WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1
NEWCASTLE UNITED 1
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Craig Hope reports from The Hawthorns ...
DUTCH goalkeeper Tim Krul left the pitch on full-time with his name ringing out from the away end after a point-saving display on his league debut for Newcastle United.
On at half-time for Steve Harper, injured during the scramble which saw Shelton Morris prod the hosts in front six minutes before the break, Krul pulled off a string of top-drawer saves after Damien Duff had fired United level on 55 minutes.
And the opening-day point could have been three for Chris Hughton's men as Kevin Nolan and Damien Duff both went close to snatching a winner late in the game.
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And that is the last action of the game as Mike Dean blows for full-time, 1-1.
90+3min - Damien Duff is denied a winner when his half volley from 20 yards is kept out by Carson.
90+2min - West Brom goal disallowed! What a let-off for United! Olsson heads home Greening's free-kick but the linesman flags for offside, much to the releif of the Magpies!
90+1min - Nile Ranger is coming on for his Magpie debut with Shola Ameobi making way.
There will be three minutes added time.
88min - What a save! Krul, having flapped at Greening's flag kick, makes amends as he somehow turns Moore's rasping volley over the crossbar. Nothing comes of the corner.
88min - These are nervy moments! West Brom win a corner on ther right as Steven Taylor is forced to hack behind Brunt's low cross.
85min - Joey Barton leaves two home shirts in his shadow tight on the left wing, he cuts along the by-line before zipping a head-height cross into the area for Ameobi to attack, the Geordie striker and Olsson challenge but the ball is sandwiched between the pair with the Swede hacking clear as they crash to the turf.
83min - Still this one hangs in the balance - can the Magpies find a winner?
81min - Chris Wood is replaced by summer signing Simon Cox.
79min - Kevin Nolan escapes his marker to connect with Joey Barton's flighted free-kick but the Liverpudlian heads the wrong side of the crossbar from just six yards - he knows that was a golden opportunity!
75min - Joey Barton swaps places with Andy Carroll.
73min - Graham Dorrans replaces Robert Koren.
72min - Krul again comes to United's rescue as this time, from Moore's bottom-corner bound strike, the Toon stopper extends a leg to toe around the post. And Krul comes to collect Greening's flag-kick before winning warm applause from the Toon Army.
68min - This game is really stretched and United carve another opening as Carroll, having been fed by Smith's crisp, forward pass, works the angle for a shot off marker Olsson but arrows a left-footed strike a couple of yards wide of Carson's goal.
65min - Attacking the end where the Toon Army are housed certainly seems to have spurred on the Magpies and they are currently camped in the Baggies half.
63min - The Geordies are chanting the now familiar "If Shola scores we're on the picth" - last time we heard that at Darlington he responded by netting twice!
61min - United are right back in this and Ameobi, enticing Zuiverloon into the challenge before skipping by the Dutchman, wins a corner when his cross, in the direction of strike partner Carroll, is deflected behind off Olsson. Taylor's delivery fails to beat the first man and West Brom clear.
57min - Koren swaps passes with Wood and the Slovenian is clean through on goal, the midfielder steadies himself but is denied by the strong wrist of Tim Krul who blocks the goal-bound strike - the save draws chants of "Timy, Timy Krul" from the Toon Army.
55min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (1-1): Kevin Nolan, receiving a pass from Alan Smith on the edge of the area, rolls in the over-lapping DAMIEN DUFF who dispatches a first-time shot past Scott Carson to draw the sides level.
53min - The visitors win a corner as Smith's snap shot clips off a home shirt and is diverted wide. Nothing comes of the corner.
49min - Tim Krul's first involvement sees him pull off a fine, diving save to brush Koren's 20-yard strike around the upright. The resulting flag-kick sees a melee ensue inside the United danger zone with a cluster of yellow shirts doing their best to protect the target - Steven Taylor eventually clearing.
47min - Duff, cutting in from the right, squares for Carroll who spins and shoots, the connection is weak but it inadvertently turns into a dangerous cross which is plucked from the boot of Nolan by a diving Carson inside the six-yard area.
The Magpies get the second period started - can they get back into this?
And Krul does replace Harper for what is his league debut for United
It looks as though Tim Krul could be coming on for the injured Steve Harper with the Dutchman fully kitted on the touchline.
And so sounds the whistle to signal the end of the opening 45 minutes of Championship football - 1-0 West Brom.
45+1min - Coloccini is the first man in the book following a clash with Wood.
45min - United need half-time to regroup as again West Brom threaten with Zuiverloon, feeding on the scraps from Koren's delivery, sends a first-time strike wide of goal - he should have done better.
