Sat 11 May 2024, 17:27 · Ash Harrison

The Premier League season at St James' Park is over - And so it ended not with a bang but with a whimper

The Premier League season at St James' Park is over - And so it ended not with a bang but with a whimper
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Newcastle United played their final home game of the 2023/24 Premier League season today and despite picking up a point heard boos ring out around the stadium at full time.

The boos were probably aimed more at the referee Darren England than the players as the man in the middle made some calls that in real time looked questionable, but in truth, England actually had a pretty decent game.

Brighton took away a point as the game finished 1-1 and neither side really deserved to win. You could argue that Newcastle probably had the best chances but both sides were guilty of the exact same thing, and that was making the wrong decision in the final third.

Neither side looked like they actually wanted to score with poor passes and poorer choices made in the final third by both teams.

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Sean Longstaff bagged his sixth goal of the season against Brighton

Newcastle started brighter than usual but still went behind early on

As is tradition lately, Newcastle fell a goal behind in the first 20 minutes when Joel Veltman poked home from close range following a corner after losing Elliot Anderson. It was a goal that came against the run of play, really, but it settled Brighton down and let them get into the game more.

Newcastle looked to be heading into the break a goal down but Sean Longstaff popped up right at the end of first-half stoppage time to level things up after a brilliant bit of play between Lewis Hall and Elliot Anderson who fed the ball to Longstaff to open up his body and guide the ball home.

From there, Newcastle really should have put the game to bed. It looked for all the world like Newcastle would come out in the second half and dominate as they have done so often this season, but it just wasn't meant to be.

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The word of the day is: Frustration

The game got more and more frustrating as it went on with nothing Newcastle were doing coming off. Eddie Howe made a trio of substitutions bringing off Sean Longstaff, Jacob Murphy and for some bizarre reason Alexander Isak to replace with Joelinton, Miguel Almiron and Harvey Barnes.

For all Isak was getting absolutely no service, he is one of those players who only needs half a chance to get a goal, and when you're in a game like this one where luck could be the deciding factor, keeping Isak on the pitch made sense. Especially when you then have no actual striker on the pitch for the remainder of the game.

Two of the aforementioned substitutes had big roles to play in the final moments after Harvey Barnes delayed a pass just too long which caused Miguel Almiron to stray offside in a move that saw him set up Anthony Gordon for a goal which was, rightly, chalked off.

Harvey Barnes also wasted two good efforts to snatch the lead, ballooning one shot over the bar and hitting the other straight at the Brighton 'keeper, and finally, Miggy decided he'd throw himself to the ground in dramatic fashion trying to win a free kick when had he stayed on his feet he'd have been in a fantastic position to play a ball into the box for Gordon.

The poor players had to do the traditional end-of-season lap of honour after the game, but I dare bet neither they or the fans were in the mood for it after that game.