On fright night, could Sunderland once again be haunted by an Ameobi?
It is seven years to the day that Sunderland were badly beaten at St James’s Park with Shola Ameobi finding the net twice to further cement his “Mackem Slayer” nickname.
Newcastle’s stalwart striker scored seven times in 16 games against the Black Cats, including a last-gasp equaliser on Tyneside in 2012.
Tonight the Black Cats face a different challenge as they host an improving Bolton Wanderers in what many fans are already calling a relegation six-pointer.
And they face a different Ameobi. Shola’s younger brother, Sammy, has been seen as key to Bolton’s upturn in form.
The Trotters’ manager Phil Parkinson had said he was hopeful Ameobi would “breathe fresh life” into his side once back from injury last month, and with two goals in his last three five appearances, the winger has done just that.
Ameobi’s awkward, gangly style cutting in from the right wing, and powerful left foot, would be a source of concern to Simon Grayson anyway.
But throw in his family name, and it’s understandable that Sunderland fans have taken to Twitter to voice their fears ahead of tonight. Here’s a selection:
@KerrieWilkinson: Odds on Sammy Ameobi ending Bolton’s run of 33 Championship away games without a win..? #safc
@CallumBradfield: 87. Goal. Ameobi punishes a defensive mistake to put Bolton ahead. 0-1. Might as well put the tweet out already. #SAFC
GWoods94: Can’t wait for tonight. Sitting in a half empty SOL watching Sammy Ameobi score a 89th minute winner to send us bottom of the league. #SAFC
@JacobKirkbride: Sammy Ameobi to net 90th minute winner against us tonight it’s written in the script #safc
@LdoubleE_87: Ameobi & Alnwick on Tuesday night….yina whats coming! #SAFC
@GazWilko86: Can’t wait to see Will Buckley turn Billy Jones inside out & plant 1 right on Sammy Ameobi’s heed for him to complete his hattrick tonight.