It might have been another tangerine dream of a day for Blackpool and their supporters but for the horrifying nightmare being endured by one of Ian Holloway's backroom boys. Having got off to a flyer in their first top-flight season for 39 years with a 4-0 win at Wigan, and subsequently crashed to earth with a 6-0 thrashing at Arsenal, the Seasiders soared to the heights again on the road yesterday.
With goals in the penultimate minute of each half – a penalty by Charlie Adam, their captain fantastic and a peach of a finish by D J Campbell, their first £1m player – Blackpool clipped the wings of the Magpies, the team who graduated with them last season as runaway champions and who put Aston Villa to the sword to the tune of 6-0 in their last home game. It was Newcastle's first defeat here in 27 games.
It was Blackpool's first League win on Tyneside since 29 August 1970, when John Craven scored the goals in a 2-1 success. It was thoroughly merited, too, harnessing the qualities that swept Holloway's charges to promotion, via the play-offs – graft, spirit and cohesion chief amongst them. They were marshalled superbly from central midfield by Adam, and saved on countless occasions by their inspired last line of defence, Matt Gilks.
Sadly, Blackpool's celebrations were muted, their youth-team coach Gary Parkinson having been rushed to hospital on Friday after suffering a stroke. The 42-year-old remained in what was described as "an extremely critical condition" yesterday.
"It's very serious," Holloway said. "The next few days are very important but all our love is with him and we believe he'll come through it. This puts everything in perspective."
Echoing the message unveiled on the goalscorers' vests, the Blackpool manager added: "That result was for Parky. Yesterday was my worst ever day in football management. If you'd asked me then, I'd have said we did not have a cat in hell's chance, but these boys never cease to amaze me."
Holloway's boys ought to have led from the 13th minute. Adam split the defence with a pass that put Campbell clear through the middle. The former forklift driver was unable to find the elevation his shot required to get past Steve Harper. Neither could Brett Ormerod with the follow-up.
Newcastle failed to muster a chance until the 25th minute, when Joey Barton pumped forward a free-kick and centre-half Mike Williamson dispatched a header that cannoned off the post. Six minutes later from a headed flick-on by Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan was thwarted by Gilks.
Those spurned chances caught up with Newcastle just before the interval. Alan Smith felled Luke Varney with a wild challenge and Adam calmly converted the penalty.
Right from the start of the second half Chris Hughton was stationed at pitchside, arms folded, urging the home side to find a way of redressing the balance. He did so in a state of increasing anxiety. His players had the possession but neither the wit nor the craft to capitalise on it.
By sheer force of will almost, Barton barged his way through but his low shot was stopped by the outstretched left arm of Gilks. Hughton sent on Peter Lovenkrands and the Dane might have levelled. Fortunately for the visitors, his shot on the turn lacked power and direction.
The game was up for Newcastle when the Blackpool keeper stopped a Carroll drive with his legs in the 88th minute. For good measure, though, Adam broke forward and slipped a pass to Campbell, who beat Harper with a cracking left-foot drive.
The ink on his T-shirt had smudged a bit but the message was still clear. Like everything else about Blackpool's brilliant victory at St James' Park yesterday, it was "For Parky".
Substitutes: Newcastle: Lovenkrands for Smith (62), Ben Arfa for Gutierrez (73), Ameobi for Routledge (81). Blackpool: Harewood for Ormerod (65), Southern for Varney (84), Carney for Grandin (85).
Bookings: Newcastle: Coloccini, Perch. Blackpool: Vaughan, Adam, Campbell.
Referee: Lee Mason
Man of the match: GilksReuse content