SWANSEA CITY 1
NEWCASTLE UNITED 1
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Kick off 12.45pm
Craig Hope reports from Liberty Stadium ...
GEORDIE striker Andy Carroll was Newcastle United's point saver as his late header rescued the draw to send Chris Hughton's men back to the top of the Championship.
The Magpies were headed for back-to-back away defeats with just three minutes left on the clock when substitute Leon Best hoisted a cross to the far post and Carroll soared to nod beyond Dorus de Vries for his ninth of the season.
The hosts had seized the lead on 57 minutes when winger David Cotterill curled beyond the reach of Steve Harper from 20 yards.
But Carroll's last-gasp effort takes United back above West Bromwich Albion with a home clash against Coventry City next up on Wednesday night.
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And there blows the final whistle, 1-1.
90+1min - United are swarming forward in search of a winner and only the last-ditch boot of Monkl prevents Routledge from bursting clear on goal after the winger had forced his way through two white shirts 30 yards out.
There will be three minutes added time.
87min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (1-1): And The Magpies duly locate that get-out-of-jail card when Leon Best hoists a cross to the far post for Andy Carroll, having peeled away from his marker, to head back across goal and into the far corner for his ninth of the season.
86min - United have just five minutes to find a leveller.
82min - Andy Carroll is shown a yellow card when his stray arm leaves minder Garry Monk in a heap on the edge of the area.
80min -Tom Butler replaces Nathan Dyer for the hosts.
78min - Cotterill tries to repeat the trick of cutting in from the right before directing a measured effort towards the bottom corner. Harper, though, wise to the technique that drew the opener, reads the winger's intentions and dives to save.
74min - Hall tracks Orlandi's left-wing burst and blocks the Spaniard's cross at the expense of a corner. Cotterill centres and Williams, shuffling away from goal, is unable to generate any power on his header and Harper gathers.
68min - Best immediately turns a header back across goal from Guthrie's free-kick but fellow new signing Fitz Hall is unable to force on target as he tangles with Williams on the edge of the six-yard area.
66min - Cotterill's corner is helped on by Monk at the near post and defensive partner Ashley Williams, stealing into the six-yard area, somehow heads over the crossbar - that should have been two.
64min - Another opening for the hosts sees Angel Rangel, receiving Pratley's pullback 20 yards from goal, fire tamely towards the United target allowing Steve Harper to kneel and collect with comfort - still, though, it's The Swans that press.
63min - Orlandi goes in search of a second but he blazes high over the crossbar from 25 yards.
61min - There's half an hour for United to find a reply but still it's Swansea who control possession.
56min - SWANSEA GOAL (1-0): Nathan Dyer's cute dummy allows a crossfield ball to run to David Cotterill, lurking in space on the left-hand edge of the penalty area. The former Sheffield United midfielder steps inside two closing yellow shirts before planting an inch-perfect curler beyond Steve Harper from 20 yards out and the hosts are in front.
52min - A misunderstanding between Pratley and Dyer sees the pair go for the same ball having stolen a yard between Hall and Coloccini to race onto Allen's high delivery. The Swans duo collide on the edge of the area and Harper is the grateful recepient of a ball which loops in the air - that was a let off for the visitors.
49min - Dyer drifts infield from the right and is unlucky when his dipping strike skids inches wide of Harper's far post - the effort had the home fans on their feet.
47min - The best move of the game opens up United's rearguard and Dyer finds himself the wrong side of van Aanholt after racing onto Pratley's angled throughball. The former Sheffield United winger draws a low cross back towards the penalty spot, Routledge, though, arrives to intercept only to lose possession to Kuqi. The Finnish forward is off balance and his studded shot travels barely a couple of yards before being swiped clear.
The teams are back out with no further changes for either side during the break. United get us started attacking the end where the Toon Army are gathered.
A drab first half draws to a close with the game still goalless - United have been the better team, though, during these last 15 minutes or so.
45min - van Aanholt forces a corner after some good work down the left. Guthrie's hoist is turned on goal by the head of Carroll, from six yards, but his effort, headed for the bottom corner, is kept out by the gloves of a falling de Vries who does well to hold.
43min - A wild Williams slice from Simpson's centre sees United win a corner on the right, Guthrie delivers but he fails to beat the first man and another chance to break the deadlock goes begging.
