LEICESTER CITY 0
NEWCASTLE UNITED 0
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Kick off 5.20pm
Craig Hope reports from Walkers Stadium ...
NEWCASTLE United missed the chance to go six points clear at the top of the table as ten-man Leicester City battled valiantly for more than an hour to claim a share of the spoils.
The hosts were reduced in number just before the half-hour mark when Richie Wellens, having earlier been booked for a reckless challenge on Alan Smith, was flashed a second yellow by referee Andre Marriner following a tug on the shirt of Wayne Routledge.
United, though, failed to make their man advantage pay and the closest they came during the opening period was when Bruno Berner hooked Alan Smith's net-bound header from the goal-line on 36 minutes.
At the other end The Magpies had debutant Patrick van Aanholt to thank for a block inside the six-yard area after Matty Fryatt had weaved his way through the backline before firing on target from 12 yards.
The visitors continued to press after half-time and Nile Ranger came within a whisker of snatching a winner when his 12-yard stab shaved the base of the post on 81 minutes.
The point takes Chris Hughton's men four clear of second-placed Nottingham Forest who lost at Midlands rivals Derby County earlier in the day.
SECOND-HALF UPDATES (click refresh for latest)
Full-time, City do hold on to claim a share of the spoils.
90+2min - Ten-man City have shirts packed behind the ball and continue to cling on to their point.
There will be four minutes added time.
89min - A hopeful punt into the area eventually drops for Wayne Routledge but he blazes a right-footed strike high over the crossbar from 20 yards.
86min - Frustration is kicking in for United and Colin Calderwood boots a drinks box on the touchline after a failed attack.
84min - Nobby Solano receives a standing ovation from all inside the Walkers Stadium as he comes on for Matty Fryatt.
81min - MIke Williamson lifts a clever chip into Ranger inside the area. The United substitute swivels before directing a low stab inches wide of the base of the post - good effort.
80min - A Ryan Taylor corner is routinely dealt with by Berner at the near post - United are now beginning to turn the screw.
78min - van Aanholt looks United's best bet going forward and the Dutch youngster slams a 20-yard shot down the throat of Weale who does well to stand strong and save.
77min - The Magpies have the ball in the net when Ranger volleys home from Carroll's cross but the striker is clearly offside and the effort is chalked off.
75min - United make another change and it's Kevin Nolan heading to the dugout with Fabrice Pancrate entering the fray.
72min - The latest man to see yellow is Matt Oakley for a blatant trip on Carroll - no complaints from the City skipper.
72min - Martyn Waghorn is replaced by Geordie striker Steve Howard.
69min - Wayne Routledge ghosts into the penalty area to steal van Aanholt's forward ball from the grasp of Weale before going by the stranded keeper. The angle is tight for the winger and, when he swivels to dispatch a left-footed half-volley, the effort crashes into the side-netting, much to the relief of City stopper Weale.
66min - Lloyd Dyer replaces Paul Gallagher.
64min - Michael Morrison stoops to flash a near-post header on goal from Waghorn's corner and, when the ball strikes the arm of Nicky Butt, inside the six-yard area, referee Andre Marriner is unsighted and United escape unpunished.
62min - Mike Williamson's entry into the referee's notebook draws loud cheers from the home crowd as he chops King midway inside the United half.
60min - Andy King is teed up by Oakley 25 yards out but he screws a first-time strike well wide - still, though, City show attacking ambition.
56min - Chris Hughton is roaring his men forward from the touchline - United are yet to make their numerical advantage tell and, if anything, City have looked the more threatening of the sides.
52min - Martyn Waghorn gets the wrong side of a static United backline and makes his way into the penalty area. Ryan Taylor is galloping to get on terms with the Sunderland youngster and does well to edge him off balance resulting in a screwed shot which spirals well wide.
50min - van Aanholt's driven cross is met by the head of Nolan who beats the fists of Weale to the delivery. The ball loops towards the unguarded net but lands on the roof of the goal and City survive.
49min - Bruno Berner is very lucky to escape a second yellow as his studs scrape the shin of Routledge!
47min - Gallagher nicks the ball by the out-stretched toe of Ryan Taylor on the edge of the area and duly topples over the defender's leg. The same player directs the free-kick on goal but his clipped effort is deflcted wide of the yellow-shirted wall. Gallagher's centre is cleared by the head of Carroll.
United have made no changes during the break and look as if they're going to continue with their 4-5-1 system - how long will Chris Hughton leave it before the introduction of a striker?
Half-time, 0-0 - can United make the extra man pay in the second half?
There will be two minutes added time.
