Thursday, February 23, 2006

Firing blanks

Newcastle 0 - 0 Charlton

No goals conceded (again) but once again our lightweight strike force failed to find the goal which would have won last night's rearranged fixture against Charlton.

With no Shearer or Owen up front, and Dyer suffering a fresh hamstring strain that will rule him out for at least three weeks, Newcastle started the game with Bowyer coming into a five man midfield and Ameobi up front on his own. With the visitors also playing five across midfield, it was a largely uninspiring start to the match, as both teams fought for supremacy in the congested midfield.

Eventually, we began to gain the upper hand (at least in terms of possession) and began to pressurise the visitors.

Unfortunately, having reached half-time in the ascendancy our injury jinx struck early in the second half. Titus Bramble's hamstring decided it had done enough work for the night, and he limped from the pitch to be replaced by Albert Luque. With no defensive cover available, Roeder was forced to switch Elliott to centre back, and N'Zogbia to left back.

Though still looking the better side, we were unable to force a goal, despite hitting the woodwork twice (once by Emre directly from a corner) and Boumsong once again failed to score from a good heading opportunity inside the box. However, our best chance of the night fell to Ameobi, who put the ball wide of the goal when he really should have done better.

However, despite threatening to score the one goal that would have decided the contest we let the game slip away towards the end, and only good work from Boumsong and Given prevented Charlton returning home with all three points.

So one point gained, one place gained in the league, and one more clean sheet to add to the list. Unfortunately this all came at the cost of Bramble's hamstring, and with news that Dyer is also out with a similar injury the squad has already started to look very thin.

At least they managed to play the game this time...

Other reports: BBC, Guardian, Addicks Premiership Diary , All Quiet In The East Stand


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