Morecambe - Another Banana Skin?
How important is tonight's League Cup tie with Morecambe? From a supporters perspective, this is the one trophy we could possibly win this season, but will Pardew see it that way?
The TV cameras will be at the cockle picking resort tonight, knowing an upset could be on the cards.
Pardew's cup record at Newcastle is nothing short of disastrous, and in the present climate, he knows defeat would be another nail in his coffin.
So how are Morecambe doing these days in the fourth tier of English football?
There last performance ...MORECAMBE 2 EXETER 0 1. Barry Roche 22. Andy Parrish 15. Chris McCready 5. Mark Hughes 6. Tony Diagne 17. Andrew Fleming 4. Alex Kenyon 10. Ryan Williams 82' 14. Marcus Marshall 73' 9. Jack Sampson 82' 11. Kevin Ellison Subs 3. Robbie Threlfall 16. Stewart Drummond 82' 19. Joe McGee 20. Joe Mwasile 73' 23. Chris Doyle 25. Andreas Arestidou 27. Padraig Amond 82'
Kevin Ellison's double helped Morecambe seal their first win of the season, a 2-0 home defeat of previously unbeaten Exeter.
Ellison (pictured right) provided two clinical finishes in the second half to give Jim Bentley's side a timely boost ahead of the Capital One Cup clash with Newcastle in midweek.
Ellison gave Morecambe the lead in the 46th minute when Jack Sampson swung in a delightful cross from the right wing and the unmarked Shrimps' veteran made no mistake with a header from six yards out.
The same two players combined eight minutes from time to give Morecambe a second. Sampson provided a superb pass into the area which Ellison took on his chest before he lobbed the onrushing Artur Krysiak superbly from 12 yards out.
Exeter did have chances of their own with Aaron Davies forcing Barry Roche into a scrambling save low to his left-hand side after cutting in from the left.
Roche was called upon again in the final moments of the game when he produced another fine block from the excellent John O'Flynn.
Morecambe thought they had taken the lead in the 18th minute when Sampson headed a Ryan Williams corner goalwards only for Aaron Dawson to clear off the line.
NEXT AWAY GAME ...
MORECAMBE - GLOBE ARENA
How To Get There And Where To Park
Exit the M6 at junction 34, then take the A683 towards Lancaster and take the A589 towards Morecambe. Go straight across two roundabouts passing a McDonalds outlet on your left. At the next roundabout (where there is a Toby Carvery) take the first exit into Westgate Road (signposted West Promenade, Sandylands). Continue along this road for about one mile and you will reach the stadium on your right.
Parking at the stadium is for permit holders only so it is a case of finding street parking. If you continue along Westgate passing the stadium on your right, then on the other side of the railway bridge there is plenty of street parking to be had in the side roads on either side.
Post Code for Sat Nav: LA3 3DF (This takes you to the nearby Regent Holiday Park).
Morecambe railway station is around a 25-30 minute walk away from the ground. As you come out of the railway station turn left down Central Drive past Frankie and Benny's, a Morrisons superstore and a KFC outlet and you will reach the sea front. Turn left along the promenade passing the Ranch House pub on your left and then take the 5th left into Regent Road. Proceed straight up Regent Road and continue along into Westgate. You will reach the stadium on your left hand side, just over the railway bridge. Morecambe is served by trains from Lancaster.
David Foster adds; 'From near Morecambe train station you can get a bus number 6 or 6A, from the bus stop located opposite Frankie & Benny's. This drops you right outside the stadium. Coming back there is a bus stop outside the ground, the bus then which goes into town along the sea front and then onto the railway station.'
Paul Legon informs me; 'There is new bus service number 12, that runs from Lancaster Station via the Heysham By-Pass to the Battery on Morecambe sea front. This is a 3 minute walk from the end of Regent Road. It is by far the best bus for supporters arriving at Lancaster station'.
Where To Drink?
The closest bar that admits away supporters is on the Regent Leisure Holiday Park. This is situated just a few minutes walk away from the stadium along Westgate (with the stadium entrance behind you, turn right, cross over to the other side of the road and the Regent Park entrance is down on the left). David Foster a visiting Chesterfield fan adds; 'I had a drink across at the Regent Caravan Park. This was fully accessible, offered a decent pint and food, plus had Sky television on a big screen and generally had a good atmosphere.' You can also park at Regent at a cost of £3 per vehicle.
