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Question of the Week

Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

Strong yes
Weak yes
Weak no
Strong no

Jones: MOM
Jones: MOM

Newcastle Part 2

By: Gareth Edwards
Date: 26/10/2005

Town kicked off the second half towards the Pontoon end which had seen Jean-Paul Kamudimba’s volley shock Spurs in the previous round. However, the Pontoon could only look on nervously in the second half and were not to see such heroics this time around.

Town defended stoutly throughout nevertheless and repelled many of Newcastle’s well worked attacks. Tom Newey was the first to make a vital clearance by snuffing out a promising Ramage cross, and Whittle and Jones battled well to clear some dangerous Ameobi crosses.

Russell Slade then opted to bring on both Andy Parkinson and Martin Gritton, in place of the tiring Gary Jones and Calvin Andrew. Graeme Souness soon followed suit by replacing the impressive midfield duo of Nobby Solano and Amdy Faye, with Lee Clark and Martin Brittaine.

Rob Jones then had what looked to be a dream chance from Gary Cohen’s cross but he couldn't get his head over the ball enough, being only able to head the ball upwards. It was a miss Town were left to rue.

It was through unlucky circumstances in which Town fell behind, but veteran goal scorer Alan Shearer certainly made Town pay. Tom Newey’s slip on the edge of the box meant Town couldn't clear their lines and Michael Chopra seized the opportunity to play Shearer in. When the ball broke to the Geordie on the edge of the box, Mildenhall was never going to stop his left footed pile driver into the bottom corner, giving Town a prime example of the quality finish they often lack.

It was a sucker punch for those Town fans who'd maybe began to let their minds wander towards extra-time and even Town’s first corner of the game couldn't bring them an equaliser, despite the best efforts of Rob Jones and co.

The well contested game was nevertheless greeted well by the Blundell Park faithful despite the loss, although this mood did turn slightly sour when Shearer, still smarting from his ongoing tussle with Whittle, refused the handshake of the former Hull man and stomped off into the tunnel in what could only be described as a "huff".

Town now look towards the nitty gritty of the league, starting at Northampton on Saturday and will hope that Russell Slade will remain with them in their quest for promotion, despite snowballing rumours linking him to the Bristol rovers vacancy. And the Town fans and players are hoping they are just exactly that: rumours.

Full Time: Town 0 Newcastle 1

MOM: Rob Jones - Town’s best chance of a goal and accomplished at the back once again, along with Whittle, even in the face of Shearer and company

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