Newcastle United 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 0
- Martin Atkinson
Newcastle United were forced to settle for a point on Saturday evening, as Brighton & Hove Albion prevented Steve Bruce’s side from earning a first home victory of the season.
The Seagulls enjoyed plenty of the ball at St. James’ Park and created a host of chances in the first half in particular, but couldn’t apply the finishing touch with the Magpies on the back foot.
A late spell of pressure – inspired by the introductions of Andy Carroll and Allan Saint-Maximin – saw Newcastle finish strongly, but neither side could quite make the all important breakthrough to snatch the three points.
The visitors made the better start, and dominated the opening half hour. Neal Maupay forced a fine save from Martin Dúbravka after shaking off Paul Dummett and shooting at full stretch, before Potter’s men struck the woodwork when a corner struck Jamaal Lascelles on its way over and looped up onto the top of the crossbar.
Isaac Hayden’s through ball presented an opportunity to Miguel Almirón, who saw his low shot saved by Mat Ryan, but it was as close as United got to an opener before the break. Pascal Gross’ found space in the hosts’ box but couldn’t direct his header on target, while Maupay again went close, controlling the ball ten yards out but failing to get a clean shot away on the turn.
Brighton full back Martin Montoya then broke away down the right and had the time to pick out Aaron Mooy’s run into the box, but the Australian’s shot – which he took under pressure from the retreating Magpies – was too high. Still they attacked, and after Joelinton’s free header from Jonjo Shelvey’s corner flashed wide, the Seagulls had the ball in the net. To Newcastle’s relief, though, Steven Alzate’s header was ruled out for offside.
Bruce’s men rallied after the restart and Christian Atsu pulled a shot wide from a Joelinton cutback, but Brighton hit straight back, with the dangerous Maupay seeing a fierce shot blocked by Lascelles and Gross tryng his luck with a rising drive that momentarily worried Dúbravka.
Almirón turned Dan Burn and saw another low effort saved by Ryan and Shelvey tried an ambitious curler from range, but the visitors remained a considerable threat. Dale Stephens and Maupay both fired over and substitute Aaron Connolly came within inches of netting with a delicate lob, but was denied by Fabian Schär’s stunning last-ditch goalline clearance.
The introduction of Saint-Maximin injected some urgency and speed into the United attack, and the Newcastle faithful welcomed Carroll back into action with a roaring reception as he entered the fray for his second debut for his boyhood club.
But despite some late pressure from the Magpies, the score remained goalless, with Bruce’s side forced to wait for their first home win of the campaign.