The Riverside Stadium
Football League Championship
NEWCASTLE UNITED 2
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Kick off 3pm
Craig Hope reports from Riverside Stadium ...
ANDY Carroll struck late in the game to ensure Newcastle United left the Riverside Stadium with a share of the spoils following a well-fought Tyne-Tees derby.
The hosts, though, levelled nine minutes before the break as Barry Robson slammed beyond a rooted Steve Harper from the edge of the area having swapped passes with former Celtic team-mate Scott McDonald.
Tamas Kadar saw a close-range header saved by Danny Coyne before Boro seized the lead on 74 minutes; Chris Killen climbing at the far post to nod Robson's free-kick back across goal for McDonald to hook into the back of the net from just two yards out.
United set about their quest for parity and that equaliser was duly located just eight minutes from time; Carroll stabbing beyond Coyne from 12 yards after Ryan Taylor's cross had found its way to the feet of the Geordie striker.
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Full-time: United must settle for a point.
There will be four minutes added time - can The Magpies find a winner?
88min - United have a corner after Carroll's wicked 20-yard strike is lifted clear by the shinpad of a closing McManus. Fitz Hall looks to turn Guthrie's high centre on goal but his header drops for a red shirt to clear inside thee six-yard area.
87min - Lee Miller replaces Chris Killen for the hosts.
85min - Andy Carroll has a chance to nick a quick-fire second but, from Gutierrez's drawback, he fails to make a clean connection and Boro smuggle clear.
82min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (2-2): Ryan Taylor manages to swipe into the area from Danny Guthrie's under-cooked pass and it's Andy Carroll who receives on the penalty spot before placing a low, left-footed shot past a static Danny Coyne.
82min - Can The Magpies find a leveller? They are currently camped in the Boro half.
79min - Scott McDonalds's cynical trip on Jonas Gutierrez sees the Aussie shown a yellow card. Kyle Naughton heads away for a corner from Guthrie's delivery. Ryan Taylor's corner is low and enables Williams to hack clear at the near post.
78min - It looks as though United are going to abandon their 4-5-1 system and revert to a 4-4-2 formation with Fabrice Pancrate replaced by Leon Best.
77min - Barry Robson lashes a 30-yard free-kick over the crossbar.
74min - MIDDLESBROUGH GOAL (2-1): Barry Robson's deep free-kick is turned back across goal by the towering Chris Killen with Scott McDonald hooking home from point-blank range.
70min - The visitors are going to a 4-5-1 system to shore things up with Nicky Butt replacing Peter Lovenkrands.
69min - Kadar, though, is soon in the book for a tug on O'Neill on halfway.
67min - A corner comes United's way when Danny Guthrie's 20-yard strike is deflected wide. And Tamas Kadar is denied a maiden Magpie goal from Guthrie's delivery when his header is kept out by the chest of Danny Coyne just two yards out - that was close.
67min - United are going to have to change something - they are under the cosh right now.
65min - Scott McDonald drifts infield from the left and slams a low shot wide of goal from 20 yards.
63min - The hosts are once again in the ascendancy and win a corner on the right after good work from Williams. O'Neill delivers inswinging but it's the head of Fitz Hall which climbs to clear and relieve the pressure.
61min - Arca is sprung clear on goal but, with Boro fans out of their seats, Steve Harper stands strong to block with his foot.
59min - Peter Lovenkrands, despite being circled by three red shirts, manages to release Jonas Gutierrez down the left flank. The Argentine looks to cross for Andy Carroll, steaming toward the near post, but the winger comes within inches of inadvertently lifting straight into Danny Coyne's net with the misplaced centre drifting onto the roof of the net with the Boro stopper backpedalling furiously.
57min - That Boro pressure has now subsided and it's United who are playing their football in the opposition half.
53min - Simpson steps in to poke from the toe of Robson inside the area but it's at the expense of a corner. Robson delivers and, at the second time of asking, Fitz Hall swipes clear - United are on the back foot here.
51min - We're not too sure what the problem is with the Argentine but he trots without aid to the sideline - could be a muscle injury.
49min - A dipping Gary O'Neill free-kick is turned away for a corner by the forehead of Andy Carroll. The hosts make a mess of the flag-kick as, having been worked short, O'Neill's cross deflects off Lovenkrands before being cleared by Nolan at the near post.
Boro are first to emerge for the second period, soon followed by the black and whites - no changes during the break.
Half-time: An entertaining half draws to a close with the scores level at 1-1.
45+1min - Harper's long punt downfield is turned on by the jet-black locks of Carroll who leaps 40 yards from goal. Lovenkrands has stolen in on the shoulder of Wheater but, with Danny Coyne frantically scampering from his line to close, the Dane can only lift harmlessly wide from 12 yards.
There will be three minutes added time.
45min - Boro are pressing for another and win a corner when Carroll miskicks from Arca's pacey, low centre. O'Neill again, though, fails to clear the first man and Nolan stoops to head away.
