By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
There was no old pal's act at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday night as Stoke substitute Cameron Jerome made one goal and scored another to give the Potters an unlikely three points - much to Danny Simpson's despair.
With Newcastle leading through Papiss Cisse's fourth goal of the season, Jerome set up Jonathan Walters to equalise nine minutes from time then struck what proved to be a last-gasp winner.
It was so cruel on the Magpies, who suffered a fourth successive league defeat despite a much-improved display compared to recent outings as Tony Pulis' men maintained their unbeaten home record this term.
And Simpson was left to rue his close friend's starring role in the Potters' turnaround when he spoke exclusively to nufc.co.uk after the harsh 2-1 loss.
"I've known Cameron for many, many years now and he came on and shook it up a little bit," said the former Manchester United right-back.
"It was his cross for the first goal - it was with his left-foot, a bit of a swinger - and then when Kenwyne (Jones) knocked it down for him it was a good finish.
"And that's probably one of his first games for a long time. But if we play like and put in the effort and performances like that we'll win very, very soon."
Until Jerome's introduction midway through the second half, United looked on course for a first away victory of the campaign and few would have begrudged them that.
In the first half, Alan Pardew's side were compact and resolute then after Cisse's goal two minutes into the second period, they controlled much of the game and had a couple of chances to add to their lead.
Undoubtedly it was a display far removed from Sunday's defeat at Southampton but then came the cruel late twist.
"It was a big blow," Simpson said. "You can't fault our performance and we gave it everything, every single one of us.
"We looked comfortable and we felt comfortable at the back. We were dealing with everything they threw at us and we were trying to get a second goal.
"We had a couple of chances but the first goal and then the second one straight afterwards were just a big blow because I think we deserved a win to be honest with you.
"We all had a good chat after Southampton and said it wasn't good enough and that we need to perform better away from home to give us a chance.
"And it was the complete opposite today from Southampton. We did everything right, the gameplan was perfect and we went 1-0 up.
"But those two goals were a killer because I thought we deserved to win the game. I don't think they were better than us today but they got the two goals.
"We've got a couple of days now before the next game and we have to pick ourselves up and get going again."
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