Middlesbrough 2 Newcastle 2 – Magpies Settle For Draw

It’s not too often that Newcastle let in two goals these days, but the Magpies were happy to share the spoils today against a good Middlesbrough side at the Riverside stadium.

But that stops the win run at just four games, and WBA have gained another 2 points on Newcastle today after their good 3-2 home win against an impressive Blackpool side.

But Nottingham Forest, 3-0 down at half time, could only pull 2 goals back in the final 45 minutes, so Newcastle are now 9 points clear of the 3rd placed side, with a much better goal difference (40 vs 21) and a game in hand.

If Newcastle can win that game in hand, they will effectively now be 13 points clear in an automatic promotion position.

Newcastle went ahead in this keenly fought game through – who else but red hot striker Peter Lovenkrands – who hit his 13th goal of the season, and is now level with Kevin Nolan at the top of the goal charts.

And it was Peter’s first away goal of the season, and only his second away goal ever at Newcastle United.

Argentine winger Jonas Gutierrez provided a great through ball to Peter on 16 minutes, and the Danish International hit a low left-footed shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.

But Middlesbrough came back into the game well and equalized after 36 minutes, when former Celtic players Scott McDonald and Barry Robson combined well, before Robson hit a left-footed shot beyond Steve Harper, who never moved.

It was all square at half time and it was proving to be a close game.

But it was also clear that Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan had his side ready for this game, and they pressed in the second half.

And there were Newcastle concerns after 50 minutes, when Argentine Coloccini had to leave the field with what appeared to be a muscle injury, and 19 year-old Kadar moved into the middle to partner Fitz Hall. Ryan Taylor came on at left-back.

Butt was surprisingly introduced for Peter Lovenkrands after 70 minutes, maybe to shore up the Newcastle defense, but then Middlesbrough went ahead on 74 minutes after putting the Newcastle side under constant pressure.

It was Barry Robson’s free-kick that was turned back across goal by Chris Killen and Scott McDonald smashed the ball home from point-blank range.

Now the question was – could Newcastle come back and at least salvage a point?

And the lads didn’t let their 3500 traveling fans down, as they pressed for the all important equalizer, and it finally came after 82 minutes.

Ryan Taylor got the ball into the area to Andy Carroll, and the 21 year-old striker placed a beautiful low, left-footed shot past a frozen Danny Coyne to level the scores at 2-2.

Newcastle pressed for the winner but it was not to be, and in all truthfulness a draw seemed a fair result, since Middlesbrough looked a strong fighting side this afternoon, in front of a very good 27,347 crowd at the Riverside.

And who knows, the Middlesbrough club may yet make it back to the PL at their first attempt – we wouldn’t put it past them on this performance.

Have the 3 relegated teams all returned to the PL  in the next season?  We think not.

But today we got a hard earned point, and although not as good as a win, we’ll take it, thank you very much.

Now we have Scunthorpe at home on Wednesday night and we can not take any side, including Scunthorpe for granted.

In any case they beat us last October 2-1, so we have a a score to settle with Scunthorpe, which should have the players motivated for the game.

We are getting a little worried about how leaky the defense has become and it’s now one clean sheet in 8 games, and we’ve conceded 10 goals in those 8 games, not good.

Not only will the lads need to win on Wednesday night, but a clean sheet would be very nice too.

Then Newcastle have two away games next Saturday at Bristol City, followed by a game at Doncaster Rovers the following Tuesday evening.

Then the lads will entertain Nottingham Forest on March 29th, which should be a corker, especially after Forest beat us 1-0 back in October.

Now we’ll have to wait and see how Coloccini is doing, since that’s now an extra worry with Mike Williamson already being injured for today’s game.

Comments very welcome.

16 comments so far

  • Newutd

    Mar 13, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #1

    You can’t compare this defence with that we’ve had the rest of the season.

    RTaylor – Kadar – Hall- Simpson.

    Enrique – Williamson- Colo- Simpson

    Major difference

  • iluvnufc

    Mar 13, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #2

    As of now 94 points guarantees promotion = 7 wins from remaining 11 games. Should be possible and Forest wont win all their remaining games anyway

    Leave a Comment

  • boater

    Mar 13, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #3

    “Newcastle are now 9 points clear of the 3rd placed side, with a much better goal difference (40 vs 21) and a game in hand.

    If Newcastle can win that game in hand, they will effectively now be 13 points clear in an automatic promotion position.”

    so the old 9+3= 13 ED is that? baker’s dozen is that?

    Well done today lads. smoggs threw everything at us and we did well to carve out that valuable point.

    not bad when you consider the absentees – williamson, enrique, goala, s taylor, enrique, smith, routledge, barton.

