association with NUFC.com
1st February 2009, 1.30pm
Live on Sky
Venue: St.James' Park
Conditions: restless & wild
1 - 1
took 12 minutes longer than he had done at the stadium of plight to put his
side ahead after Fulop's giant clearance downfield was headed back from the
edge of his box by Sebastien Bassong.
Newcastle 1 mackems 1
The ball dropped to Whitehead who pumped it back forward instantly, with
Jones and Bassong both missing the ball, which then dropped nicely for Cisse
- who had turned quicker than marker Coloccini and just stayed onside.
Although Harper half-blocked the initial effort, it rebounded favourably for
the Frenchman to knock the ball into the empty Gallowgate net from six yards
Half time: Newcastle 0 mackems 1
69 mins TV
replays showed that contact between Taylor and Malbranque was scarcely
illegal and more due to our man stepping sideways, rather than a trip or
push. Nevertheless he tumbled and successfully appealed, before having a
mini-celebration with the Gallowgate End as he retrieved the ball. We'll
plagiarise ourselves at this point:
"To audible groans from the crowd, Ameobi seized on the ball
and placed it on the spot before turning those jeers to cheers."
That's taken from the NUFC.com report of a home win in the Carling Cup
over Norwich in October 2004 - the occasion of Ameobi's first-ever spot
kick. Over four years on, the apprehension was much the same, with many
people being unable to look. Having said that though, for a split second it
did look as if Spiderman was going to take the kick, which was frankly even
enlightened us by saying:
"It was thud and
blunder" (we think he meant "blood and thunder"...)
“It could have gone either way, but I
thought we dominated things after the break. It was a typical derby, end to end
stuff. I’m pleased with the performance, because it’s been a struggle just
to get a team out of late.
“I want to get 16 or 17 points quickly,
because then I can forget about this season and look towards next season. It’s
been a struggle since I walked in here on day one. We’ve been torn to shreds
with turmoil and injuries, so it will be nice to put that behind us.”
On the final day of the
looking for another two players on top of Kevin (Nolan) and Ryan (Taylor).
I’d originally earmarked four, and we’ve been chasing players for a while
now. Ideally, one of them would be a striker.
“Ryan’s been with us for the last two
days. He watched the game and will be a really useful addition. He can play in
both fullback positions, and can play in both wide positions in midfield. He has
a good future ahead of him, and is an Under-21 international. I’ll be
disappointed if the deal falls through now.
“We bent over backwards to try and keep
him (Shay) at Newcastle and offered him a longer contract to stay at the
club. He’s been with Newcastle for a long time and has been a great servant,
but he felt the time was right to move on and so realistically we had no choice
but to reluctantly agree to allow him to make this move.”
Steven Taylor added:
"The referee gave the
decision and we scored. During the week, we didn't get a penalty against
Manchester City, so what goes around comes around. He touched my back leg. There
was some contact and I seemed to lose my footing and went down. I celebrated
getting the penalty, but we hadn't scored yet. Once we got the goal, I was
"If we can play like we did in the second half, with more belief, then I
don't think we will have too many problems. At 1-0 down, we knew we had to stick
together given the situation we are in, which is a relegation fight."
Shola Ameobi chipped in
"With the fact we had a few injuries, when
he asked me if I wanted to play, there was only going to be one answer. It was a
big thing, not just because of where we are, but the opposition was our
arch-rivals. I wanted to play.
"We were disappointed
we did not take the three points in the end but it is a starting point for us.
The second-half display from the boys was fantastic. We have to play a lot more
like that if we are going to win games."
Ricky Sbragia commented:
“They got the
penalty – a bit of a soft one in our opinion – but it was given
and we have to abide by it. The referee gave it and I don’t want to
“Maybe from the
angle that the referee was at, he saw it that way. Of course, we’ve
seen it on video and it didn’t look a penalty, to be honest. I
don’t think he actually made contact, I think he (Taylor) has
scuffed the ground but the referee has given it and we can’t do
anything about it.
gave it – the linesman didn’t seem to give the decision. But we
have to get on with it. Some decisions you get, some you don’t.
