Well it's not a game that will live long in the memory but that's true of the two previous matches between the two sides, a 0-0 draw at Upton Park and our 1-0 win in Geordieland last season. But had Nolan or Maiga buried great headed chances, we would have won again.
Defensively we were excellent, until the 92nd minute when an intended cross came back off the far post and fell invitingly at the feet of Gouffran, who missed from two feet! Pardew would have scored that one with his pants around his ankles and a player's wife bent over in front of him blocking his view of the ball!
But that really was Newcastle's one chance in the game, and that was a freakish accident. Demel and O'Brien controlled the flanks superbly, Reid and Collins were totally in control down the middle, and the midfield screened the back four tirelessly. Time and again, a Newcastle player in possession looked up and saw a wall of claret and blue. We weren't parking the bus, when we had the ball we attacked, we were just brilliantly organised, committed and disciplined. Noble and Diame, in particular, worked like the proverbial Trojan, chasing back, closing space, niggling at the man on the ball, slamming the door shut on any gaps and looking to springboard attacks when we won back the ball.
And we created chances. Maiga should have scored with an unchallenged header in the first half. Nolan had an even better chance in the second but, like Maiga, headed wide. Reid was agonisingly close twice in the first half. And Maiga had a goal struck off for offside, when the ball fell to him unmarked following a deflection.
The spirit was excellent, typified by the disappointment shown by Downing and Diame when they were substituted. It was pissing down, and West Ham players of yore would have been more than happy to make an early exit from a soggy game in the North East - but this lot are hungry!
Four points from six and no goals conceded to date. The opposition haven't looked great but we are playing without Carroll and had he been fit for today's game I have no doubt we would have collected maximum points. It wasn't thrilling but it was a huge improvement on the five goal hammering in our relegation season!
Player ratings: Jussi 5 (nothing to do!); Demel 7, Reid 8, Collins 8, O'Brien 8; Noble 7, Diame 8; Downing 6, Nolan 6, Jarvis 7; Maiga 6 Subs: Cole 6, Morrison 5