  • boater

    Mar 13, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #4

    iluvnufc – interesting. As you say – every time forest drop points (which they have started to do again) that goes down and down – also we have to play them, and if we beat forest that takes it to 5 wins needed right?

  • AngerOfTheNorth

    Mar 13, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #5

    Boater – Ed’s maths is fine, although I did have to read his comment twice myself.

    9 + 3 is indeed 12, however because our goal difference is miles ahead of theirs, they’d need to gain 13 points to pass us.

    Boro did well and I couldn’t bet against them if they can fight their way to the play-offs. We were missing several players and they nearly took advantage – fair play. I was impressed by Carroll today and Guttierez was immense. We just need Routledge back as we weren’t getting enough from the right wing.

    Which in turn shows that we need a back up winger or two as we really miss either of our wingers if they’re out.

  • iluvnufc

    Mar 13, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #6

    Boater, if Forest lose the game against us then we will need only 18 points – 6 wins = a win against Forest and 5 others

  • Doha Mag

    Mar 13, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #7

    A good point today and takes us 9 points clear of Forest with a game in hand. Hopefully, we can win our remaining games in March and celebrating promotion early April…….

    Hope the injuries to Williamson and Collocini are not serious and both are back in the first team very soon.

    I expect Smith, Enrique and Routledge to be available for the Scunthorpe game as theywill be needed with games coming thick and fast over the next month. Barton should be available for the Forest game…..

  • boater

    Mar 13, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #8

    My sincere apologies ED. I read that completely wrong.

    Routledge is a big player for us I agree, although we do now have R Taylor, Pancrate, Donaldson, Vucik, – then Lua Lua and shane ferguson behind them- and how many excellent wide players can you have in reserve before you begin to see squad unrest creeping in? I’m just happy to have a player like routledge to grow into the role more and more.

  • Danish_Magpie

    Mar 13, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #9

    I was absoutly loving Danny Guthrie’s set pieces today – we didn’t score from our corners but every single on of the looked really dangerous.

    I think R. Taylor should start over Pancrate.. R. Taylor has done really well as a substitute for weeks now.

    As for next season, if we don’t have much to spend, I would like us to bring in:

    van Aanholt
    Kris Commons
    Jamie O’Hara
    Liam Rosenior

    and spend big on one striker: (ie. Rodellega)

    We should get rid of Barton (injury prone thug), Butt (oooold), Ameobi (too injury-prone)


    GK: Harper, Krul, Forster
    RB: Simpson, Rosenior
    LB: Enrique, van Aanholt
    CB: Coloccini, S. Taylor, Williamson, Kadar
    RW: Routledge, R. Taylor
    LW: Jonas, Commons
    CM: Nolan, Smith, Guthre, O’Hara
    ST: Rodellega, Carroll, Løvenkrands, Best, Ranger


    Simpson…..S. Taylor…..Colo……Enrique



    Subs: Krul, Rosenior, Williamson, Guthrie, Commons, R. Taylor, Løvenkrands

    Top-10 finish I reckon..

  • coxonfamily

    Mar 13, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #10

    I still think we are a long way from a top 10 finish in the premiership to be fair mate 🙂 I’d be happy with say 14th if we can get back up this season.

  • Fozzy

    Mar 13, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #11

    Danish Mag why would you want to buy people who are no better than what we currently have? (You would only put one of your signings in the starting eleven?)

  • nomis_jade

    Mar 13, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #12

    Nicky Butt does my head in! When i saw he was coming on i shuddered. First thing he does is bring an end to a nice passing move by punting the ball long to Pancrate, and then 2nd thing is to four Robson needlessly for them to score their second goal. I hat it when he comes on. Surely when Barton and Smith are both back, he wont make the bench.
    Good result today, il take that!

  • Danish_Magpie

    Mar 13, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #13

    Because I think they have potential to develop to get better, and because I don’t think we are able to sign players above the calibre I mention…

  • baro

    Mar 13, 2010 at 10:53 PM

    Comment #14


    It would be the best thing in the world if we got Hugo Rodallega. He is a absolute beast. We should look at getting some Colombians in. Rodallega came from the MEXICAN LEAGUE! The sorriest in the world. And he is doing excellent in Premier League.

  • Zangwill_Ho

    Mar 14, 2010 at 1:28 AM

    Comment #15

    Butt was surprisingly introduced for Peter Lovenkrands after 70 minutes, maybe to shore up the Newcastle defense, I think he broke down the ‘newcastle defense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Please explain why sub Butt in this important time!!!! totally wrong!!!!come on!!!!

  • xfer

    Mar 14, 2010 at 2:17 AM

    Comment #16

    We were poor for most part of the match to be honest. And Butt for Lovenkrands?! I dont know what Chris was thinking.


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