The game at Upton Park ended all square this afternoon at 2-2 after Newcastle were lackadaisical in the first 25 minutes but came back with 2 goals in the last 3 minutes of the half to even it at half time. There was no score in the second period and a draw may have even been a fair result on the day.
West Ham started the game strongly and after only 10 minutes went ahead when Mark Noble was in tons of room in the penalty area and the England under-21 star hitting the ball beyond Steve Harper to give the Hammers an early lead.
How Noble got so much room is a mystery and the Newcastle players argue after the game as to who missed the assignment.
Newcastle struggled early in the game to get any kind of midfield control and looked half asleep. Then West Ham went further ahead when Bobby Zamora flicked on a long ball downfield, and Dean Ashton fired the ball home low past Harper, giving the Hammers a deserved two goal lead.
Newcastle started the game poorly and their first attack of the game was after 36 minutes when McCartney, the former Sunderland player, headed clear from a Geremi cross.
After 42 minutes Newcastle pulled a goal back and it was that man Oba Martins who chased a through ball from Joey Barton, and beautifully poked the ball past Robert Green to make it a 2-1 scoreline.
Yes – Oba scored again today
Three minutes later West Ham failed to clear a Habib Beye cross from the right and the ball fell to Martins who smashed the ball into the penalty area where Geremi turned the ball past Green with an instinctive header.
Itâ€™s Geremiâ€™s second goal of the season and a great time to score, to amazingly put Newcastle level at the half.
In the second half the game again opened up in the last 20 minutes, and just like the Portsmouth game, either side could have won it but the game ended all square at 2-2, with no goals coming in the final period.
On 54 minutes Ashton found himself one-on-one with Edgar much like for the second goal but the Canadian blocks the striker’s shot, and the ball runs free to Boa Morte who thumps a shot just inches wide of Harper’s far post.
After an hour Barton tried to spring Martins clear again, but McCartney looks to have won the race but Martins robbed the full back. Martins laid the ball off to Viduka who tried to get the ball to Owen but but Lucas Neill made a good clearance.
Then on 80 minutes it was goalkeeper Steve Harper to Newcastle’s rescue and he brilliantly produces a one-handed save to divert Ashton’s vicious, 12-yard drive over the crossbar. A fabulous save by the Magpies goalkeeper to keep Newcastle level.
Then the ball bounced up off the arm of Newcastle captain Michael Owen but referee Rennie waved play on.
The game ended at 2-2 and it will now be almost impossible for Newcastle to overtake West Ham who remain 5 points clear of the Magpies with just 2 games left.
If we had started this game a little more awake we have been able to get the victory but for the first 30 minutes we were second best to a Hammers side who started the game in a much more determined manner.
That was the disappointing thing about today’s game, but the lads still had the courage to fight back from 2-0 down, and we cannot be too hard on them for showing guts and spirit once again.
We now have 43 points, which equals last season’s total, which was the worst ever in the Premier league. Our next game is against Chelsea a week on Monday at St. James’ Park, and that promises to be a real humdinger after Chelsea best Manchester United 2-1 earlier today, to go level on points with the Red Devils. Man United are still top now on goal difference.
Finally, Sunderland beat Middlesbrough 3-2, so are now mathematically safe from relegation, which is good because that means we can do the double over them next year. 😀
Comments very welcome.