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Newcastle United vs Middlesbrough – Half Time Report

Joey Barton and Emre have been recalled by King Kev for today's North East derby match. Today's match is also Barton's second game since before Christmas as a starter.

Emre, missed the last three matches following the red card against Stoke. This is his first Newcastle game under Kevin Keegan and he is determined to repay the glowing praise from Keegan yesterday. While James Milner and Mark Viduka were dropped to the bench.

Newcastle in search for the first goal for King Kev immediately attacking the visitor and in just three minutes we should have been lead by one goal.

First Barton got the chance to open the scoreline, he gets the ball to feet inside the six yards but his shot is deflected away for a corner. And here comes the controversy when Boro goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer claim the ball from Emre's corner and fumbles it.

Then he falls into Owen, who is toe-poking the loose ball into the net. It should be a goal but the referee Mike Dean inexplicably blows for a foul.

And for the visitor side, they have David Wheater booked for a terrible sliding tackle from behind on Smith. Emre who took it, blasts the ball and have deflected by Pogatetz for a corner. This time, the delivery wasn't good as the previous one and bounces out for a goal kick.

Newcastle have another goal been disallowed inside the 20 minutes, but this time I think it was the right decision as the ball is unfortunately drifted out of play from Emre's corner, poor Owen who is heading the ball home at the far post.

After that terrible corner, Newcastle are beginning to pile on the pressure and The Magpies have two corners in quick succession. One of them worked short to N'Zogbia and darts into the box past Young but cannot past the challenge from Downing who gives the visitors a chance to breath.

And again inside the half hour mark, we have a penalty claim being turn down by the almighty referee Mike Dean. The ball strikes Pogatetz's arm in the Boro box. Boro who is escape once again, suddenly getting the chance to counter attacking United side with Aliadiere, Young and Rochemback. Thanks to Steven Taylor who is blocked a shot from Rochemback.

Then it was rather bit dissapointing minutes as the visitors have couple of good chances to attack our side and the clearance was little awfull and nearly cost us bad. Taylor almost turns the ball into his own net after slicing Pogatetz's low, near post cross, luckily we have Shay Given in the right place to save.

The Magpies have couple chances near the end of the first half with Damien Duff running down the left before sending a high far post cross for Stephen Carr, but Pogatetz challenged the ball and get it first before Carr to flick it clear.

Goalles half-time at St. James' Park.

TEAMS LINE UP:

NEWCASTLE UNITED FC:
Shay Given, Stephen Carr, Charles N'Zogbia, Steven Taylor, Claudio Cacapa, Damien Duff, Nicky Butt, Emre, Joey Barton, Michael Owen (c), Alan Smith
Subs: James Milner, Shola Ameobi, David Edgar, Fraser Forster, Mark Viduka

MIDDLESBROUGH FC:
Mark Schwarzer, Luke Young, Julio Arca (c), Gary O'Neil, Robert Huth, Stewart Downing, Lee Catermole, David Wheater, Emanuel Pogatetz, Fabio Rochemback, Jeremie Aliadiere
Subs: Ross Turnbull, Dong-Gook Lee, George Boateng, Adam Johnson, Jonathan Grounds

Referee: Mike Dean
Attendance: tbc

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