MATCH REPORTS

Late Agony For Newcastle

kluivert Norwich away

 

Norwich City 2: Safri 68' Ashton 90'
Newcastle United 1: Kluivert 90'

 

United: Given, Carr, O'Brien, Boumsong, Elliott, N'Zogbia, Butt, Milner (Ambrose 62), Robert, Shearer, Ameobi (Kluivert 76) Subs (not used): Harper, Ramage

Norwich: Green, Helveg, Drury, Fleming, Shackell, Bentley (Holt 89), Safri, Francis, Huckerby (Jonson 46), McKenzie (Svensson 82), Ashton Subs (not used): Ward, Edworthy

A depleted Newcastle squad headed to Carrow Road on Wednesday looking to get back on track following their double cup disappointment against Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United.

Graeme Souness was forced to ring the changes, with several players missing through injury.

Of the players that started on Sunday in the FA Cup semi final, Celestine Babayaro, Steven Taylor and Amdy Faye were missing through injury, so Robbie Elliott, Andy O'Brien and Charles N'Zogbia all started.

Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer are still banned, while Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Hughes and Titus Bramble hadn't shaken off the injuries that ruled them out at Cardiff.

Because of the limited numbers, Souness could only name four substitutes, with goalkeeper Steve Harper being joined by Darren Ambrose, Patrick Kluivert and reserve team skipper Peter Ramage.

Shearer came close to breaking the deadlock on six minutes when he took adavantage of hesitancy between Fleming and Shackell to swivel and shoot after a long ball from Boumsong, but his effort flashed across the face of goal and away for a goal kick.

Butt then blazed a shot over the bar when Shearer chested an N'Zogbia cross into his path on nine minutes, then Green snatched a Robert cross with N'Zogbia trying to get on the end of it a minute later.

Elliott had to race off doen the tunnel to have a head injury patched up on 12 minutes to leave The Magpies temporarily down to 10 men, and Francis treied to take advantage of the space created by the extra man with a 25 yard drive but his effort was well off target and flew past Given's right hand upright.

Elliott emerged four minutes later sporting a Shearer-style bandage round his head.

McKenzie won a corner off Boumsong on 18 minutes after a pass down the left channel from Safri, but Huckerby's delivery was poor and Shearer swept the ball away from the near post.

Shearer then missed a glorious chance on 21 minutes when Green spilled a Robert free kick from wide on the right. The ball fell to the skipper five yards out and he looked a certain scorer, but somehow he poked the bouncing ball wide of the target.

N'Zogbia charged down a shot from Safri on 25 minutes to give a corner kick away, but United cleared and broke quickly through Milner then Ameobi, but when he fed Carr coming in from the right his shot was blocked.

A Robert corner on 28 minutes was cleared for a second flag kick on the opposite flank, but this time Green collected the ball above his head.

Milner had a shot charged down by Fleming on 29 minutes, then when play switched to the other end Boumsong put the ball out for a corner to deny Ashton a shooting opportunity. The former Crewe star then saw a back post header loop over when Bentley crossed from the right on 31 minutes.

Milner's cross on 33 minutes clipped off Drury and away for a corner on the United right, and when Robert pulled the ball back to Carr 25 yards out his powerful drive was pushed away by Green.

Milner then went down under a challenge by Drury as he tried to get to the byeline but referee Andrew Marriner waved the appeals away as The Magpies pressed for an opener.

Robert saw a fine volley blocked by Green on 36 minutes after Carr swung the ball in, and when the ball fell back at the feet of the Frenchman he shot over the bar.

N'Zogbia won another corner on 39 minutes after a good spell of pressure from the visitors, but Ameobi couldn't direct a header from Robert's inswinger on target.

N'Zogbia collected a Shearer pass on 42 minutes but couldn't get a shot on target after weaving into the box, then Shearer rose well but headed wide from Robert's centre moments later.

Two minutes of time were added on at the end of the first period, and Given somehow got a palm onto a Francis header at the back post to keep out the hosts, then a quick break involving three or four United players ended with Ameobi blasting a 20-yard drive just over the bar as the half ended goalless.

Nigel Worthington made a change at the start of the second period, with former Magpies striker Darren Huckerby being replaced by Mattias Jonson.

Elliott's bandage had to be replaced on 52 minutes after he was hurt in a collision with Ashton as they battled for a loose ball, then two minutes later Francis hooked the ball wide from 10 yards after a free kick from the left flank caused panic in the United penalty area.

Shearer a shot deflected into the arms of Green on 56 minutes, then after a Canaries flag kick Shackell fired a shot high and wide when the ball was cleared as far as the egde of the penalty area.

Robert did well to skip his way in from the right on 58 minutes and fire across the face of goal to Ameobi, buit the striker's effort rolled wide of the post.

On 62 minutes United made their first change, with Darren Ambrose replacing James Milner. Ambrose's Ipswich connections saw him booed by the Carrow Road fans as he came off the bench.

Francis wasted another great opportunity on 64 minutes when he had a free header from Bentley's centre, but he couldn't get his effort on target and the ball looped over Given's crossbar.

Ashton then won a corner on 65 minutes after a quick City break, and Butt did well to head clear when Bentley's flag kick looped into the six yard area, then at the other end N'Zogbia saw a low shot smothered by Green on his near post.

On 68 minutes Norwich took the lead with a goal out of nothing. Safri picked the ball up at least 40 yards out, and took a touch before firing into the top corner off the underside of the bar to give Given no chance.

Ambrose and Ameobi saw half chances go begging as the game went into the last 20 minutes, then on 76 minutes Patrick Kluivert came off the bench for Ameobi.

Robert had a low drive deflected off Fleming on 77 minutes, then Newcastle won a corner and when the ball eventually fell to N'Zogbia on the far side of the box, the ball didn't drop kindly and he blazed over.

Ashton had the ball in the net on 81 minutes after a Bentley shot came back off the bar, but the linesman's flag cut short the celebrations.

The hard-working N'Zogbia whipped a ball across the face of goal without any black and white shirt able to get a touch seven minutes from time, then Robert sent in a cross after picking up Kluivert's flick but Fleming headed clear.

Shackell was happy to boot the ball into tough when Shearer's angled effort from Elliott's pass had the home fans' hearts in their mouths, then Ambrose fired well off target in United's next attack.

With 30 seconds of normal time left, United grabbed a leveller when Ambrose threaded a ball through to Shearer, and when he was tackled, the ball sat up for Kluivert to nip in and poke the ball into the bottom corner.

Four minutes of time were added on at the end, and with seconds of that time remaining Ashton nodded home the winner after getting between Carr and Boumsong to connect with Helveg's cross.

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