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It’s another defeat to report I’m afraid with the Clarets going down to a 2-0 defeat against Newcastle United at St. James’ Park to leave us on one point from our opening six Premier League games this season.

Miguel Almirón scored their opener fourteen minutes in with Alexander Isak scoring from the penalty spot fourteen minutes from the end on an afternoon when we had our moments but could have no complaints whatsoever about the result.

We departed reasonably early from Burnley, taking the route via Blubberhouses on the A59. It was trouble free until just around the time we were passing the Sunderland exit on the A1 when we hit a hold up. Thankfully, there was no panic; it was still before noon and we eventually found that it was roadworks (what a surprise) and once through we were parked up close to the river around 12:15 to give us time to explore Newcastle for a short time before climbing the hill to St. James’ Park and then the 140 steps up to the away end.

What is it about Newcastle? I know we don’t often win there but the home fans always seem to be more welcoming than anywhere else and only the one word of SUNDERLAND seems to upset them for some reason.

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My last port of call prior to making my way to the turnstiles, where I met another friendly Geordie whose name I can’t recall but he was a 10-year-old springer spaniel, was to go and have a chat with Bill who runs the foodbank collections.

He was astounded to hear that it had stopped at Burnley but there now it is mainly monetary donations they receive for the foodbank and he told me it is usually between £3,000 and £4,000 per match. That figure is doubled each time by Jamie Reuben, co-owner of Newcastle. It just shows what can be achieved when supporters, club and community work together.

On my last visit, I made my way to Level 7 of the Leazes Stand on foot. No chance this time, it was the lift for me to get me to what is now a safe standing area for away supporters, situated, I am reliably informed, a quarter of a mile away from the centre spot.

When the teams were announced, it brought news that we’d made one change from the team that had started against Manchester United, or one change from the team that had won at Salford. The one league change saw Sander Berge, who played so well at Salford, come in for the injured Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson.

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The Newcastle team was initially met with cheers from the Burnley fans as they first announced Nick Pope and then Kieran Trippier; it changed with the third and subsequent names in their line-up.

With Ashley Westwood’s goal in 2020 having come in a behind closed doors game, it’s fast approaching nine years since we last saw a Burnley player score at St. James’ Park, that being George Boyd in the 3-3 draw on New Year’s Day in 2015, but twice in the opening four minutes we were close to going in front.

In the very first minute, Luca Koleosho got the better of Dan Burn down our right, but his low ball across just evaded Aaron Ramsey. Three minutes later, Koleosho got the better of Burn after he’d slipped. This time his pass across was fine but Zeki Amdouni’s shot was saved by Pope with his leg although Amdouni, who has scored twice this season, I felt should have been scoring.

It was a good start nevertheless, but having come to nothing, Newcastle soon took over the game. We soon learned we weren’t playing Manchester United this week; Newcastle are a different level to them and they worked hard to stop us playing out for the back and they forced us into errors that saw us lose possession in our own half too many times.

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We did it once to often too, and it cost us the opening goal. Amdouni played the ball out to Ramsey on the left. In truth, he made a mess of it and despite Kieran Trippier, who spent much of the afternoon trying to referee the game, seemingly more concerned in wanting a non-existent handball decision, he still won the ball from Ramsey and found Almirón who, from around twenty yards hit a terrific shot in the top corner of James Trafford’s net.

We never seemed to recover from that and Newcastle saw an opportunity for another big win but they found Trafford in good form. He made good saves and they managed to also miss the chance of the match by Isak after Trafford had saved his first effort.

I think we were pleased to get in for half time just one goal behind but we had some Newcastle pressure to deal with in the opening quarter of an hour of the second half but again we survived it and then had probably our best period of the game which saw us come close twice with two good goal bound efforts blocked by Newcastle defenders.

We’d stayed in the game at 1-0 down, now could we go and rescue an unlikely point? No, we couldn’t and it was another self-inflicted wound that gave them their second goal and ended the game as a contest. Ameen Al-Dakhil’s awful header did no more than deliver the ball to Anthony Gordon and in trying to rescue the situation, he brought the Newcastle player down in the penalty box. I don’t think this referee Thomas Bramall was every going to decline an opportunity to give Newcastle a decision but we couldn’t argue with this and Isak sent Trafford the wrong way with the penalty.

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Al-Dakhil was close to making amends for that when he headed a corner towards goal but he was denied his first Burnley goal by Pope in what was our final opportunity of the game. Six minutes were added at the end during which Newcastle made two substitutions which resulted in absolutely no further time being added. Had we been attacking and only one goal behind I might have been somewhat unhappy about that but I just wanted the game to finish. Referees really don’t help themselves though do they?

I walked down the steps to get out although it was difficult and then it was the long trip to our designated stop on the way home all the way to Byker not much over a mile from the ground. Our wonderful researcher had found us another gem of a place although I can confirm there was no one in there from the Grove. I can also confirm the food and drink were outstanding, and we ate in too, this was no Saturday Night Takeaway.

Eventually the journey home in miserable weather, and another defeat to absorb. We had differing views but I felt we’d just been beaten by a better team, a team that had sussed us out and were too strong for us. It was a concerning defeat though, we need to be better than we were, we need to be stronger and we definitely need to find something that will make us more difficult to beat.

The teams were;

Newcastle: Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schär, Dan Burn, Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimarães, Elliot Anderson (Joelinton 64, Sandro Tonali 68), Miguel Almirón (Jacob Murphy 90+6), Alexander Isak (Tino Livramento 90+6), Anthony Gordon. Subs not used: Martin Dúbravka, Paul Dummett, Matt Targett, Lewis Hall, Matt Ritchie.
Yellow Card: Anthony Gordon.

Burnley: James Trafford, Connor Roberts (Vitinho 88), Ameen Al-Dakhil, Jordan Beyer, Charlie Taylor, Sander Berge (Anass Zaroury 88), Josh Cullen, Josh Brownhill, Luca Koleosho (Jacob Bruun Larsen 58), Zeki Amdouni (Jay Rodriguez 58), Aaron Ramsey (Wilson Odobert 67). Subs not used: Arijanet Muric, Dara O’Shea, Jack Cork, Mike Trésor.
Yellow Cards: Zeki Amdouni, Jordan Beyer, Charlie Taylor.

Referee: Thomas Bramall (Sheffield).

Attendance: tbc

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