May 13, 2009
After a truly terrible string of results this year and only one win in 2009 (away at West Brom), we eventually won a six-pointer, only our seventh win all season. After a hugely dissappointing 0-0 draw at home to fellow strugglers Portsmouth last week, in what was deemed also a six-pointer, we actually played very well at home to the Smog-monsters and thoroughly deserved these vital three points. Newcastle being Newcastle did, of course, make somewhat hard work of a poor Middlesborough side, gifting the visitors a lead after just three minutes.
The goal itself came from one of our better players this season, Habib Beye. Tuncay cleverly turned inside the box only for Harper to stop his attempt at goal and somehow, the ball got tangled beneath Beye's legs, hit off his shin and bobbled into our goal. An own-goal this early on was not in the plans, but to the players' credit, head's did not drop as they perhaps would of prior to Shearer's arrival. Yes, courage, self-belief, determination and spirit are all words to be used in relation to the black and white's performance here, and how often could we do that this season?