Newcastle 1 – 3 City

On Boxing Day, Stephen, Billy and I drove into Newcastle for our family derby. We had been so pleased when we saw this fixture as we don’t normally see each other on Boxing Day, going as we do, to our respective matches. In fact, this was the first Boxing Day in 9 years that the Toon had played at home so we were ALL happy at only having a local trip to make for once. We met up with fellow City and Newcastle fans in our usual pre-match watering hole and had a pleasant couple of hours before the game.

After climbing the millions of stairs to the away area (actually the climb isn’t as bad as people make out, as long as you pace yourself) I thought the view over the top of the stadium, of a snow covered city was pretty so couldn’t resist taking a photo. (Click for full size to see properly.)

View over Newcastle SJP

I was sitting with my fellow North East Blues – well, I say sitting but actually we stood throughout the entire game. We had a fabulous time, singing and cheering, and “doing the Poznan(so called after City fans adopted it from Lech Poznan fans.) Home fans were pretty quiet throughout, which is quite rare, so the away fans just had fun amongst themselves. With two early goals, my throat was sore almost from the start but it was well worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Newcastle played OK and certainly were dominant for much of the game but City somehow didn’t look too troubled and somehow I wasn’t too nervous. When Newcastle scored their consolation goal and the home fans found their voices, City fans sang “We forgot that you were here” ๐Ÿ˜€ I was pleased that the ref, who did make some odd decisions, often in City’s favour, did not actually make any game changing ones and therefore did not control the outcome as in the previous meeting between our clubs.

MCFC’s 60 second highlights video here.

After the final whistle,it took a while to get down the stairs again and when we did finally do so, the police were being rather heavy handed with the segregation and I had no way to get to Billy nor he to me. I was with Rick who was also headed back to the pub so I sent Billy a text to say I’d see him in there which seemed the easiest thing to do. We had to walk a very long way round the stadium – mingling with home fans anyway so the point of the police sending us the long way round was what exactly? Billy called me again and asked me to wait for him where I was but poor Rick was desperate for the loo so I just had to hope we didn’t have to wait too long since he refused to go on ahead and leave me. (Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the offer, though didn’t feel at all threatened or worried waiting where we were.) Billy and Stephen appeared eventually and we went back to the pub together, though Billy was in his usual bitter, hostile post-match mood so I’d rather have just met him in there.

I’d had a text during the game (just the one this time, fortunately, unlike the last time City played at SJP where the abusive texts were many and venomous) in which Billy said that City had bought the ref again. After the game he went on at length about City have 12 or even 13 men, though eventually he did concede that it was not the ref that had cost them the game, but the two early goals gifted by their defence. Immediately after these games, Billy is not a rational man and even though I’m his wife, I can both see and feel the pure hate he has for me as an opposition fan – it ain’t pretty, I can tell you.

Fortunately, after another pint or two in the pub he calmed down, as he always does, and we got to enjoy just being with friends again. As ever, I enjoyed seeing Ian, Chris and co (Billy’s football going friends) again and hopefully I can go to a Newcastle match sometime and see them again.

I had also enjoyed spending time with Stephen (apart from during the match of course, when he and Billy were in the home end) and I think Billy had enjoyed this too as he asked Stephen if he’d like to go to a few more games together as and when opportunity presented itself. ๐Ÿ™‚

All in all, a nice way to spend Boxing Day especially when there was so little travelling for a change, though of course, I was the happiest of the party by the end of the day.

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