NEWCASTLE UNITED 1
QUEENS PARK RANGERS 1
Coca-Cola Championship, St.James' Park
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Craig Hope reports from St.James' Park ...
MARLON Harewood rescued a point on his home debut as the United new boy came from the bench to claim a 1-1 draw for the Magpies.
The hosts were behind as early as the 7th minute when Ben Watson, having siezed possession from Jose Enrique's clearance, saw a 20-yard strike deflected beyond a helpless Steve Harper by the boot of Steven Taylor.
United had a chance to restore parity from the penalty spot just 11 minutes later but Danny Guthrie, having opted for placement over power, was thwarted by Czech stopper Radek Cerny.
Harewood was thrown on just after the hour mark and it took the loan striker just eight minutes to net his first for the club, bundling home Andy Carroll's headed knockdown from point-blank range.
The point takes Chris Hughton's men three clear at the top of the table with Bristol City the visitors to Tyneside on Saturday.
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And so it is, honours even at Gallowgate.
90+2min - This looks to be headed for a draw as the visitors play for time.
There will be three minutes added time.
90min - Leigterwood scythes down Andy Carroll on the East Stand touchline and duly enters Rob Shoebridge's notebook.
87min - Alejandro Faurlin replaces Rowan Vine.
85min - The game is entering its final throws - can the Magpies find a winner?
79min - Gutierrez and Enrique combine on the left with the former darting between blue shirts and into the area. The Argentine shows a presence of mind to draw back for Harewood but the Toon scorer stabs a 10-yard shot wide of Cerny's frame.
76min - United work the free-kick to the over-lapping Enrique on the left. The Spaniard glides unchallenged into the area but, with home shirts queueing up and yelling for a cross, Enrique gets his feet in a tangle with the ball bobbling behind for a goal-kick - that was a chance.
75min - Damien Stewart follows Alan Smith into the book for a high challenge on the Magpie skipper.
73min - Adel Taarabt replaces Jay Simpson.
70min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (1-1): And MARLON HAREWOOD does it! Danny Simpson lifts a high cross to the far post, Carroll towers to head back into the six-yard box where Harewood arrives to bundle home for his first for the club.
68min - Alan Smith is first man in the book, the skipper sliding to take out Rowlands on halfway.
66min - Carroll drills the resulting free-kick underneath a jumping wall but the effort is scuffed and Cerny gathers with comfort.
65min - Carroll jinks away from two blue shirts before Watson's out-stretched leg brings the Geordie tumbling to the Gallowgate turf - free-kick 20 yards out.
62min - And that will be Ranger's last involvement with Marlon Harewood his replacement - can the new man spark a comeback?
60min - Ben Watson's corner pinballs around the United danger zone before being stabbed on goal by Stewart. Luckily for the hosts Danny Simpson is in the right place at the right time to block inside the six-yard area with the ball squirming around the upright. Watson again centres but Ranger leaps to head clear.
59min - Rowan Vine's quick feet manouvers space for a shot just outside the area but the striker steers a low, left-footed strike wide of the target - Harper looked to have it covered.
56min - The Magpies are camped in the visiting half at present but are struggling to fashion any real openings - the latest attempt, a right-wing cross from Guthrie, is plucked to safety by Cerny.
52min - Jonas lobs over full-back Leigertwood before dashing onto the dropping ball on the left flank. The Argentine looks to force his way into the penalty area but is toppled by Gorkss just inches outside of the box. Guthrie stands over the ball but groans echo around St.James' as his free-kick is whipped into the front rows of the Gallowgate End.
47min - Jonas' first involvement is to block Routledge's attempted cross at the expense of a corner. United turn off from the flag-kick and QPR work short, Rowlands clips to the back post and Ranger takes no chances in chesting away for another corner. This time a deep delivery is retrieved by Routledge who sweeps a cross onto the head of Damien Stewart, the defender climbs to direct goalwards and, with Harper beaten, the ball whistles inches wide of the woodwork - that was close.
United get us started attacking the Gallowgate End.
Chris Hughton has acted upon what was a disappointing first-half with Jonas Gutierrez, back from a month-long hamstring layoff, replacing Nicky Butt at the break.
Half-time, 1-0 to QPR.
