Newcastle conceded two goals this evening against WBA – which is fully half the goals they have conceded at home in all their previous league games this season, as they came from behind twice to draw with a strong and determined WBA side. It was a below par performance tonight from the Magpies, but the game itself was good entertainment for a disappointing crowd of only 39, 291.
And but for some good saves from Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper, WBA could have just edged this game, and got the valuable 3 points, but with a draw, Newcastle have split the points, home and away with their promotion challengers.
But Newcastle have now dropped 6 points in their last 3 games, and they are certainly in a little bit of a rut right now – with Nottingham Forest having gained 6 points on the Magpies in 3 games.
After a hectic opening spell with the play end to end it was surprisingly WBA who went ahead, with Newcastle guilty of some sloppy defending.
A Brunt corner went deep and was retrieved by Graham Dorrans who managed to put in a nice cross to the edge of the six-yard area where Jonas Olsson beat Ameobi to the ball to touch the ball beyond Harper with his left foot.
Newcastle then started to come into the game and assume control and it was a great goal from Danny Guthrie that pout Newcastle level. From a free kick 25 yards out, Guthrie unleashed a wonderful dipping effort over the wall and into the far corner beyond a surprised Scott Carson – a wonderful goal from the 22 year-old.
It was all square at half time but WBA got off to an excellent start in the second half, when on 46 minutes, Graham Dorrans ran at the Newcastle who backed off far too much, and Dorrans put in a cross onto the head of Roman Bednar, whose first effort was palmed onto the crossbar bny goalkeeper Harper. But the rebound was headed home easily by the Czech striker.
Newcastle were then pout on the back foot by the attacking Baggies and it was Jose Enrique who got in a good cross from the left and Peter Lovenkrands flashed in a a header on target which Scott Carson could only flap at, as it went into the net.
Peter, whose father died on Friday, pointed to the heavens, one for you Dad, and received a tremendous roar from the delighted Toon Army. It was Peter’s 4th goal in 2 games and he now has 6 goals on the season.
It was anybody’s game from this point on, but if any team should have won the game, it was WBA, with Ishmael Miller guilty of a glaring miss from just two yards out, as the striker poked the ball from a cross, onto the base of the post, in front of an open goal.
Goalkeeper Steve Harper pulled off two fine saves in injury time, one from Jerome Thomas’ deflected close-range effort and the other was from Gabriel Tamas’ 30-yard cannon shot.
Newcastle will feel grateful for the draw, more so than WBA, as it keeps their unbeaten streak going, but we need to put together a winning run – as draws are really 2 points lost, given where we are in the league.
Newcastle remain 6 points ahead of WBA, and now 3 points ahead of Nottingham Forest, with a game in hand. Our next league game is at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening, 27 January, with a 7:45 pm kick off. We just have to get back winning these games.
Next up is the 4th round of the FA Cup at WBA on Saturday, and on this performance the Baggies will be favorites to progress.