Otherwise if you turn left out of the stadium entrance then around a ten minute walk away (located opposite a Lidl supermarket on Westgate) is the William Mitchell pub, which also shows Sky Sports. If driving to the stadium from the direction of Lancaster you will pass a Toby carvery which offers reasonably priced food.
A better bet (as we are at the seaside after all) is to take a 15 minute walk down to the sea front. With the entrance to the stadium behind you turn right and it is then a straight road up to the promenade. On reaching the sea front (where there are some great views across Morecambe Bay) turn right and you will reach a few more bars, including Davy Jones Locker in the basement of the Clarendon Hotel, as well as a cafe, for those feeling peckish. Continuing to walk along the front for about another five minutes you will reach the Ranch House pub. Good real ale on offer, hot pies at reasonable prices, large screen TV showing Sky Sports and an adjoining small amusement arcade to keep the kids happy, then what more would you want?
If arriving by train then you may care to try a Wetherspoon outlet in the town centre, called the Eric Bartholomew on Euston Road or on the sea front the Station Promenade pub, which also has a Wacky Warehouse for the young children. Anthony Yellop a visiting AFC Wimbledon supporter adds; 'We stumbled upon the Kings Arms which is located right opposite the Eric Morecambe statue. The upstairs has 4 pool tables, 2 darts boards, 3 massive televisions and a table football game. It did a really nice breakfast and had great staff. It was only a £5 cab ride to the ground, a brilliant base camp for larger groups'.
Near to the old Christie Park is the York Hotel, which was popular with away fans visiting the old ground. It lays on a double decker bus in matchdays to take fans to the new stadium from the hotel. See the York Hotel website for more details. Daniel Pemberton a visiting Lincoln City fan adds; 'I parked at the York Hotel, it was very friendly and did a nice meal. The Hotel lays on a bus (Cost £1) to take you to the ground, however I walked it and only took 10 minutes. Come out the main entrance to the hotel, turn right then immediately right again and follow the road down, you come to a sports and social club "Trimpell" on your left, continue on down past some stables on your right. The alley way brings you out right by the ground'.
There is also the CAMRA listed Smuggler's Den on Poulton Road, which if you have time on your hands is worth a visit. Otherwise alcohol is served inside the stadium in the form of Carling, Guinness, Caffreys & Strongbow.NEWCASTLE UNITED 0 WEST HAM 0 NEWCASTLE UNITED 1. Tim Krul 26. Mathieu Debuchy 13. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa 2. Fabricio Coloccini 3. Davide Santon 10. Hatem Ben Arfa 7. Moussa Sissoko 8. Vurnon Anita 22. Sylvain Marveaux 66' 23. Shola Ameobi 9. Papiss Cisse 72' Subs 11. Yoan Gouffran 72' 15. Dan Gosling 20. Gael Bigirimana 21. Rob Elliot 28. Sammy Ameobi 66' 29. Haris Vuckic 36. Paul Dummett WEST HAM UNITED 22. Jussi Jaaskelainen 20. Guy Demel 19. James Collins 2. Winston Reid 17. Joey O'Brien 21. Mohamed Diame 75' 16. Mark Noble 4. Kevin Nolan 23. Stewart Downing 64' 11. Modibo Maiga 7. Matthew Jarvis Subs 5. James Tomkins 8. Razvan Rat 12. Ricardo Vaz Te 13. Adrian 15. Ravel Morrison 75' 18. Alou Diarra 26. Joe Cole 64'
We have scored 7 goals in the last 13 games, and we couldn't even get a shot on target at St James' Park on Saturday.
Where do I start? This was the first game of the season at St James' Park, always a day of high expectations in a party atmosphere ... and I swear ... it was like a funeral.
Even after relegation, there was always a buzz around the place on the start of a new season as we beat Leeds 5-2 back in 1989 and Reading 3-0 in 2009, but this was like an invitation to a wake!
The Hammers fans taunted us with "Were's your famous atmosphere?" and 99.9% of the Toon fans in St James' didn't even have the enthusiasm to reply.
Rather than a build up to something new, it was 90 minutes of watching a side so lost in ideas, tactics and motivation.
Substitute Sammy Ameobi came within inches of salvaging three priceless points for under-pressure Alan Pardew but it would only have papered over the cracks.