42min - Robson looks to repeat his earlier scoring feat but this time the Scotland international slashes wildly into the stand behind the goal from 25 yards out - the home crowd may now be regretting the screams for their man to shoot.
39min - How will United respond to that goal? It looks as though they're seeking an instant reply and, from Gutierrez's left-wing cross, McManus takes no chances in heading away for a corner. Guthrie delivers but it's a red head at the near post which flicks above all inside the area and the ball runs to safety.
36min - MIDDLESBROUGH GOAL (1-1): Former Celtic pair Scott McDonald and Barry Robson swap passes 25 yards out with the latter lashing left-footed beyond a rooted Steve Harper to restore parity.
34min - Arca stands up a left-wing cross but the lack of pace on the ball means Scott McDonald is unable to generate any real venom on his header and a weak effort bounces into the turf before being claimed by Steve Harper.
29min - From the resultant free-kick Barry Robson draws a fine, finger-tipped save from Steve Harper as he dives to turn around the upright. Robson's corner is headed away by Nolan at the near post.
28min - Williams is beginning to find some joy breaking from his central-midfield berth and it's from his forward surge that Danny Simpson follows Hall into the book for a sliding challenge which takes out of the Boro man right on the edge of the penalty box.
26min - Rhys Williams nicks through the legs of Guthrie 25 yards out but his finish fails to match that neat piece of skill as the Aussie draws wide with a well-struck, right-footed effort.
23min - Fitz Hall is the first man in the book as he trips Barry Robson in full flow 40 yards from goal. O'Neill goes for goal but it's an ambitious effort and ends up nestling in the lower reaches of the stand behind Steve Harper's target.
18min - A sublime piece of trickery sees Fabricio Coloccini escape two red shirts on halfway before lifting a perfectly-weighted ball over the Boro backline for compatriot Jonas Gutierrez to chase. The United winger gets there but, after slipping through the legs of the recovering Naughton, he is eventually stopped in his tracks by Wheater on the edge of the area.
16min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (0-1): Peter Lovenkrands eventually finds that elusive away goal with his 13th of the season; Jonas Gutierrez providing the defence-splitting pass for the Dane to give chase and plant a low, left-footed shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
15min - Boro win a second corner, again on the left. O'Neill whips over to the edge of the six-yard area where Hall again tracks McManus to block from the Celtic defender.
13min - Coloccini is forced to slide and stamp out a slick Robson throughball with McDonald looking to give the Argentine the slip - that was an important foot from the Toon man right on the edge of the area.
12min - The game has settled down after that frenetic opening and United have enjoyed some possession during these last few minutes.
7min - The hosts have started really well and Barry Robson climbs on the shoulders of Kadar to head over after Arca had lifted a ball to the far post.
6min - It's been a ferocious start and Boro win the game's first corner when Fitz Hall heads away from Arca's near-post delivery. And it is Hall who bravely puts his body on the line to block when Williams' flag-kick is thundered goalward by Stephen McManus.
4min - Guthrie feeds Lovenkrands who floats over from the left flank. It's a hanging ball which Andy Carroll has his eyes trained upon but Danny Coyne steps up from his goal-line to claim with the Geordie striker lurking.
2min - United are lucky to escape what looks like a penalty as Scott McDonald tumbles under pressure from Fabricio Coloccini - replays, however, show that Lee Mason was spot on - the Australian striker went down all too easily.
Boro get us started with the teams having changed ends - United are now attacking their black-and-white-clad following.
The teams emerge from the tunnel to the now familiar sound of the Pigbag song here at the Riverside. The atmosphere inside the stadium is electric but you have to say that is down to the 3,600 away fans behind Steve Harper's goal.
Dark clouds are ominously circling the Riverside as we await kick off - the bright sunshine we left behind on Tyneside hasn't followed us down the A19.
CHRIS Hughton is forced into a change at the heart of the defence with Fitz Hall replacing the injured Mike Williamson.
The United boss also decides against starting with Jose Enrique, who felt a tightness in his hamstring during last weekend's win over Barnsley, and Hungarian defender Tamas Kadar deputises at left-back.
Enrique is named among the substitutes along with Wayne Routledge who is back from a calf layoff.
Alan Smith misses out having failed to shake off his ankle knock.
MFC: Danny Coyne, Kyle Naughton, David Wheater, Stephen McManus, Andrew Taylor, Barry Robson, Gary O'Neil (c), Rhys Williams, Julio Arca, Chris Killen, Scott McDonald
Subs: Brad Jones, Justin Hoyte, Chris Riggott, Leroy Lita, Lee Miller, Joe Bennett, Jonathan Franks
NUFC: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Fitz Hall, Fabricio Coloccini, Tamas Kadar, Fabrice Pancrate, Kevin Nolan (c), Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Andy Carroll, Peter Lovenkrands
Subs: Tim Krul, Jose Enrique, Wayne Routledge, Ryan Taylor, Leon Best, Nicky Butt, Nile Ranger
Referee: Lee Mason
Attendance: 27, 347