45+1min - Harper makes a mess of an attempted pass to Steven Taylor and the ball is gited to Martin Rowlands 40 yards out. Harper is stranded but the R's midfielder fails to capitalise as his first-time effort is sliced well wide of the gaping target.
There will be one minute added time.
43min - United work a free-kick short to Enrique but the Spaniard's centre drifts beyond everybody inside the area and bounces disappointingly away for a goal-kick.
38min - Carroll serves up a lofted centre for strike partner Nile Ranger to attack. The youngster, eight yards from goal, climbs above Gorkss but sees his angled header drop the wrong side of Cerny's far upright - good cross and a good effort, United are getting closer.
34min - United quickly recycle possession and again go close to restoring parity as Nolan flashes Enrique's inviting centre on goal only for Cerny to grasp on his line - it looked for all the world as if the Scouser was going to score.
33min - Andy Carroll wins a corner as his bicycle kicks clips behind off Stewart. Guthrie drops a high cross onto the head of Carroll and only a well-placed Borrowdale, on the goal-line, denies the Geordie striker a leveller as he stoops to nod clear.
32min - Danny Simpson slips in Danny Guthrie who rolls the challenge of Borrowdale inside the area. It's a narrow angle and, despite Andy Carroll screaming for the pullback, the midfielder elects to shoot with Cerny covering his near post to save - Carroll is furious.
26min - Leigertwood is proving a real menace and the front-running full-back wins a corner when his low cross bounces behind off the heel of Zurab. Watson's near-post ball is cut out by a sliding Smith before Nicky Butt completes the clearance.
24min - United are struggling for rythmn having failed to capitalise upon their penalty award - still QPR look the better side.
18min - NEWCASTLE MISS PEN - Danny Guthrie's deep free-kick lands at the feet of Steven Taylor at the far post. The Geordie defender's first touch is heavy but still he manages to swing a shot on goal only for the ball is cannon off the hand of Mikele Leigertwood with a well-positioned Rob Shoebridge pointing to the spot. Danny Guthrie steps up but his low effort is kept out by a diving Radek Cerny - it was a poor penalty.
16min - Alan Smith tries to rally what has been a lacklustre United as he barks words of encouragement to the front pairing of Ranger and Carroll.
14min - Still the visitors continue to enjoy the better of these early exchanges and are good value for their one-goal lead.
7min - QPR GOAL (0-1): United have made a sloppy start here and are punished when Enrique's clearance only goes as far as BEN WATSON 30 yards from goal. The R's midfielder carries forward before seeing a left-footed shot deflected beyond a wrong-footed Steve Harper off the boot of Steven Taylor.
3min - Rowan Vine is in oceans of space unmarked 20 yards from goal and is found by Routledge's slick pass inffield. The former Luton man works the ball onto his left boot but scuffs his shot and Harper falls to his left to save with ease.
2min - Zurab looks to have under-cooked backpass to Steve Harper but the Georgian gets just enough on it for the Toon stopper to clear with Jay Simpson bearing down.
QPR get us started attacking the Gallowgate End.
It's late September but it's a balmy night inside Gallowgate with every one of United's starting line-up, barring goalkeeper Steve Harper, wearing short-sleeve shirts ...
Argentine centre-back Coloccini (groin) is replaced by Danny Simpson, back from an ankle layoff, in the backline, with Georgian defender Zurab Khizanishvili, on his home debut, reverting to centre-back.
Taylor, who has a calf strain, is replaced by Danny Guthrie in midfield.
Nile Ranger and Andy Carroll continue in attack.
Jonas Gutierrez is back on the bench after a month-long hamstring absence.
NUFC: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Zurab Khizanishvili, Jose Enrique, Danny Guthrie, Alan Smith, Nicky Butt (c), Kevin Nolan, Nile Ranger, Andy Carroll
Subs: Tim Krul, Peter Lovenkrands, Marlon Harewood, Jonas Gutierrez, Geremi, Tamas Kadar, Ryan Donaldson
QPR: Radek Cerny, Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gorkss, Damion Stewart, Gary Borrowdale, Wayne Routledge, Ben Watson, Martin Rowlands, Akos Buzsaky, Jay Simpson, Rowan Vine
Subs: Tom Heaton, Peter Ramage, Alejandro Faurlin, Hogan Ephram, Adel Taarabt, Patrick Agyemang, Alessandro Pellicori
Referee: Rob Shoebridge
Attendance: 38, 923