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Opinion

Preston Captain apologies 14 years too late for handball v Newcastle United

4 years ago
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A strange night for Paul Gallagher.

The Preston skipper leading his team out at St James Park as they attempted to thwart Newcastle United’s automatic promotion bid.

The visitors conceded a soft opening goal to Ayoze Perez from a corner, before quickly equalising with a decent goal of their own. In between those goals, Paul Gallagher cleverly set up a teammate to go one on one with Rob Elliot only for the Newcastle keeper to pull off a very good save.

On the stroke of half-time Preston were caught in possession on the halfway line and a quick break saw Christian Atsu restore the advantage.

With just short of 20 minutes of the second period gone though, Newcastle fans were starting to get a little edgy, until an overhead kick from Perez was sent goalwards.

With the keeper beaten, it was left to Paul Gallagher to pull off an outstanding save of his own.

This save comes 14 years after a certain…Paul Gallagher, punched the ball into the net at St James Park.

Then a 19 year old playing for Blackburn, the now Preston Captain scored the only goal of the game with a handball that was only slightly less blatant.

Sadly on the 28 December 2003, referee Mark Halsey managed to miss that Paul Gallagher infringement and United lost 1-0 to the visiting Blackburn – this proving to be Sir Bobby’s last full season and Newcastle ended up fifth in the Premier League.

Mark Halsey if you remember, was also the same referee who managed to somehow miss the fact that Callum McManaman almost ended Massadio Haidara’s career with a vicious cowardly assault when Newcastle played Wigan, the clueless Halsey not even awarding Newcastle a free-kick!

So maybe not that great a surprise he couldn’t see a simple handball.

Considering his cheating escapade 14 years earlier, a bit of a shame that Paul Gallagher’s red card last night wasn’t more costly for himself, as he and his team are just now playing out the season.

Who says we don’t hold a grudge!

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

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