April 24, 2024

Last night, Everton rescued a point at St James’ Park with an 88th-minute penalty, leaving Newcastle United fans feeling like they had lost two points.

The Magpies should have had the game wrapped up long before substitute Paul Dummett channeled his inner John Cena and pulled down Ashley Young in the area with no danger whatsoever.

In our post-match writing last night, I had to exercise a lot of control not to go all-in on Paul Dummett with an expletive-laden rant, but in retrospect, it’s difficult to blame him too much given how little football he’s played in the last two years. He was bound to be scared, panicked, and eager to make his mark. He surely did that.

I honestly didn’t think anyone would question if it was anything other than a stonewall penalty, and I was surprised to see it required an on-field review, but Eddie Howe wasn’t convinced.

Howe’s comments on the penalty didn’t make much sense

After the game, Howe spoke to TNT Sport about the disallowed goal and the penalty decision, citing them as two instances when VAR intervened in close calls, prompting the question of whether he felt unfairly treated by the decision.

“I believe it was both players grappling with one other; unfortunately for us, Paul’s arm was very high over Ashley Young, which made the difference for VAR and is why they reached the decision. But it’s one of those situations that could have gone any way.
It was indeed two players grappling until Dummett put Young in a headlock and dragged him to the ground.

Newcastle should have had the game wrapped up before the penalty incident

Newcastle United vs Everton Prediction and Betting Tips | 2nd April 2024


I’m all for wearing blinkers or seeing the world through black-and-white glasses, but there are moments when you just have to raise your hands up, and this was one of them. There were no excuses; it was clearly a penalty.

In the grand scheme of things, it shouldn’t have mattered because Newcastle should have been out of sight by then, but some great goalkeeping by Jordan Pickford and some poor decision-making in the final third by a few of our forwards meant we never got that second goal that would have sealed the game.

Ultimately, it was a game of substitutes. Sean Dyche made three substitutes that helped his team, while Eddie Howe was obliged to make a substitution that weakened our team and ultimately cost us the victory.

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