Peter Crouch heaped further misery on Alan Pardew as his header gave Stoke City a 1-0 Premier League win over Newcastle United on Monday.
The lead-up to the Britannia Stadium clash had been dominated by controversy over comments from Newcastle owner Mike Ashley indicating that Pardew would be sacked if they lost to Stoke.
A legal representative for Ashley later insisted that the remarks were made in jest, however, he now has a decision to make after watching another lifeless performance which leaves Newcastle still awaiting their first league victory of the season.
Newcastle enjoyed plenty of possession in wet Staffordshire conditions but their failure to create clear-cut chances was punished by Crouch.
The 33-year-old striker hit home his second goal in as many league games, converting a Victor Moses delivery to seal victory and spark further calls for Pardew to be removed from his post.
Jack Colback somehow crashed an effort against the crossbar as the minutes ticked away, leaving Pardew sweating once again over his future on Tyneside.