IT was a case of glad that’s all over.
There was little warmth for Alan Pardew from the away end on a cold night at Selhurst Park.
And there was little to get excited about on the pitch as Newcastle United were held to a 1-1 draw.
Last night’s game against Crystal Palace – whose anthem is the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over” – was largely forgettable.
The highlight was a fine goal from Papiss Demba Cisse, who met a beautifully-crafted right-wing cross from Daryl Janmaat to put Newcastle into a first-half lead.
But Fraizer Campbell struck in the second half to end a run of six successive victories for the club at Selhurst Park.
In his programme notes, former Newcastle manager Pardew – who swapped United for his former club last month – said it was time to “move on”.
But there was also an acknowledgement that supporters had “run of out patience” with him on Tyneside.
“For a variety of reasons, the Newcastle supporters ran out of patience with me as manager of their club, but I assure each and every one of them who have travelled to Selhurst that I bear no grudge,” wrote Pardew.
“You love your club more than any owner or manager, and the pressure that goes with a job like is well known before you taken on the challenge.
“Let’s move on and try and cherish the good days we had together.”
But when will United again enjoy good days?
The club’s 2,762 fans, after witnessing two defensive substitutions, chanted “attack, attack, attack” in the dying minutes.
And head coach John Carver, Pardew’s immediate replacement, has a job on his hands to persuade those supporters that he is the right man to take the club forward in the longer term.
Carver restored Cisse to his starting XI – Vurnon Anita dropped down to the bench – and replaced the injured Sammy Ameobi with Yoan Gouffran.
Pardew – who had opted not to hold a pre-match Press conference for a game which he knew he would be the focus – applauded Newcastle’s travelling support as he strode purposefully along the touchline and towards the dugout.
United’s fans didn’t boo, but the applause wasn’t reciprocated.
Pardew and Carver’s team were less purposeful with the ball in a scrappy opening 20 minutes in SE25.
Soon, the away fans were chanting against Pardew, brought to Selhurst Park at the cost of more than £3m, a staggering figure for a manager, by the club’s co-chairman, Steve Parish.
Parish visited the stadium’s new media centre before the game to talk to journalists.
United owner Mike Ashley has never visited the St James’s Park Press room, where the only refreshments available for months have been tea and coffee.
Pardew and Carver had had a drink of something stronger the night before the match.
But their friendship was put on hold for 90 minutes.
Campbell, on for the injured Yaya Sanogo, had the ball in the net in the 35th minute, but his strike was rightly ruled offside, with the visiting defence having stepped up before he met Jason Puncheon’s cross with his head.
The breakthrough, fortunately, came at the other end.
Three minutes before the break, Daryl Janmaat broke up the right and cross for Cisse, who pulled back and lost his marker before heading past goalkeeper Julian Speroni to net his 10th goal of the season.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini was struck by a coin as he celebrated with Cisse in front of the Holmesdale Road stand.
Defender Mike Williamson put a shot over the bar early in the second half as Newcastle pressed for a second goal.
Palace, however, troubled United with their pace down the flanks, though striker Maroune Chamakh, wearing a mask to protect a recently-broken nose, was off the pace.
The game swung from end to end, and the ineffective Chamakh was replaced by Dwight Gayle in the 66th minute.
Yannick Bolasie quickly followed Gayle on to the field, and it was from his right-wing cross that Palace levelled in the 71st minute.
Campbell lost Williamson to slid in and poke the ball past goalkeeper Tim Krul. It was a poor, poor goal to concede, and Carver’s face told its own story as Pardew punched the air.
Cisse was replaced by midfielder Mehdi Abeid for the last 12 minutes, and Paul Dummett was thrown on by Carver in an attempt to shore his team up.
United’s fans, however, had other ideas, and implored the side to “attack, attack, attack”.
Krul turned a header from Brede Hangeland around the post in the dying minutes.
Emmanuel Riviere – who scored twice in Newcastle’s Capital One Cup win at Selhurst Park early this season – came on for Ayoze Perez in a final change.
But there was no time for Riviere to repeat those heroics.
It’s over. Move on.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul 7; JANMAAT 7, Coloccini 7, Williamson 6, Haidara 6; Colback 6, Sissoko 6; Cabella 6 (Dummett, 85), Perez 6, Gouffran 6; Cisse 7 (Abeid, 78). Subs not used: Woodman, R Taylor, Anita, Obertan.
CRYSTAL PALACE: Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Hangeland, Kelly (Bolasie, 68), McArthur, Ledley, Puncheon, Zaha, Chamakh (Gayle, 66), Sanogo (Campbell, 26). Subs not used: Hennessey, Mariappa, Mutch, Murray.
Man of the match: Daryl Janmaat. A powerful and combative performance.
Highlight: Janmaat’s cross for Papiss Demba Cisse’s goal. It was exquisite.
Lowlight: The coin-throwing incident which John Carver felt could have blinded Fabricio Coloccini in one eye.
Goals: Cisse 42, Campbell 71
Bookings: McArthur 49, Janmaat 54, Colback 55
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
Attendance: 25,118 (2,762 Newcastle)