Sunday, May 10, 2009

Friends in unlikely places

For the fact that we're still just three points from safety, thanks must largely be given to an ex-Mackem. That's how low the fear of relegation has brought us...

Liam Lawrence's 73rd minute screamer turned out to be the goal that secured Stoke's Premier League survival but, more to the point, condemned opponents Hull to another defeat. Having scored crucial goals against us home and away, old boy Abdoulaye Faye actually did us a favour for a change, too, being singled out by Messrs Hansen and Dixon on 'Match Of The Day' for his performance in the centre of the visitors' defence.

(Incidentally, is it just me or does the Tigers' Mackem manager Phil Brown look more as though he's been coated in creosote every time he appears on our screens?)

No such favouritism from another former Toon central defender, though. Titus Bramble kept up his record of being a right pain in the arse by tripping Marc-Antoine Fortune to concede a penalty and help West Brom to a 3-1 win over Wigan. The Baggies are now tied with us and the Smogs on 31 points, but our superior goal difference still has us as the likeliest team to drag Hull into the drop zone.

Beating the Smogs on Monday night may be all we need to do - but even that's a big ask for a side with seven wins in all competitions this season...


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