42min - Harper took a fairly hefty boot in the face during the scramble which led to Mathis' goal and there is a lengthy delay before play restarts.
39min - WEST BROM GOAL (1-0): Damien Duff takes out Koren on the left-hand touchline and is lucky to escape caution. But United don't go unpunished as Jonathan Greening's free-kick, only half cleared by the fist of Steve Harper, drops to the feet of Luke Moore who blasts back into six-yard area, the ball cannons into legs before being prodded over the line by SHELTON MATHIS.
35min - Smith slides to disposses Moore with a stiff tackle near United's left-hand corner flag, the skipper clips a high ball to Andy Carroll on halfway, he leaps to head on before giving chase to his own flick. The Geordie, despite giving Zuiverloon a head start, gallops to get there first ahead of the Dutchman before rolling a pass inside to the supporting Ameobi. He drops a shoulder and skips by Olsson but sees his left-footed shot, from just inside the area, blocked by the out-stretched boot of Martis - Carroll's industry deserved a goal!
33min - Gutierrez is refusing to allow Zuiverloon a moment's rest and again he runs at the Dutch full-back down the left, the Argentine works a yard for a cross but his low pullback is met by Olsson at the near post and he clears from Ameobi.
27min - Ryan Taylor clips the top of the crossbar with a whipped free-kick from 25 yards - the look of despair on the Liverpudlian's face tells you how close he was!
26min - Robert Koren tests Steve Harper with a dipping shot from range but the Toon keeper collects with comfort underneath his crossbar.
23min - Shola slides to steal from the toe of Zuiverloon on halfway and all of a sudden Jonas is away down the left wing. The Argentine scampers deep into opposition territory but fails to find a yellow shirt with his delivery and West Brom clear - that was a good opening and United should have at least fashioned an effort on goal.
19min - Coloccini, with Moore racing in behind, looks to have lost the flight of Brunt's throughball but manages to recover and flicks a header away for a corner - that was a vital interception. From Brunt's delivery it is Andy Carroll who boots to the safety of halfway.
16min - Ryan Taylor has a chance to deliver one of his trademark free-kicks but, while the cross is good, it is a West Brom head in the form of Martis who heads clear.
14min - Shola gets away in the inside left channel but slices his shot high into the stands.
11min - Albion win the game's first corner as Enrique slides to nick from Brunt on the right. Brunt swings over but his ball has too much weight and travels away for a goal-kick - much to the disappointment of the home crowd.
8min - At the other end Damien Duff stabs an 18-yard shot wide of target having been teed up by Andy Carroll.
5min - It's a real let-off for United as Shelton Martis, up from the back for Jonathan Greening's right-wing free-kick, is afforded the freedom of the penalty area but fails to take advantage when, unmarked six yards from goal, he gets his angles all wrong and side-foots hopelessly into the crowd.
4min - United waste possession inside their own half with Mulumbu robbing Nolan, the Congo midfielder only has one thought on his mind and lets fly with a right-footed shot which is blocked by the chest of Steven Taylor who stands strong 20 yards from goal.
1min - Andy Carroll shrugs off two home shirts 30 yards out, the Geordie takes aim but his well-struck shot is blocked by Olsson on the edge of the area.
A deafening roar rings out around the stadium as the teams break away before West Brom get us started.
The Hawthorns stands in unison to observe a minute's applause for the late Sir Bobby Robson.
United, kitted out in their all yellow change kit, are led into battle by skipper Alan Smith.
The two teams enter onto a lush green playing surface of which half is still drenched in the now traditional opening-day sun.
CHRIS Hughton opts for a 4-4-2 formation for the opening game of the season at West Brom with Geordie duo Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi lining up in attack.
That means Kevin Nolan, previously deployed as a deep-lying frontman during the summer, reverts back into central midfield where is joined by skipper Alan Smith.
Damien Duff and Jonas Gutierrez will be working the flanks, while a flat back four of Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini and Jose Enrique will be protecting Steve Harper's goal.
WBA: Scott Carson, Gianni Zuiverloon, Jonas Olsson, Shelton Martis, Marek Cech, Youssouf Mulumbu, Jonathan Greening (c), Chris Brunt, Robert Koren, Chris Wood, Luke Moore
Subs: Dean Kiely, Filipe Teixeira, Reuben Reid, Simon Cox, Leon Barnett, Graham Dorrans, Craig Beattie
NUFC: Steve Harper, Ryan Taylor, Jose Enrique, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Alan Smith (c), Jonas Gutierrez, Damien Duff, Kevin Nolan, Shola Ameobi, Andy Carroll
Subs: Tim Krul, Tamas Kadar, Geremi, Kazenga LuaLua, Joey Barton, Xisco, Nile Ranger
Referee: Mike Dean