After having Kevin Nolan sent off after 44 minutes for a terrible challenge on Victor Anichebe, Newcastle held on well, with a fantastic gutsy performance from our back four this afternoon.
Newcastle really wanted all 3 points this afternoon, but with 10 men, this has to go down as a good result for the lads, although there will be arguments that we could have gone on to get all 3 points with 11 men on the field in the second half.
But it was good to get a clean sheet at home, and it would appear that the starting line-up may not have been the strongest available, although Gutierrez was brought on for Duff at the start of the second half, after Duff had a very disappointing first half.
Oba Martins was then brought on for an ineffective Ameobi after 59 minutes to great applause from the Toon Army, who of course just love the guy.
There was some bad news for Everton after just 7 minutes this afternoon when star midfielder Mikel Arteta, had to receive treatment after he landed awkwardly following a challenge from Peter Lovenkrands.
And after receiving some treatment Everton’s top midfielder left the field on a stretcher, to be replaced by Segundo Castill, and it didn’t look good for the 26 year-old Spaniard.
Everton were the better side in the first half although Shola Amoebi, had the ball in the net after 42 minutes. But the goal was disallowed as he was penalized for challenging the goalkeeper for a high cross. We’d remind the referee that this is a contact sport.
Kevin Nolan – sent off after 44 minutes
Then after 44 minutes Nolan was sent off, rightly so, for a terrible two footed challenge on Anichebe.
After another 5 minutes of limping around the field, Anichebe was unable to continue and was replaced by Belgium International Marouane Fellaini, who was a Newcastle target last summer.
In the second half Newcastle played well, especially in defense, and it was good to see every one of the Newcastle back four have very good games, and this is where we earned the point today, which in the circumstances was a good hard earned point.
We are now in 14th place on 28 points but that’s now 5 points from our last 3 games, and we are now 5 points clear of the drop zone, one point more than when we started today.
A clean sheet was very good to get on a day when the lads had to battle with just 10 men, and the other good news is that Oba Martins looked good once he came on, and he will most likely start at Bolton next week, where we must once again go all out for 3 points.
This was a satisfying point for the Magpies, given we were down to 10 men for half the game, and it’s hard to fault the fighting spirit of the team.
And maybe next week at Bolton, Alan Smith may get a chance to start in midfield, and let us see if he is worth keeping at the club past the summer.
Nolan will now be missing for the next 3 games, and we’re not sure exactly when Danny Guthrie will be fit, but probably not for next Sunday at Bolton.
Certainly Smith will be more than motivated to do well if he starts at Bolton, and we’ve never doubted the lad’s character or fighting spirit.
Bottom line – a great defensive performance and another point to safety.
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Jose Enrique, Sebastien Bassong, Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Nicky Butt (c), Kevin Nolan, Damien Duff, Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi
Subs: Tim Krul, Claudio Cacapa, Jonas Gutierrez, Alan Smith, Mark Viduka, Oba Martins, Geremi
Everton: Tim Howard, Leighton Baines, Joseph Yobo, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka, Mikel Arteta, Jo, Phil Neville (c), Jack Rodwell, Victor Anichebe, Dan Gosling
Subs: Carlo Nash, Andy Van Der Meyde, Segundo Castillo, Louis Saha, Lars Jacobsen, Marouane Fellaini, James Wallace
Referee: Lee Mason