Looking at things the other way, he could have sent Phil Bardsley off
for a rash tackle later on and I was pleased that he didn’t!”
opened it up – he did everything right and I expected him to slot it
away but he elected to play it square and he was a bit heavy with the
strikers tend to be a bit greedy in those situations and I wish he had
have been greedy and had a shot!”
“I thought it
was a point gained. We had the better of the first half and went a
goal up, but we really needed a second goal. Credit to Newcastle, they
put us under severe pressure in the second half and maybe we were a
bit lucky to come away with a draw because they had a few chances as
“Early in the
season we might have folded under that pressure but we were quite
resilient, but as the game wore on, it opened up again and I felt we
had the best chances in the last 5 minutes.”
United v smb @ SJP since 1980:
2008/09: Drew 1-1 Ameobi (pen)
2007/08: Won 2-0 Owen 2 (1pen)
2005/06: Won 3-2 Ameobi, og(Caldwell), Emre
2002/03: Won 2-0 Bellamy, Shearer
2001/02: Drew 1-1 Bellamy
2000/01: Lost 1-2 Speed
1999/00: Lost 1-2 Dyer
1996/97: Drew 1-1 Shearer
1992/93: Won 1-0 Sellars
1991/92: Won 1-0 Kelly
1989/90: Lost 0-2
1989/90: Drew 1-1 McGhee
1984/85: Won 3-1 Beardsley 3 (1pen)
1979/80: Won 3-1 Cartwright, Cassidy, Shoulder
All Time Tyne-wear stats:
The failure of the mackems to win this game meant that they failed to do the
double over us in a season - having last managed that way back in 1966/67.
The 141st competitive game between the two rivals ended with a 46th
draw, with the mackems unable to improve on their 44 victories and Newcastle
left on 51 wins.
Shola Ameobi's goal was our 212th in derby games; the
opposition have now managed 208.
Steve Harper made his first home appearance of the season and extended
his unbeaten record in this fixture to four games, winning one and drawing the other three.
There was a home debut for Peter Lovenkrands as substitute, while Kevin
Nolan became the 148th player to have featured for us in the Premier
For the opposition, Michael Chopra made a second return to his former
home ground but has still to taste a derby win for the mackems in three
attempts (being an unused sub at the stadium of plight earlier in the
Ameobi belatedly celebrated his new three year contract by netting the 50th
senior goal of his Newcastle career - and his fourth in derby matches, one more
than Alan Shearer.
2000/01: 2 (2 PL)
2001/02: 5 (3 IT, 2 LC)
2002/03: 8 (5 PL, 3 CL)
2003/04: 10 (7 PL, 3 UEFA)
2004/05: 7 (2 PL, 3 FAC, 1 LC, 1 UEFA)
2005/06: 9 (9 PL)
2006/07: 5 (3 PL, 2 IT)
2007/08: 0 (0)
2008/09: 4 (4 PL)
Those 50 goals have taken Shola 245 games to amass: 145 starts
& 100 sub appearances.
Shola from the spot - 4 pens, 4 goals:
Nov 2004 v Norwich (h) LC
Apr 2006 v West Brom (h) PL
Oct 2006 v Bolton (h) PL
Jan 2009 v Mackems (h) PL
Ameobi also netted in the penalty shootout at home to Partizan Belgrade
in the Champions League Qualifier.
As for friendlies, he converted his shootout efforts in Thailand and
Hong Kong in the 2004 pre- season, but missed one away to Bray Wanderers
in August 2005.
PS: In scoring both home and away in Tyne-wear derby fixtures this
season, Shola became the first Toon player to achieve this since Paul Cannell in 1976/77.
Ameobi struck his 50th goal for the club on Sunday afternoon to save Newcastle
from what would have been a catastrophic double derby defeat to the mackems in
this wretched season.
