Newcastle turned in another wretched performance tonight as goals from Jon Walters and Cameron Jerome ensured the hapless Geordies snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Papiss Cisse scored his second goal of the season to put the visitors ahead at the Britannia, before two goals in the last ten minutes earned Stoke the points.

The loss is Newcastle’s fourth on the bounce and leaves them just two points above third bottom Southampton and in desperate form. Alan Pardew’s side played better tonight than in recent weeks, but the soft core showed again and the home side took full advantage.

The first half hugely unforgettable for all spectators, the closest anyone came was when Mike Williamson hashed a clearance off his own post with Tim Krul beaten. For the home side, Matthew Etherington’s strong run and cross almost found Charlie Adam but evaded the Scotland international.

An endless series of misplaced passes and no cutting edge meant the first 45 minutes passed without much incident.
The second half couldn’t be worse in terms of goal mouth action and just two minutes after the restart, it was Newcastle who broke the deadlock. Cheick Tiote won it just inside Stoke’s half and found Demba Ba, whose shot bounced awkwardly in front of Asmir Begovic. The big keeper couldn’t get it out of danger and Papiss Cisse was on hand to bag his second goal of the season.

Cisse last scored with his backside against West Brom and it proved to be the winner, much as the raucous Toon Army had hoped it would tonight. However, the introduction of Cameron Jerome inspired the home side and the Huddersfield-born hit man provided the equaliser for Walters with ten minutes remaining.

Walters has scored in this fixture the last three times it has been played and this time it was a glancing header from Jerome’s cross that beat Krul and levelled the scores.

Last season the goal would never have been conceded by Pardew’s solid Geordies but this time round once Stoke had the equaliser, you never fancied Newcastle to hold on to the draw. Three minutes had passed when a typical long hoof wasn’t dealt with by Williamson and Kenwyne Jones nodded into the path of Jerome, who smacked through Krul to give Stoke maximum points and move them into the top half of the Premier League.

By Chief Sports Writer, Marley Anderson