Newcastle should have won this game, but if you don’ take your chances you don’t get the cigar – so to speak.
The good news for Newcastle is that they pickled up their fifth clean sheet of the season this afternoon, after conceding seven goals in their last two games, but the bad news was they missed a number of chances and were blanked by an ordinary looking Swansea side.
Newcastle had a number of decent chances in the first half of this game, as both Demba Ba and Fabricio Coloccini hit the post in the first 45 minutes, but in the second half neither side could get a goal and the game ran out as a scoreless draw in front of just under 52,000 fans at St. James’ Park.
Newcastle now have just two points form their last five games, and are in a bit of a slump, after starting the season so well with 25 points from their first 11 games.
Before the game started there was a heart-warming tribute to the late Gary Speed, and his family joined the players and the supporters in a rendition of the hymn Bread of Heaven.
And as planned the supporters in the East Stand held up the number 11, which was Speed’s shirt number, in his six years on Tyneside.
Newcastle started this game in great style and there was only one team in it in the first 45 minutes, but Lady Luck again deserted Newcastle, and they just couldn’t get the ball into the back of the net.
On 25 minutes a Demba Ba shot was blocked by Ashley Williams after the stylish Davide Santon put over a dangerous center right across the face of goal.
Ba had Newcastle’s best chance of the first half, when he got the ball with his back to the goal, and then acrobatically volleyed the ball towards the goal, only to denied by a great save from Swansea’s Dutch International goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Argentine International Jonas Gutierrez then went close as he put in a good shot after 44 minutes, but his effort was only just wide and at the half the score was 0-0 with Newcastle dominant.
And then on 46 minutes Ba went close again, but he put the ball just over the bar after a good cross from the right by Danny Simpson.
On 60 minutes Yohan Cabaye hit the ball into the side netting, and then former Newcastle winger Wayne Routledge did well to get the ball across the Newcastle penalty areas, but nobody was there to put the ball home.
And it was Demba Ba again after 67 minutes with a header that was well saved by Vorm, who looks a good goalkeeper, and two minutes later Newcastle should have had a free kick just outside the area.
Leon best was brought down after 69 minutes by Ashley Richards just outside the area, but Lee Mason simply waved play on, while TV replays showed it was a definite foul, but nothing was going for the Newcastle side this afternoon.
Shola Ameobi came on for Best shortly after the incident and the local lad went close on 72 minutes when he got to a nice through ball from Santon but hit the ball straight at Vorm.
But then Swansea should have gone ahead on 74 minutes, when Richards crossed the ball in for Geordie Danny Graham, and Sinclair was unmarked but amazingly hit the ball wide of the post – a let-off for Newcastle.
As the game was dying out Newcastle came forward to try to get all three points, and both Shola Ameobi and Demba Ba went close, but Newcastle just couldn’t get the winning goal, and it was a frustrating game for the Magpies.
There will be a lot of criticism because Newcastle didn’t win this game, but Newcastle will play a lot worse than this and come away with all 3 points in other games.
But once again, their luck was missing this afternoon, and if they had converted some of the chances they had in the first half, the lads could have come away with a fairly easy win.
Demba Ba could quite easily have had a hat trick today and again looked an excellent striker, and he definitely came at a good price.
But it’s still 2 points dropped, and now we must beat WBA on Wednesday night to beak this terrible run the lads are on at the moment, and then amke sure we get all 3 points at bottom of the league Bolton in the following game.
And it even looks like we’ll have to beat Liverpool at Anfield in the last game of the year, if we are to start climbing that league table again. 😀
And I’m only half kidding if we can go into that game with a back four of Simpson Coloccini Williamson and Santon.
Newcastle last won a game when we thrashed Everton 2-1 on on November 5th, and they are na bad run of 5 games at the moment (2 points), and w are being caught by teams beneath us, such as Stoke City, who have now won their last four league games.
Stoke have now gained 10 points on Newcastle in the last five games.
But there were still some positives to take out of this game, such as young Davide Santon looks a very good player in the making, and he’s probably a starter in the side now at left back.
And it was good to see both 19 year-olds Haris Vuckic and Mehdi Abeid on the bench, and Haris came on after 82 minutes, and 19 year-old Sammy Ameobi also came on after 71 minutes for Leon Best.
We just didn’t have the luck today and that happens sometimes, and yes – it’s so frustrating.
But let’s try to keep the faith – our boys can start climbing the league again in the games ahead – we’re sure of that.
Howay The Lads!!
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Krul; Simpson, Coloccini, Perch, Santon; Obertan (Sa Ameobi 82), Cabaye, Tiote (Vuckic 82), Gutierrez; Ba, Best (Sa. Ameobi 71). Subs: Harper (gk), Williamson, Ben Arfa, Abeid.
Swansea City (4-3-3): Vorm; Richards, Williams, Caulker, Taylor; Allen, Gower (Agustien 46), Britton; Routledge, Graham, Sinclair (Dyer 77). Subs: Dobbie, Monk, Lita, Moore, Tremmel.
Referee: Lee Mason