Newcastle United camped out in the Bolton Wanderers half, in the last 45 minutes this afternoon, but were unable to get the goal that would have given Newcastle a well earned victory.
Bolton came into this game to try to get a draw, and packed their midfield, and played a spoiling game to try to stop Newcastle playing, and it basically was successful, as the Lancashire side came away with a point. From the Bolton viewpoint it was a well earned draw, and they played a good containing game – and looked well coached by Gary Megson.
In the first half it was an even game with no chances at all to either side, but in the second half Newcastle increased the pace of the game and it seemed Bolton were willing to try to absorb the Newcastle pressure. The problem Newcastle had in the first half was that Rozehnal and N’Zogbia couldn’t get a hold of midfield, but in the second half Newcastle controlled the game well, but didn’t have any cutting edge up front.
There were not too many clear cut chances and a couple of times Ameobi seemed to be brought down in the penalty box, but TV replays showed Ameobi looking each time for the penalty. The nearest Newcastle got to scoring, was when a cross from James Milner forced Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen into his first save, as he tipped the ball over the cross bar.
Newcastle played well, especially after the interval, and looked well organized, particularly in defense. However, Newcastle could have done with capturing all 3 points this afternoon, which they really deserved. But then again Newcastle didn’t have enough of a cutting edge.
And then after 90 minutes Bolton almost pulled off the complete smash and grab raid when JLoyd Samuel, following a corner, had Bolton’s only chance of the game, but he had his shot well saved by Irish goalkeeper, Shay Given, as he blocked the shot well with his left leg.
If Bolton had scored then it would have been really rough justice on a decent performance from Newcastle.
True to his word Kevin Keegan had Newcastle moving forward, especially after the beak.
The back four played well for Newcastle and both full backs Carr and Enrique had good games. Rozehnal started slowly in the first half but had a much better game in the second half as Newcastle United dominated. The question was then whether they could get that one goal and 3 points. As it turned out they couldn’t, but it wasn’t for the want of trying.
Smith and Butt will both be back for the game at Arsenal next Saturday and Keegan will have a full week to prepare the side.
We would have liked all 3 points, but the performance from the lads was encouraging, with lots of our players unavailable.
Comments very welcome.
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Stephen Carr, Jose Enrique, Steven Taylor, Claudio Cacapa, David Rozehnal, James Milner, Charles N’Zogbia, Damien Duff, Shola Ameobi, Michael Owen (c)
Subs: Steve Harper, James Troisi, David Edgar, Andy Carroll, Kazenga LuaLua
Bolton Wanderers: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Kevin Nolan (c), Ricardo Gardner, Kevin Davies, Gretar Steinsson, Danny Guthrie, Gavin McCann, Joey O’Brien, Lubomir Michalik, Andy O’Brien, Matt Taylor
Subs: Ali Al Habsi, Jlloyd Samuel, Stelios, Ivan Campo, Tamir Cohen
Referee: Alan Wiley
Attendance: 52,000 plus