Thursday, October 01, 2009

Sub saves blushes

Newcastle Utd 1 - 1 Queen's Park Rangers

On-loan striker Marlon Harewood appeared from the bench to save our blushes (Newcastle's and Ben's) and ensure that we didn't completely waste the opportunity presented by Tuesday night's results.

With the Championship's richest club (beset by their own ownership problems) as our visitors, we had an opportunity to open up some breathing space at the top of the table. Unfortunately, for the fourth time this season, we failed to match our weekend performances for an evening midweek match.

Instead it was the visitors (watched from their bench by old boy Peter Ramage) who started the better, and with Enrique unprotected by Nicky Butt on the left of our diamond midfield, the visitors attacked and from the Spaniard's poor pass, Ben Watson was able to thump home from thirty yards (albeit via an unfortunate deflection from Steven Taylor).

Having gone a goal down at least sparked us into action, and when Damion Stewart handballed, Danny Guthrie had an excellent opportunity to level things from the spot. Unfortunately his penalty was poor and easily saved.

Chris Hughton abandoned the diamond midfield at half-time, replacing Butt with the fit-again Spiderman in the hope of giving us more width. However, it was the introduction of Marlon Harewood for the tiring Nile Ranger which was the crucial substitution, as our latest loan signing was able to fire home Bigger Lad's knock-down from a Danny Simpson cross.

With the game finishing in a draw, it extended our lead at the top of the division to three points, and whilst for some that might be a case of two points lost (and a worrying return to last season's inability to capitalise when other results went our way), a point against a well drilled slick QPR team serves as a timely reminder that we need to continue to work hard to keep ourselves at the summit.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian


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