This was a game Newcastle should have won and would have won had it not been for goalkeeper Jack Butland who produced a string of magnificent saves to keep Newcastle at bay , especially in the second half , when he made terrific saves from Wijnaldum, Sissoko, Perez and then Lascelles from a goal-bound header after 86 minutes after the former Nottingham Forest player had come on for the injured Daryl Janmaat.
But Newcastle still had the chances to have won this game rather comfortably and we were guilty of missing some chances as well as Jack Butland putting in a display that made him look like the best goalkeeper in the Premier League on this form.
Ayoze Perez in action this afternoon
We needed a win today, but with our luck of late is such that it’s just good that Stoke didn’t break away and score a goal in the waning seconds of this game.
The lads played well in both halves and kept the pressure on Stoke City, who at the end were pleased to get away with a point and were hanging on.
The bad news is that late in the second half Daryl Janmaat picked up an injury after a poor tackle from Arnautovic, who looked like a loose cannon in the second half and surprisingly was not booked for that challenge.
The game started off quickly as both sides were intent on attacking and it was end-to-end stuff early on and after 17 minutes a low left-wing cross beat Mbemba in the box and the ball went through to Walters who had an open goal but was late and the chance was missed.
It looked like a sitter.
Aleksandar Mitrovic hit the inside of the post after 28 minutes with a good header from a Sissoko left-wing cross and the ball then hit Butland – but no it didn’t go in – it was scrambled away.
It was one of the few times in the match that Butland was beaten, but the post came to Stoke’s rescue.
On 38 minutes there was a penalty appeal as Ayoze Perez seemed to be brought down in the box but the referee Roger East – who had a good game – waved play on.
It was 0-0 at half time and Newcastle had put in a performance like last week at Sunderland, but Stoke were also attacking Newcastle in a good high tempo end to end game.
On 47 minutes Ayoze Perez curled a shot only just wide of Butland’s left-hand post and then after 50 minutes it was Jack Butland who turned the ball over the crossbar from a good Wijnaldum free kick.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – had a strong game today
But picked up a yellow card
Just three minutes later it was Perez who was going through the middle and he unleashed a shot that Butland did well to turn the ball for a corner – as Newcastle were surging forward and looking for the go-ahead goal.
On 71 minutes McClaren made an attacking change as he brought on Siem de Jong for Cheick Tiote – who had a good game in the center of the park for Newcastle – and wasn’t even booked.
And credit to Rob Elliot who made a great save from Walters, but then Daryl Janmaat seemed to pick up an injury from a wild Arnautovic challenge and the Dutchman was replaced by Jamaal Lascelles after 83 minutes.
And Jamaal almost won it for Newcastle after 87 minutes when he powered in a great header on goal but Butland produced his best save of the game to somehow keep the ball out – as a number of Newcastle players had their head in their hands.
Newcastle deserved to win this game – and this was a good performance and we certainly seem to be heading in the right direction.
Now we need to ensure we win games like this in the future when we create a good number of chances and had six shots on target – the same number we had on target when we beat Norwich 6-2 in the last home game.
But a point is better than nothing and there were a lot of positives to take out of this game – we just didn’t have any luck.
One last point – this was our first clean sheet since the game at Manchester United on 22 August and the defense looked solid enough – we’ll now have to see how badly Daryl Janmaat is injured.
Newcastle: Elliot; Janmaat (Lascelles, 83), Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko, Anita, Tiote (de Jong, 71), Wijnaldum; Perez, Mitrovic.
Subs not used: Woodman, Haidara, Gouffran, Thauvin, Cisse.
Stoke: Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Pieters; Adam, Whelan; Shaqiri (Crouch, 90), Bojan (Afellay, 60), Arnautovic (van Ginkel, 88); Walters.
Subs not used: Haugaard, Ireland, Wilson, Biram Diouf.
Bookings: Wollscheid 63, Mitrovic 63, Arnautovic 83, Adam 90
Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire)