In a very entertaining and fast paced game Newcastle and West Ham were all level at the half time whistle with Michael Owen scoring a good goal for Newcastle, and Craig Bellamy (ouch!) scoring for West Ham, after being beautifully put through by our other former Newcastle player, Scotty Parker (another ouch!).
The game started at a fast pace with West Ham having most of the play initially, and it was obvious they had come for a win, and were playing some enterprising football.
At the beginning the defense looked a little shaky, and they seemed to be playing a high line, and were catching Craig Bellamy offside, – but one slip in the defensive coordination and Bellamy could be straight through.
After 13 minutes captain Michael Owen almost scored as he took the ball in the penalty area and in one movement left Collins for dead, and hit the ball beautifully across goal, beat goalkeepr Green, but the ball struck the upright and bounced clear – a wonderful effort from the skipper.
Then after just 19 minutes Owen again got the ball 10 yards outside the box and moved forward to hit a 25 yard shot that went in off Green, who will be unhappy he was unable to block the shot, but it looked like the sheer speed of the shot beat him – a great goal by Michael Owen.
The game was being played in an attacking way by both teams and there were lots of chances, and after 26 minutes, a high cross from the right found Carroll free on the edge of the six yard box, but Andy headed wide, when a header across goal may have been the better option. It was a good chance missed by the 20 year-old.
Then a terrific goal was scored by West Ham, thanks to our former players Parker and Bellamy. Parker had the ball but he lost it just outside the Newcastle penalty area. But then Parker took the ball off Basssong and slotted a great through ball through to Bellamy, who rammed the ball home with great aplomb, giving Given no chance at all. A very good equalizing goal by the Hammers.
The game was end to end, and Newcastle were caught wide open after 43 minutes, when Mark Noble found himself clean through on Shay Given, but Shay made a great save as he blocked the midfielder’s shot – a let off for Newcastle another great save by the Irishman. West Ham should have done better.
In the second half Newcastle will need to tighten up on defense, and again we have failed to keep a clean sheet at home, which will hardly please manager Joe Kinnear.
The Newcastle defenders need to watch out for the Hammer’s danger man – Craig Bellamy – who is in good form right now. Scott Parker is also playing very well in the center of midfield – unfortunately for Newcastle.
At the half it is anybody’s game, but we must go all out for the 3 points.
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Steven Taylor, Jose Enrique, Sebastien Bassong, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Guthrie, Geremi, Damien Duff, Jonas Gutierrez, Michael Owen (c), Andy Carroll
Subs: Steve Harper, Charles N’Zogbia, David Edgar, Tamas Kadar, Ryan Donaldson, Xisco, Kazenga LuaLua
West Ham: Robert Green, Lucas Neill (c), Herita Ilunga, Scott Parker, Craig Bellamy, Carlton Cole, Matthew Upson, Mark Noble, James Collins, Valon Behrami, Jack Collison
Subs: Luis Boa Morte, Hayden Mullins, Julien Faubert, Diego Tristan, James Tomkins, David Di Michele, Marek Stech
Referee: Alan Wiley