Newcastle v SAFC

Watching the derby on Wearside

We joined fans in Quinn's Bar for Newcastle v Sunderland.

By Ashley Houghton

If you weren’t fortunate enough to be at St. James’ Park for last weekend’s memorable victory then, it would be hard to argue there was a better place to be than inside the Stadium of Light at Quinn’s Bar.

Just over 2,000 red and whites, including midfielder Craig Gardner, out-sang 50,000 on Tyneside, however the atmosphere was just as electric on Wearside.

Fans packed Quinn’s Bar, the Banqueting Suite, Business Lounge and executive boxes from 9am to soak up the day with fellow supporters.

The tension was knife-edged as fans tucked into their breakfast baps and discussed how the day would unfold. None of them could have envisaged the actual events.

As 12 noon ticked closer club legends joined the fans in Quinn’s Bar and were met with cheers as they stopped for photos and made the day extra-special for the hundreds of supporters packed inside.

Jimmy Montgomery and Dick Malone soaked up the atmosphere and could not hide their delight as the day’s events unfolded.

Kick-off was met with rapturous cheers as the biggest game of the club’s season was about to unravel into one that will stay with every Sunderland fan for the rest of their lives.

The Black Cats’ positive start to the game helped cure some of the nerves, though; they were ever-present as every challenge was met with roars from every person in the stadium.

As the hosts crept back into the game, restlessness started to present itself amongst the fans but Stephane Sessegnon made sure that was only short-lived.

The roof came off when the Benin international smashed home from 25 yards; in fact, I’ve still not seen the celebrations of the goal due to the bouncing up and down of the fans around me, everybody embraced each other as they sensed this was our day.

Half-time came at the right time and fans filled up on refreshments ready for the biggest 45 minutes of the campaign.

After last week’s defeat at Chelsea, fans would not be judged for worrying that the same may happen again.

And when Papiss Cisse’s strike crashed into the net, a stunned silence broke out inside Quinn’s Bar - that was, until the goal was ruled out for offside, which was arguably cheered more than any of the goals we scored.

The decision to rule Cisse’s goal out gave some of the fans I spoke to the hope that this might well be our day and when Adam Johnson crashed a left-foot strike into the top corner – it was confirmed.

The place absolutely erupted. You genuinely felt the emotion and just how much this meant to the amazing supporters of this club.

From then on, it was party time. Sunderland songs deafened the place and when it seemed the day couldn’t get any better, David Vaughan’s sweet left-foot strike nestled in the top corner to put the icing on the cake.

Elation, euphoria, ecstasy - all words that perhaps might not do the feeling and atmosphere justice – when Howard Webb blew the final whistle it was an incredible moment and one I’m sure will live long in the memory.

Most of the fans I spoke to after the game were all too aware there is a long way to go in terms of this season, but for now let’s enjoy one of the finest Tyne-Wear results in history.