WE have all endured games similar to Newcastle United’s smash and grab victory at Tottenham Hotspur.
You know the script.
Away team takes lead before defending lead manfully through a combination of skill, courage and luck.
I can remember Spurs defeating the Magpies at St James’s Park in 2004 in similar circumstances when some nomark defender called Timothee Atouba used his right-foot for practically the only time in his career to curl a 20-yarder past a statuesque Shay Given.
The same year Fulham had the temerity to score four times from four chances while Mark Crossley stopped umpteen shots at the other end with all parts of his anatomy to secure a 4-1 win.
Seasoned Newcastle fans will also reluctantly recall a 2-0 FA Cup third-round defeat to Brighton – yep, them again – in 1986 when the visitors scored at either end of the game and withstood a battering for 80-odd minutes inbetween.
I am sure both my readers can think of countless other examples of both daylight and floodlight robbery.
So I don’t have too much sympathy for Spurs amid claims that they deserved better on Sunday.
It’s not Newcastle’s fault that the home side could not beat Tim Krul with their 14 chances on target.
From a Toon perspective, it was good to see the Dutchman produce arguably his best performance in nearly two years since a similar points raid at Blackburn Rovers in January 2012.
Injury problems hampered his and ultimately the club’s campaign last season and Krul has been culpable for a number of goals conceded this term.
His return to form, however, carries a double-edged sword.
Any more displays like Sunday’s and bigger clubs – plus perhaps the odd smaller one – might offer to line United owner Mike Ashley’s pockets when that dreaded transfer window opens in little over six weeks.
I also wonder what that lengthy discussion Krul enjoyed with Liverpool keeper Simon Mingolet was about at the end of last month’s Gallowgate draw.
Fingers crossed its tone was little more than “aye, Mingo lad, you were right to get out of Sunderland when you did”.
- GAVIN LEDWITH