Adrian Mariappa couldn’t believe how Watford failed to score on Saturday.

In the first half alone they had 13 shots but couldn’t find the net once, as Newcastle’s goal led a charmed life.

Adrian Mariappa himself failed to put away two sitters, a free header from eight yards wasn’t put away and then the Watford star put a shot wide from only five yards out.

Newcastle actually tried to buy the centre-back, Alan Pardew confirming (see below) that the club made bids back in the January 2012 transfer window.

Instead, Adrian Mariappa stayed at his hometown club and has helped them to become an established Premier League club these recent years, they were in the Championship when Newcastle tried to buy the defender.

Mariappa was left very frustrated and said Watford had done the hard bit in terms of creating so many scoring opportunities, only to freeze in front of goal: ‘The hardest thing in football is to create chances and score goals…’

Ironic that Newcastle managed to get their first win of the season after a first half where the opposition probably had more chances than in any of NUFC’s previous 10 games.

Not happy about the winner either, the visiting player declared ‘We are bitterly disappointed really to come away with nothing.’

No sympathy from Newcastle fans of course as we have our own far larger problems still, despite this much-needed first win of the season.

BBC Sport – 31 January 2012:

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has confirmed that he has made “a final bid” for Watford defender Adrian Mariappa.

BBC Sport understands that Watford rejected a bid in the region of £2.25m from Wigan but the 25-year-old was not interested in speaking to the club.

And Pardew confirmed he had made his final offer for the centre-back.

Pardew said: “We have made our last bid now, it’s final. If he doesn’t come today, then he probably won’t come.”

He added: “In the summer, we will probably look elsewhere, if I am honest, so that’s that.

“It’s purely in Watford’s court. In terms of the boy, we obviously haven’t spoken to him.

“We are waiting for Watford to decide what they want to do, and they probably have to take into account what the boy wants to do as well, I should think, and we will see.”

Adrian Mariappa:

“We are bitterly disappointed really to come away with nothing.

“As a team we created a lot of chances and we have been punished for not taking them.

“I have had two chances in quick succession and should have scored both of them.

“All the lads are disappointed and we should have done better in front of goal.

“We are also disappointed to concede the goal we did as well.

“Our standards have been very high on defending set pieces and we are not happy with the goal.

“The hardest thing in football is to create chances and score goals…

“We have to take positives that we are creating chances.

“In previous games we have been clinical and managed to kill games off.

“It is a tough one and is a lesson we have to learn.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Watford 0

Goal: Perez 65

Possession was Watford 58% Newcastle 42%

Total shots were  Watford 16 Newcastle 10

Shots on target were Watford 1 Newcastle 2

Corners were  Watford 9 Newcastle 8

Referee: Craig Pawson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles (Schar 45), Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey (Ki 51), Kenedy, Rondon, Muto (Perez 45+2)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Joselu, Manquillo, Atsu

Crowd: 49,157 (Watford approx 1,500)

(Thousands of Newcastle fans didn’t miss much apart from a win! – Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Watford 0 – Read HERE)

(Javi Gracia can’t believe how his Watford side didn’t win, never mind get beat – Read HERE)

(Graeme Swann video message for Rafa Benitez after Newcastle win – See HERE)

(Charlie Nicholas dissects Newcastle 1 Watford 0 – Read HERE)

(Rafa Benitez post-match verdict – Read HERE)