But a significant assist came from both referee Howard Webb for his penalty
award and Ameobi's former Magpie striker partner Michael Chopra - with the
double agent blowing an easy chance of a late winner (before deserting the
mackems again just hours later).
However, the initial relief at avoiding defeat couldn't hide the disappointment
that of another two points dropped - a look at our upcoming fixtures confirming
that this was a must-win game.
And having got back on terms, the visitors were there for the taking - with
Jones well shackled in the main and main goalscoring threat Cisse injuring
himself. They shaded the first half but going in a goal ahead flattered them,
with chances otherwise equally distributed - Richardson's bouncing free kick
striking the post before Carroll's header glancing the cross bar.
And the first vital contribution new boy Kevin Nolan made was a vital block on
the line to deny Jones a goal as he followed in that Richardson effort.
The mackems drew first blood though, prompting a one-person pitch invasion from
a clown in the Leazes End goal. Meanwhile home fans at that end of the ground
reported being struck by various objects hurled down from the away fans above
them on Level 7.
A rejuvenated Newcastle came out after the break though and thoroughly deserved
to get back on terms, although chances had been few and far between before the
referee decided to lend a hand.
Damien Duff had already tried to con ref Webb into a spot-kick award with a
shocking tumble - receiving a booking for his trouble. Gutierrez also responded
to a tackle in midfield by tumbling over with a triple salco that would have
made Joanne Conway envious...
Shola had a glorious opportunity to add to his well-taken penalty but failed to
make meaningful contact once Duff's perfect cross from the right had eluded the
'keeper. That was a rare piece of proficiency from the Irishman though, fellow
wide man Gutierrez equally profligate when it came to passing the ball
accurately or providing any semblance of service to our twin six foot
Spiderman was duly given the man of the match award, but Bassong had another
fine afternoon despite a less-than-exemplary Taylor display - while Jose
Enrique gave one of his best performances in our colours.
Kieran Richardson had the chance to repeat his match -winning free-kick from
the October meeting at the other end but thankfully could only blast over. Then
came the chance for Chopra to become a Tyne & wear derby scorer for both
sides after nicking the ball from Coloccini.
Inexplicably however, he elected to pass and his overhit ball to Jones sailed
harmlessly past him.
That would have been a hammer blow to our chances of survival and an injustice
after our dominant second half display, with another five minutes of added time
seeing plenty huff and puff but only a speculative Lovenkrands lob to trouble
The point lifted us up a couple of places but we remain firmly in the mire. The
only real winners today were our relegation rivals, with the boro celebrating
another derby draw after failing to beat Blackburn the previous day.
For Shola though there was the reward of a goal upon his return after missing
six games through injury. And although patently unfit, he put a shift in while
other players were watching from the sidelines - as he did in Keegan's first
game in charge here against Bolton a year ago.
Although only three sides have won here in a dozen league games, our failure to
hold what was a winning position in all four of our home draws before today has
left us in our present predicament.
For once though fortune shone upon us in the form of a favourable refereeing
decision - which may not have kept the peace in the streets afterwards, but
maintained a semblance of local pride and kept the manager from yet another FA
For the umpteenth transfer window we've failed to strengthen to the degree that
fans hoped for, existing players demanded and our slack-jawed boss predicted.
Conversely though, we've not repeated the last day fandango that saw Xisco and
Gonzalez roll up from another planet.
The Owen absence now has to be offset by a combination of our existing
forwards, with Kinnear at least showing that he hasn't spent all of this
century in the clouds by talking up the solidity aspect of Smith's game, rather
than the potency in front of goal.
While Colin Calderwood has arrived to try and bring order to the defence (which
adds credence to the suspicion that former defender Hughton has a larger brief
than publicised), someone has to try and get bodies back on the field and find
an effective forward formation - without forgetting to pay attention to the
supply lines. Over to you Joe.