In an exciting FA Cup tie tonight, Stoke City and Newcastle United fought to a 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium tonight, in a game that was beamed around the world live on TV.
Faye was Man Mountain for Newcastle tonight – along with Steven Taylor
It was anybody’s game right until the end but Stoke City only have themselves to blame when they had two excellent edged opportunities within a couple of minutes.
Fuller to chase, the Jamaican striker gets the better of Taylor and nicks the ball by Given, luckily he is diverted wide with goal gaping, he controls on the by-line and pulls back for the supporting Parkin, he has an empty net to aim at but somehow Taylor
First of all Steven Taylor somehow diverted substitute Jon Parkin’s close range effort on the goal-line, when it looked like the ball was going into the net. Another shorty after was after Smith lost possession on the halfway line. The ball was played quickly to Fuller and his low shot deflected off Steven Taylor, as Given was beaten but the ball went just wide of the upright for a corner.
Two guilt edged opportunities for Stoke and they really should have scored from one of them.
Owen had Newcastle’s best chance in the first half when he was clean through and one-on-one with Simonsen, but the Stoke goalkeeper rushed from his line to block the attempted lob and the ball was cleared. It really should have been a goal for Newcastle, and Michael just has to start putting these half chances away.
Kazenga LuaLua was introduced for his Newcastle debut and was involved in the move which almost saw fellow youngster Andy Carroll find a late winner, the birthday boy seeing his far post strike hit the side-netting. Young Lua Lua looked very promisign and was able to run at the Stoke defenders and showed good speed.
And with just minutes remaining Andrew Carroll came on for the tired Mark Viduka, and managed to cause some trouble in the Stoke defense.
We said before the game that a draw would be an OK result and the lads certainly gave their all tonight, and especially in the first half looked good. But we were surprised that it was Stoke City who had the better of the second half and all in all Newcastle can consider themselves fortunate to still be in the Cup.
The good things were many for Newcastle. Faye and Taylor played magnificently at the back and Jose Enrique is going to become a very good player at Newcastle. Duff and N’Zogbia were prominent on the wings and Charles added an unseen commodity this season -speed. Surely Sam will not waste Charles at left back any more. David Rosehnal looked steady at right back, although he committed himself twice on the half way line and was left for dead by the Stoke winger. David has played full-back a number of times for the Czech Republic.
The things we were not good at is putting the ball in the net. Again,. we were worthy of being ahead on the first ha;f but when you don’t take your chances you leave it open for the other side to come back as Manchester City did last Wednesday.
Owen should have score din the first half and Charles N’Zogbia could have done better with a couple of his left foot shots. We are finding it very difficult to put the ball in the net but our defense played outstandingly well. Unfortunately that’s Faye’s last game for a while. What a player this lad is!
All in all, it wasn’t a defeat which would have been tragic and ill deserved. We were good in the first half but let our guard down too much in the second and Stoke almost stole the game. The replay at St. James’ Park will be no easier than tonight, and is likely to be another corker.
What do you think?
Let us know – comments welcome.