night it was the turn of Dwight Gayle, Newcastle’s new no. 9, to extend his reputation on Tyneside as a prolific goal-scorer of genuine quality as he notched his 10th and 11th goals of the 2016/7 season.
With a goal a game from his opening 11 games for his new club and 62% shooting accuracy, the striker bought by Rafa Benitez from Crystal Palace for £9M has earned instant hero status on Tyneside and has reminded some Newcastle fans of Andy Cole’s instant impact at the club.
JonJo Shelvey has been the chief architect behind Gayle’s goals setting up the majority although it was Matt Ritchie’s excellent through ball last night.
Newcastle face Ipswich at St. James’ Park on Saturday hoping to maintain their lead at The Championship summit.