Match Report: Adam Le Fondre leaves Alan Pardew floundering

Newcastle United 1 Reading 2: Newcastle supporters turn on their team's manager after questionable substitutions lead to a Reading fightback which further extends a disastrous run

St James' Park

By the time the second goal went in, the Newcastle owner, Mike Ashley, had left – his seat, definitely, the ground, perhaps.

Derek Llambias, the Newcastle managing director, was similarly absent when Adam Le Fondre cast a city into despair.

Llambias had returned by the time Andre Marriner signified that Alan Pardew’s side had lost their 10th Premier League game from the last 14 they have played. There were jeers to greet the confirmation of defeat. There had been jeers for the substitutions of Sylvain Marveaux (tactical) and Yohan Cabaye (fitness related). There had been a dismissive wave of his right arm from Pardew to the criticism of that decision. There had been chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing”. No club teeters from success (fifth top in May) to disaster quite so quickly (currently two points off second bottom).

There had been a Herculean effort to clear St James’ Park and its surrounding areas of snow yesterday morning. It started at 7am, when a team of 200 reacted to Pardew’s desire for the game to be on. That collective desire seemed to end around seven hours later, at half-time, when Newcastle deservedly were a goal to the good.

Cabaye had returned to the starting XI for the first time since early November. It made a significant difference. His clever, crossfield pass led to the opening goal, when Marveaux was fouled on the edge of the Reading penalty area. Cabaye stroked the ball over the wall into the goal. It looked so simple, but nothing at Newcastle truly is. The second half implosion was the season lived out in 45 minutes.

There were decisions to be questioned. The use of Shola Ameobi on the right side of midfield. The withdrawal of Marveaux. The inability to defend simple situations, as in the ones that led to Reading’s goals.

Le Fondre cost Reading £300,000. Brian McDermott said afterwards that you could not buy Le Fondre’s right sock for that price now after his stunning double, from the substitutes’ bench. He also gave an impassioned defence of Pardew, who took him to Reading and gave him a start in coaching. Pardew needs that support right now. There has previously been support from the boardroom as well, but Ashley, on a rare appearance at St James’ Park this season, will have noticed two things: the lack of depth in the squad he has spent five-and-a-half years building, and the growing hostility to his current manager.

Pardew was asked if he was concerned about his position. “No,” he said. “I think I’m strong enough and [I’ve] been in situations before that I can deal with where we’re at. We were well set today. There was a good mood in the camp. It can change quickly when you’re down the bottom. The mood was quite good until the second half. You sensed we were losing a grip of the game. Defensively we need to improve, for sure. We wouldn’t have had an ugly day like we ended up having.

“Once they scored, we had a negative tilt on the game in terms of the stadium and the game. Taking Marveaux off was probably a mistake. It perhaps looked negative, and in a way it was. There was a bad reaction to that and that spread to the team. We looked very nervous after that and it was very difficult to turn that situation around. I didn’t envisage losing Yohan Cabaye. He had trained for 12 days. I thought he could get through the game.”

Newcastle didn’t strengthen in the summer. They will rue that decision until the end of a dreadful season. They are close to signing the French centre-half Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. He could yet be a replacement for Fabricio Coloccini, who has asked to leave and will have talks with the club tomorrow.

It was his defensive partner Mike Williamson who lost Le Fondre for the equalising goal, in the 71st minute, after Jimmy Kebe had crossed low from the Reading right. It was the forward’s first touch. There was a suspicion the ball brushed his hand on the way into the Newcastle goal. Six minutes later, it was more conclusive, Le Fondre turning sharply to crash a right-footed shot into the bottom corner of the net.

“I am proud of everyone,” said McDermott. “You don’t concentrate on what is going on in the crowd. We were concentrating on what we had to do. The most important thing was to keep believing.

“Alan Pardew was manager of the year last year. He brought me to Reading so I’ve got a lot to be grateful and thankful for. He is  a fantastic manager. They’ve had their injuries and maybe they didn’t spend in the summer time the way they could have done.” Even the manager of Reading can see that.

Newcastle (4-1-4-1): Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Anita (Obertan, 80); Ameobi, Cabaye (Bigirimana, 75), Marveaux (Perch, 65), Gutierrez; Cissé.

Reading (4-5-1): Federici; Kelly, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte; Kebe, Guthrie (Le Fondre, 70), McAnuff, Leigertwood, McCleary (Akpan, 64); Pogrebnyak.

Referee: Andre Marriner

Man of the match: Le Fondre (Reading)

Match rating: 5/10

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Arts and Entertainment
Ella Henderson's first studio album has gone straight to the top of the charts
music
News
<p>Jonathan Ross</p>
<p>Jonathan Ross (or Wossy, as he’s affectionately known) has been on television and radio for an extraordinarily long time, working on a seat in the pantheon of British presenters. Hosting Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for nine years, Ross has been in everything from the video game Fable to Phineas and Ferb. So it’s probably not so surprising that Ross studied at Southampton College of Art (since rebranded Southampton Solent), a university known nowadays for its media production courses.</p>
<p>However, after leaving Solent, Ross studied History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of the UCL, a move that was somewhat out of keeping with the rest of his career. Ross was made a fellow of the school in 2006 in recognition of his services to broadcasting.</p>
TV

Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new

Life and Style
fashion
News
Paul Nuttall, left, is seen as one of Ukip's key weapons in selling the party to the North of England
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand labelled 'left-wing commie scum' by Fox News
TV
Arts and Entertainment
BBC's Antiques Roadshow uncovers a TIE fighter pilot helmet from the 1977 Star Wars film, valuing it at £50,000
TV

TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow

News
people

Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'

Sport
Steven Caulker of QPR scores an own goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool
football
Arts and Entertainment
artKaren Wright tours the fair and wishes she had £11m to spare
News
i100
Life and Style
Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh been invited to take part in Women Fashion Power, a new exhibition that celebrates the way women's fashion has changed in relation to their growing power and equality over the past 150 years
fashionKirsty and Camila swap secrets about how to dress for success
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
booksNew book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past