Second half started with the visitor attacking. Aliadiere gets away down United left side and pass the ball back from the by-line for O’Neill to shoot, Taylor blocked the midfielder’s low effort and deflects the ball behind for a corner.
Newcastle responded well with Emre makes a run forward and skips three Boro challenges before slipping the ball wide to Duff, the Irish winger twists and turns before tries to cross the ball but deflected behind by Young. Emre’s high corner is met by Taylor who is trying hard at the near post.
Taylor unable to directed the header to the goal and the ball runs away to the right where Barton retrieves. He hooks a high ball to the far post again where Taylor wins it but his effort was be able to clears by the Boro defenders.
A couple efforts from Downing who cuts inside from the left and takes aim for Given’s far corner, but Given scramble it and palm it wide. But the ball stays in play, O’Neill tries to beat Given again at his near post but the angle is tight and Given easily saves.
Newcastle finally breaks the deadlock in 59 minutes. N’Zogbia who tries to cut into Boro’s territory was being tripped down by Young on the left flank. Free-kick in a promising position and Emre once again take the dead ball situation and whips it over to the near post.
Michael Owen ghosted in and glance beyond Mark Schwarzer to score his fifth of the season, St. James’ Park errupted. United take control and in 65 minutes it was Barton who had the chance to double United lead. Owen is crowded out on the edge of the area when he tries to skip around two Boro challenges.
The ball runs free for Barton 20 yards out. He guide it past Schwarzer with a perfect low left-footed strike, but the Aussie stopper is equal to it and saves low to his right.
Soon after the goal Kevin Keegan make couple of changes with Emre makes way for James Milner and Mark Viduka replaces Alan Smith in 67minutes.
And then there’s another great chance for Newcastle to kill the game. N’Zogbia and Duff combine brilliantly down the left and N’Zogbia whips a perfect cross in with Milner pokes the ball but unfortunately the ball was directly into Schwarzer’s arms from about one yard.
The visitor is also have one decent chance on goal, but we have Cacapa! Starts from Downing takes a hit towards goal, but hits Wheater, Given fumbles and, just as it looks like Aliadiere is about to pounce from six yards. Given is totally stranded, but Cacapa slides in from nowhere to clear the ball away.
Boro makes changes, Adam Johnson replaces Fabio Rochemback.
Then, with three minutes left the disaster came. It was the ex-macKem’s Julio Arca who clips a cross over and the gigantic German defender Robert Huth climbs above Stephen Carr to snatch a late leveller for the Teessiders.
I pray to God that we will not another hummiliation as the visitor forcing to get the winner against us. They almost got it twice when O’Neil cross ball bounces around inside the penalty area and it was Huth again to hooks goalwards. It looks destined for the top corner but Given is in well positioned to keep us save.
In the injury time, I have to thank the linesman this time for his flag after Lee had turned the ball into the United goal from Downing’s free-kick. The replays show it was the right decision with the striker a yard offside and Boro are denied the late winner.
What a game, I have to admit that we’re really missing both Beye and Faye. Stephen Carr is not bad today but he was too short to deal with couple of Boro’s crosses, and it was Huth that beat him in couple occasions.
Keegan will have to work even harder, and with away match at Villa next week, I only hope that the Lads will keep improving and can get something out from the Villa Park. Keep the faith! We will be there!
TEAMS LINE UP:
NEWCASTLE UNITED FC:
Shay Given, Stephen Carr, Charles N’Zogbia, Steven Taylor, Claudio Cacapa, Damien Duff, Nicky Butt, Emre (James Milner, 66), Joey Barton, Michael Owen (c), Alan Smith (Mark Viduka, 67)
Subs: Shola Ameobi, David Edgar, Fraser Forster
Mark Schwarzer, Luke Young, Julio Arca (c), Gary O’Neil, Robert Huth, Stewart Downing, Lee Catermole (Dong-Gook Lee, 71), David Wheater, Emanuel Pogatetz, Fabio Rochemback (Adam Johnson, 80), Jeremie Aliadiere
Subs: Ross Turnbull, George Boateng, Jonathan Grounds
Referee: Mike Dean