As we said before today’s game Mark Hughes’ teams are experts in getting draws, and so it proved today, as Newcastle drew 0-0 with Fulham and once again failed to beat a lower half of the table team at St. James’ Park fo the umpteenth time this season.
If we ever stop playing well on the road and picking up points away from home, we could be in some trouble.
The good news is that Newcastle kept their fourth clean sheet of the season, the bad news is that we failed to score.
So from what looked to be 6 points at home we could and maybe should have wrapped up in the last four days we end up with a single points and home results continue to be dreadful.
And the fact is that today Cheick Tiote did pick up yet another yellow card and will now definitely miss the game at Bolton next Saturday.
Danny Guthrie and Peter Lovenkrands both got starts today coming in for the suspended Joey Barton and the injured Shola Ameobi, and former Newcastle player Damien Duff played at left back for the London side.
As we had expected Damien got a rough reception, and was booed every time he touched the ball, and that was payback for his negative comments he made about Newcastle once Fulham “rescued” him from Newcastle. Pity Damien doesn’t have any class and held a diplomatic silence once he left the Newcastle club, who at the time were on their knees 15 months ago.
The first 45 minutes of the game, played in front of a decent crowd of 44,686, was Even Steven and the only thing about the first half was there were very few chances to either side.
The fact that Fulham hadn’t won an away game in 24 attempts on the road, is now thankful;ly stretched to 25 attempts, so at least we didn’t help them to end that awful streak.
And it’s surprising how much Mark Hughes and Sam Allardyce have their teams play – which seem very alike – dour no nonsense type football – which is just awful for the spectator.
The closest Newcastle came to scoring was when striker Andy Carroll hit a volley that looked like it was going in, on 52 minutes, only for goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to make an excellent save to keep the shot out – that would have been Carroll’s 8th league goal of the season, and it was the goal we needed to turn this game.
But Fulham did come close to scoring after that, when Mousa Dembele, who scored the winner the last time these two sides met in the Premier League, hit the crossbar after 70 minutes, and Newcastle had a little bit of luck there, or else the result could have been a lot worse.
The game was stagnant at best when Chris Hugton decided to send on both Wayne Routledge and Nile Ranger on 75 minutes, to at least try to get a win out of this game, and they replaced Lovenkrands and Guthrie.
But there were no goals in this game, and best that can be said about the game is at least we didn’t lose, like we did on Wednesday evening – but our home form should give Chris Hughton some sleepless nights.
Luckily next week we have a tough away game at Bolton next Saturday – so presumably we’ll have a much better chance of getting all 3 points then.
We had said before the games with Arsenal, Blackburn and Fulham, that 6 points would be an excellent return, and we ended up with 4 points, but 3 of those came from the first, and easily the hardest game – away to Arsenal.
Our terrible home results continued today – but at least we got a point – trying very hard to look on the bright side. In 7 home league games we’ve won only two, drawn two and lost three and collected just 8 points – it’s not good enough.
Don’t forget to vote for Newcastle’s Man of the Match on our home page.
Newcastle: Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Enrique; Guthrie (Routledge, 76), Tiote, Nolan, Gutierrez; Carroll, Lovenkrands (Ranger, 77). Subs not used: Soderberg, Campbell, S Taylor, Smith.
Fulham: Schwarzer; Kelly, Hughes, Hangeland, Duff; Gera (Etuhu, 70), Murphy, Davies, Dempsey; Dembele, A Johnson. Subs not used: Stockdale, Pantsil, Kamara, E Johnson, Greening, Briggs.
Bookings: Williamson 45, Tiote 66
Referee: Lee Probert (Gloucestershire)