Our view of Rob Elliot as a goalkeeper went up big time tonight, as the 26 year-old had an excellent game for Newcastle and made at least five very good saves to keep the clean sheet for Newcastle, in our 0-0 draw at Maritimo in the Europa League.
This left shot from Dan Gosling came off the post
Rob, along with 18 year-old Gael Bigirimana and 21 year-old left back Davide Santon, along with veteran striker Shola Ameobi, were probably Newcastle’s best players tonight.
And it was good to see Elliot play well in only his second game for Newcastle, with his only other previous appearance being last season, in the Carling Cup at Nottingham Forest.
The Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was pleased with the former Charlton Athletic goalkeeper’s display in Portugal tonight:
“Rob has waited a long time – since the Nottingham Forest game, really – to stake his claim.” “We know him very well, myself and the goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman because of Charlton, and this is a shot-stopper, this is a great goalkeeper.”
“What he did at the start of the game is what he does in training every day, and I was pleased for him in every aspect of his game, very, very pleased with him.” “He was outstanding, as well as the back four against a really difficult surface and difficult opponents.”
“Maritimo are a team who are going to surprise teams here.” “They are very, very good – their record suggests that.” “Therefore, taking all that into consideration, I thought a draw was a great result.”
The game could have gone either way, with Newcastle once again abysmal in those first 25 minutes, but after that we carved out a number of decent chances and hit the woodwork three times.
A Shola Ameobi diving header was somehow diverted onto the bar by the Maritimo goalkeeper, and then Dan Gosling hit the post with a great left foot shot, and then in the second half Shola Ameobi was clean through as he held off a Maritimo defender, but his shot rebounded off the cross-bar and was cleared.
But Newcastle also had their escapes, with the major one being after around 82 minutes, when Davide Santon headed the ball off the line and onto the cross-bar, following a left wing corner, and it was cleared.
Maybe 0-0 was a fair result, but Newcastle will need to start these games with a lot more confidence and purpose, because if Maritimo had taken their chances, we could have been in a deep hole early in the game tonight.
But in the end it was a very decent point earned by Newcastle.
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