41min - Guthrie's tries to spring Lovenkrands clear with an inventive, first-time pass only for the ball to overrun on a bobbly playing surface and carry through into the arms of de Vries.
39min - United have started to come into this a little since the half-hour mark.
35min - Peter Lovenkrands tries to manufacture space for himself with a toe away from Monk 20 yards out. The Dane evades his marker but his attempted lob is miscued and de Vries watches as the ball bounces tamely wide.
34min - Orlandi fires in the deadball but a well-placed Steve Harper stoops to smother at his near post - safe hands there from the Toon stopper.
33min - Coloccini enters the book as he dives in on Nathan Dyer on the right and Swansea have a free-kick.
29min - United's first real chance falls the way of Kevin Nolan when his 12 -yard header, from Coloccini's left-wing wedge, loops wide of de Vries' frame.
28min - Dutch stopper de Vries dahses from his line a bid to collect Danny Guthrie's free-kick from deep. The keeper climbs above a sea of bodies but snatches at the ball and it spills free from his grasp. Luckily, though, for the hosts, a composed David Cotterill is on hand to clean up and clear.
27min - Still the game meanders along without any real incident of note - Swansea have certainly shaded the opening half hour, though.
22min - Spaniard Orlandi beats the United wall with a 30-yard free-kick but the ambitious effort also travels wide of Steve Harper's target - the United stopper was scrambling to get there, though.
21min - Swansea continue to coax short passes around the United half without any incisive penetration.
18min - The visitors do manage to fashion an angle for Routledge to cross from the right but his ball has far too much weight and carries beyond the expectant heads of Lovenkrands and Carroll inside the area.
13min - United are yet to enjoy any sustained possession in the City half and it is the hosts who have enjoyed the company of the football during these early exchanges.
8min - We're back to 11 versus 11 as Angel Rangel replaces the injured Bessone.
7min - Nolan fires a crisp pass to the forward-running van Aanholt down the left as United look to capitalise upon their momentary man advantage. The Dutch full-back delivers a first-time ball to the near post but it's the boot of Monk which greets its arrival and the skipper is happy to prod away for a corner. Guthrie's tall centre is comfortably dealt with by the Swans backline and the chance is gone.
5min - City have a problem with former Barcelona youngster Federico Bassone grounded with what looks like a lower leg injury.
1min - The hosts are quickly on the offensive and win a corner following some intricate build-up play down the right flank. A high delivery from Cotterill is fisted clear of the six-yard area by Harper before another flag kick comes the way of City when Simpson blocks Dyer's attempted cross. Cotterill's near-post swing is headed away for yet another corner by Alan Smith. This time, though, Harper claims Cotterill's lofted centre with ease and United breathe a sigh of relief.
The Swans get us started with United defending the end where their support is housed.
The United players are quick to acknowledge the 1,500-strong gathering of away fans who have journeyed to south Wales.
Alan Smith leads a yellow-kitted United from the Main Stand tunnel down beneath us with The Swans headed by captain Garry Monk.
CHRIS Hughton makes three changes to the side which was beaten at Derby County during the week for today's lunchtime kick off at the Liberty Stadium.
That means United, who only a need a draw to return to the top of the table, are likely to stick with a 4-4-2 formation.
Coloccini is back from a two-game hamstring absence and partners Fitz Hall at the centre of the defence, Danny Simpson and Patrick van Aanholt occupying the full-back slots.
Lovenkrands, who has scored six times since the turn of the year, comes in to join Andy Carroll in attack.
SCFC: Dorus de Vries, Ashley Williams, Alan Tate, Garry Monk (c), Darren Pratley, Andrea Orlandi, Nathan Dyer, Federico Bessone, David Cotterill, Shefki Kuqi, Joe Allen
Subs: David Cornell, Gorka Pintado, Mark Gower, Tom Butler, Angel Rangel, Lee Trundle, Ashley Richards
NUFC: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Fitz Hall, Fabricio Coloccini, Patrick van Aanholt, Danny Guthrie, Alan Smith (c), Kevin Nolan, Wayne Routledge, Andy Carroll, Peter Lovenkrands
Subs: Mike Williamson, Ryan Taylor, Leon Best, Fabrice Pancrate, Tamas Kadar, Tim Krul, Nile Ranger
Referee: Andy Woolmer
Attendance: 15, 188