MIKE Ashley saw Hull City come from behind to beat Newcastle United 3-2 on a bitterly disappointing afternoon at St James’s Park.
Ashley, the club’s owner, watched the game with controversial director of football Joe Kinnear, who had defended United’s abortive efforts in the summer transfer window in the match programme.
And they saw loan signing Loic Remy twice put Alan Pardew’s side ahead on what was his full home debut.
But some dreadful defending led to goals from Robbie Brady, Ahmed Elmohamady and Sone Aluko, and Steve Bruce’s unfancied Hull left Tyneside with all three points.
Newcastle started well, and got a breakthrough in the 10th minute. Moussa Sissoko’s deep right-wing cross was knocked into the path of Remy by Papiss Demba Cisse, and he headed it past Allan McGregor.
But Hull fought back, and seconds after Tim Krul and Fabricio Coloccini denied Danny Graham, on loan from Sunderland, his first goal in nine months, Aluko played in Brady. He rolled the ball under Krul and into the net to make it 1-1 with 26 minutes gone.
Bruce’s side went on to dominate after the equaliser, but Newcastle edged ahead before break.
A shot from Yohan Cabaye was blocked by James Chester, and Remy was there to beat McGregor with a neat finish a minute before the break.
The lead, however, was short-lived.
Three minutes into the second half, Hull were level thanks to former Sunderland player Elmohamady, who glanced a Brady free kick beyond Krul, who was furious with his team’s defending for the set piece.
Cabaye limped off the field with an injury after being caught by Curtis Davies, and Yoan Gouffran replaced him.
It got worse for United. Aluko, a handful all afternoon, beat Krul with a superb strike from a left-wing George Boyd cross in the 76th minute.
Remy missed a late chance to level for Newcastle - the forward shot wide from two yards - and there were boos at the final whistle.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Debuchy (Tiote, 86), Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon; Anita, Sissoko, Cabaye (Gouffran, 62); Ben Arfa, Cisse (Marveaux, 73), Remy. Subs not used: Elliot, Dummett, Williamson, Sammy Ameobi.
HULL CITY: McGregor, Rosenior, Davies, Chester, Elmohamady, Brady (Meyler, 74), Huddlestone, Livermore, Quinn (Boyd, 64), Aluko, Graham (Sagbo, 84). Subs not used: Harper, Bruce, Faye, Proschwitz.
Goals: Remy 10, 44, Brady 26, Elmohamady 48, Aluko 76
Bookings: Huddlestone, Coloccini
Referee: Martin Atkinson (Leeds)
Attendance: 51,523 (2,875 Hull)