Ameobi's injury-time cross caught the inside of Jussi Jaaskelainen's post and bounced back out to Yoan Gouffran who somehow contrived to spoon the rebound over the bar from point-blank range.
The near-miss summed up the frustrations of the Newcastle players who once again started without Frenchman Yohan Cabaye.
Cabaye didn't fancy playing because Arsenal want him, and he continues his Prince-like strike against humanity "I'm a slave!" protest that defies belief.
So we watched a side who failed to muster a single shot on target through the afternoon, while Kevin Nolan did us a massive favour by heading over the bar when the goal was at his mercy.
Former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce stretched his record of never having lost at his former club since his departure, but will have left the north east frustrated at not having taken all three points in a game his side edged.
Winston Reid, Kevin Nolan and substitute Joe Cole all missed good chances before the Hammers briefly thought they had won it themselves in the 89th minute when a Modibo Maiga tap-in was ruled out for offside.
United's best chances fell to Hatem Ben Arfa, who hit a couple of free-kicks well wide, and a misplaced back-pass by Reid which trickled inches past the post with keeper Jaaskelainen beaten.
He seemed on a mission to score and seemed to head for goal at every opportunity, bypassing those in better positions simply because he seemed to have no faith in them!
It was as though, "I'm not giving you the ball because I know I won't get it back!"
The Hammers had looked sharper from the start, winning a third minute corner which was flicked on to the far post where the lively Reid poked a shot towards goal which was blocked by Vurnon Anita.
The home side's first foray forward in the seventh minute was brought to an end by James Collins' foul on Ben Arfa, and the same player stepped up to scoop his dangerous-looking free-kick way over the bar.
Mohamed Diame was posing the home side some threat down the right but they came closest after 13 minutes when Anita played the ball towards Papiss Cisse and Reid's interception trickled inches past his own post with Jaaskelainen beaten.
Despite that near miss the visitors continued to shade the opening exchanges, and might have gone ahead five minutes later when Guy Demel dug out a cross from deep on the right but Maiga could not quite connect in front of goal.
Ben Arfa continued to be at the centre of most of Newcastle's attacking moves, screwing a hopeful effort wide in the 25th minute, while Reid had another chance at the other end, stretching for a flick-on by Maiga only for home keeper Tim Krul to get there first.
The darkening sky gave way to rain at the start of the second half and it was the Hammers who had the first chance, Stewart Downing bursting through down the left flank but hitting his shot straight at Krul after good work from Fabricio Coloccini to jostle him out wide.
Sylvain Marveaux belatedly stirred the home fans by surging into the box after a neat one-two with Ameobi, but the Frenchman slipped as he bustled past Collins and an all-too-rare opportunity for the hosts went begging.
Anita hardly played a ball forward the entire 90 minutes, choosing to play the simple ball left or right. Yes we kept possession, but it's a bit of magic we needed, not a crab in the middle of the park.
Meanwhile Mathieu Debuchy was as slow as normal, three times skinned down the right flank by West Ham's pacy wingers, and if he is any better than Danny Simpson ... I will show my arse in Fenwick's window!
But the Hammers had arguably the best chance of the game on the hour when Downing found space to cross from the right and the ball deflected wide off Nolan's shoulder when the former Newcastle man really should have scored.
Allardyce made his first change in the 63rd minute, replacing debutant Downing with Cole, while Newcastle soon followed suit by bringing on Ameobi for Marveaux - a change greeted with some displeasure by the home fans.
A series of further substitutions included the 75th minute introduction of Ravel Morrison for his Premier League debut, but it was fellow sub Cole who almost won it when he screwed a rising 82nd minute effort inches wide.
After Maiga briefly thought he had clinched it for the visitors there was even later drama when Ameobi came so close to easing the pressure on Pardew.
Newcastle United Fixtures ...
Wednesday August 2819:45 League Cup - 2nd Rnd Morecambe v Newcastle United *Sky Sports
Saturday August 3115:00 Premier League Newcastle United v Fulham
Saturday September 1415:00 Premier League Aston Villa v Newcastle United
Saturday September 2115:00 Premier League Newcastle United v Hull City
Monday September 3020:00 Premier League Everton v Newcastle United *Sky SportsNU-MAD - WE TELL IT AS IT IS! Join us on Facebook PLEASE join Newcastle Utd-Mad on Facebook:- Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Newcastleutd-mad/199695536844554
Source: Newcastle United Mad
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