By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At Upton Park
West Ham United 0
Newcastle United 0
Newcastle United picked up an important Barclays Premier League point with a goalless draw away at West Ham United on Saturday.
On an largely incident-free afternoon in East London, the Magpies had some good chances to record only their second away win of the season in domestic action, but settled for a share of the spoils instead.
Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse, Yohan Cabaye and Yoan Gouffran all threatened for the visitors at Upton Park but it was not all one-way traffic, as Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot pulled off three excellent second-half saves, including a fantastic double-stop.
The point takes United up to 38 points and manager Alan Pardew will be pleased with a clean sheet, having conceded ten goals in their last three games.
Mohamed Diame fired the first warning shot on six minutes with a rising angled drive that was never going to trouble Rob Elliot.
But the Magpies responded through an audacious Ben Arfa free-kick out on the right touchline, which flew inches over the bar.
In the 20th minute United thought they had broken the deadlock through Cisse. Played in behind the home rearguard by Yohan Cabaye, the front man slipped a shot past Jussi Jaaskelainen, only for Reid to race back and hook it off the goalline.
That was it for the first half action, but just three minutes after the restart Andy Carroll nodded narowly wide at the far post, having risen highest to meet a Matt Jarvis delivery.
Yohan Cabaye flashed a long-ranger narrowly wide before Elliot came to Newcastle's rescue with three brilliant saves in the space of 30 seconds.
First, a double point-blank stop thwarted Kevin Nolan, before he then sprung full-length to claw a Jarvis strike out of the top corner.
And United almost snatched the lead immediately after, in the 67th minute. Cheick Tiote lofted a ball down the left for Gouffran to chase, and the Frenchman nodded past the on-rushing Jaaskelainen but couldn't steer his effort from a very tight angle on target.
Substitute Shola Ameobi threatened on 74 minutes, chesting down a long ball before letting fly with a 20-yard shot that whistled past the upright, while at the other end Dan Gosling and Jonas Gutierrez did well to scramble away a Carroll header inside the six-yard box.
West Ham United (4-2-3-1): Jussi Jaaskelainen; Guy Demel (Matt Taylor 80), Winston Reid, James Collins, Joey O'Brien; Gary O'Neil, Mohamed Diame; Ricardo Vaz Te (Jack Collison 59), Kevin Nolan (c), Matt Jarvis (Joe Cole 84); Andy Carroll
Subs not used: Stephen Henderson, Emanuel Pogatez, Mark Noble, Carlton Cole
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Rob Elliot; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa; Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez; Hatem Ben Arfa (Shola Ameobi 65), Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran (Dan Gosling 77)
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
Bookings: West Ham - O'Brien (9); Newcastle - Coloccini (78), Tiote (87)
Attendance: 34,962 (2,000 Newcastle)