Newcastle played well after a terrible first 25 minutes in Maritimo tonight, when like during the first half at Everton on Monday night, they looked all at sea.
But after about 28 minutes Alan Pardew was able to get the lads together during an injury break to one of the Maritimo players, and from then on Newcastle were much more solid and deserved the point, although this game could have gone either way.
Maritimo had chances in the first 25 minutes of this game, and Newcastle had 3rd string goalkeeper Rob Elliot to thank for two great saves, and Ron also produced some excellent saves in the second half and had a great game for Newcastle tonight.
But Newcastle also hit the woodwork three times, as Shola hit to cross-bar in the second half with a good left foot shot, and he had forced the goalkeeper to deflect his diving header onto the upright in the first half, and Dan Gosling had an excellent left foot shot come back off the post.
After 80 minutes there was an amazing escape by Newcastle from a corner, when a Roberge header from a left wing corner was headed onto the cross-bar by Davide Santon, and the ball was cleared as Maritimo were pressing for the winner.
It wasn’t over the line, with an official just five yards away, and it was great play by Davide Santon, who again looked good tonight for Newcastle.
As we said earlier, this game could have gone either way, but Alan Pardew will be pleased with a clean sheet and some good performances from the Newcastle players, with Rob Elliot showing he’s a good goalkeeper, with an excellent performance tonight.
Given the balance of the game, we were happy with the point tonight, and as well as Santon and Elliot looking good, Gael Bigirimana again showed he’s one for the future, with another very good performance in central midfield for the Magpies.
We’ll bring out a full report of the game a little bit later – as we saw it.
Maritimo (4-5-1): Romain Salin; Briguel (c), Joao Guilherme, Valentin Roberge, Luis Olim; Rafael Miranda, Joao Luiz, Heldon (Fidelis 55), David Simao (Goncalo Abreu 75), Sami; Danilo Dias (Adilson 82)
Subs not used: Wellington Lima, Joao Diogo, Marcio Rosario, Igor Rossi
Newcastle United (4-5-1): Rob Elliot; James Perch, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon; Gael Bigirimana, Dan Gosling, Gabriel Obertan (Sylvain Marveaux 80), Haris Vuckic (Sammy Ameobi 53), Romain Amalfitano (Shane Ferguson 76); Shola Ameobi (c)
Subs not used: Steve Harper, James Tavernier, Mehdi Abeid, Adam Campbell
Referee: Robert Schorgenhofer (Austria)
Bookings: Maritimo – Simao (45); Newcastle – Bigirimana (45), Amalfitano (68), Santon (86)
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