It’s not often Newcastle let in 2 goals, but the Magpies were two goals down at half time and with also with just 20 minutes to play this afternoon, but came back to get a draw with two goals in three minutes late in the second half.
But Newcastle still dropped two points on both their closest rivals, WBA and Nottingham, Forest, who both won at home today.
It seems Newcastle are just not the same marauding side away from home, and they made hard work of this game, putting themselves two goals down, but at least they had the guts to fight back into the game, and late on may have even won it when Jonas Gutierrez was causing the home side all kinds of problems.
Bristol City scored first after just 10 minutes from a free kick, when Nicky Maynard hit a low drive through the Newcastle wall, and Steve Harper failed to gather the ball cleanly and spilled the ball clear, and that allowed Lewis Nyatanga to turn the loose ball into the empty net.
Unfortunately, it was a bad mistake by the Newcastle goalkeeper which resulted in the goal.
Then just before half time, always a good time to score, Bristol got a second goal against the run of play, when former Newcastle player Bradley Orr hit a long ball over the Newcastle back-line for Nicky Maynard to chase onto.
Maynard collected the ball on the left hand of the penalty area and worked himself inside Danny Simpson, and hit a beautiful with foot cross-shot shot just inside the post from 14 yards out. It was a terrific individual goal which gave Harper no chance. But Simpson should have done better to at least have blocked the shot.
And Newcastle found themselves two goals down away from home at the break.
Newcastle came out in the second half with a lot to do, and after 56 minutes it was Kadar who burst through the middle and hit a beautiful low left-foot drive that the keeper saved well, but at the second attempt – a great effort from the young Hungarian.
And it was 70 minutes when Newcastle got their first goal when Dean Gerken gave the ball away just outside the penalty box. That slip allowed Argentine winger Jonas Gutierrez to come in and round the goalkeeper, to put the ball nicely into the back of the net.
And it was just 3 minutes later that Newcastle were level, and it was Spaniard Joe Enrique this time, with a great through ball for Routledge to run onto. The right winger put the ball across for big Andy Carroll, and the big Geordie lad made no mistake to smash the ball home with his left foot high into the net.
The Geordie lad went crazy and so did the Newcastle fans, and that was Andy’s 15th goal of the season, and he put himself at the top of Newcastle’s goal-scorers this season.
Once again Carroll scored the equalizing goal late in the game, just like he did at Middlesbrough and the Newcastle fans went crazy. This lad seems to have what it takes.
At least this season the Newcastle side has a never-say-die attitude, unlike last season when too many heads would have dropped after the break.
The last 15 minutes was all action with Gutierrez on the left wing causing Bristol City all kinds of problems. On 83 minutes from a corner from the left Leon Best beat his marker to power in a bullet header from 12 yards out which the Bristol goalkeeper Gerken brilliantly turned over the bar. That would have been a great first goal for Leon.
And Jonas almost scored the winner towards the end of the game, but his cross shot went just inches wide of the post.
But it was not to be, and we have to say this was a disappointing result for the team, and 2 points lost to both rivals WBA and Forest.
Newcastle are now on 77 points from 37 games with WBA just one point behind, and Forest on 67 points, but Newcastle do have a game in hand on both sides.
Once again Newcastle failed to win a game away from home, after performing so well at home in the previous game. And the lads will need to do a lot better at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night, if we are to get our 8th away win of the season.
To add to Newcastle’s worries, Fitz Hall had to leave the field on 51 minutes with what looked like a hamstring strain, and young Tamas Kadar came on and played solidly and reliably at the back for the Magpies once again.
But this could tempt Chris Hughton to go into the loan market before the door slams shut in a few days time for an experienced center-back.
Bottom line – 2 points lost today with a poor result, but give the lads credit for the fight-back in that second half.
However, we’ll still need to do a lot better on Tuesday night at Doncaster and not put ourselves into a hole we have to then dig out of.