41min - Ryan Taylor flattens Martyn Waghorn on halfway and escapes unpunished, much to the anger of the home crowd. And their levels of disdain are amplified when Bruno Berner is booked just seconds later for a trip on Nicky Butt.
36min - And van Aanholt is very nearly the hero at the other end as his 20-yard, floated shot is flapped above the crossbar by a backpedalling Weale. Danny Guthrie's out-swinger is turned on target by the head of Alan Smith at the near post and only a well-placed Bruno Berner, on the goal-line, denies the midfielder his first for the club.
35min - Matty Fryatt weaves his way through a retreating United backline having darted clear of Williamson on the left. He drives into the area and is only denied what would've been an incredible solo effort when his 12-yard strike cannons into the thigh of the recovering van Aanholt inside the six-yard area - great block from the debutant.
29min - LEICESTER RED CARD: Richie Wellens won't be pulling those strings for much longer and the former Man Utd youngster is shown a second yellow card for a tug on the shirt of livewire Routledge and City are down to ten men!
29min - Wellens is pulling the strings for City in midfield and from his forward wedge Mike Williamson, in attempting to clear a bouncing ball, slices behind for a corner. Gallagher centres but Carroll is back and heads away.
25min - This contest is really starting to heat up and a boisterous home crowd are roaring their side forward after a prolonged stay in the United half.
23min - The first real opening of the game comes the way of the hosts when Waghorn incisive throughball locates the forward burst of Oakley. He checks inside Coloccini before rolling invitingly into the path of Matty Fryatt, 12 yards out. The striker stabs first time on goal but fails to guide wide of Steve Harper who brushes over the crossbar. Waghorn's deep centre is met by the head of Berner but he heads wide.
21min - Nicky Butt miscontrols inside the area and watches in anguish as the ball rolls away for a corner. Gallagher whips over but it's the head of Williamson which stoops to clear.
17min - Richie Wellens snaps at the the heels of Alan Smith and becomes the first man to enter Andre Marriner's notebook.
15min - Carroll gifts City possession with a wayward pass from halfway and Paul Gallagher is the grateful recepient. He spots the forward burst of Fryatt and wastes no time in supplying a slick, threaded pass for the top scorer to chase. The striker, though, has Williamson for company and in a duel of strength it is the United man who comes out on top.
11min - Paul Gallagher does, though, cheekily slip the ball through the legs of Ryan Taylor on the left wing and strides infield. The former Blackburn man has blue shirts arriving in anticipation of a delivery and, though a cross is dispatched, it flies hopelessly into the lower rows of the stand behind Steve Harper's goal.
10min - We're into the 10th minute now and, Nolan's early effort aside, there has been very little by way of penalty-area action.
6min - It's been a failry sedate start here in the East Midlands but United have shaded the early possession.
2min - Carroll's headed flick presents Nolan with a chance to shoot inside the area. United's top scorer tries to catch keeper Weale unawares and is unlucky to see a crisp half-volley nestle into the side-netting - good effort.
20secs - Andy King pumps a long ball downfield from kick off but it's well dealt with by Mike Williamson who heads to the safety of the stands.
United are kitted in their yellow change outfit and will defend the end where their 3,000-strong following is situated.
CHRIS Hughton makes four changes to the side which beat Crystal Palace on Wednesday night and gives full debuts to Wayne Routledge and Patrick van Aanholt.
Chelsea defender van Aanholt only completed a one-month loan deal on Friday morning but is thrown his first start in place of the injured Jose Enrique (hamstring).
Routledge came from the bench against The Eagles to lay on the crucial second goal for Nile Ranger, and he starts ahead of Jonas Gutierrez.
Skipper Nicky Butt returns, as does Ryan Taylor who is back from suspension.
That means United are likely to line up with the now familiar away-day 4-5-1 system.
Fitz Hall, who arrived on a season-long loan from Queens Park Rangers on Friday, is named among the substitutes.
Nobby Solano starts from the bench for The Foxes and could make his debut against his former club.
LCFC: Chris Weale, Michael Morrison, Wayne Brown, Matt Oakley (c), Andy King, Matty Fryatt, Bruno Berner, Martyn Waghorn, Richie Wellens, Paul Gallagher, Jack Hobbs
Subs: Robbie Nielson, Ryan McGivern, Nobby Solano, Steve Howard, Lloyd Dyer, Conrad Logan, Danny N'Guessan
NUFC: Steve Harper, Ryan Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Patrick van Aanholt, Wayne Routledge, Nicky Butt (c), Alan Smith, Danny Guthrie, Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll
Subs: Tim Krul, Tamas Kadar, Jonas Gutierrez, Peter Lovenkrands, Nile Ranger, Fitz Hall, Fabrice Pancrate
Referee: Andre Marriner
Attendance: 29, 067