Stoke City 1-1 Newcastle United

 

  Stoke City edged closer to Premier League survival with a valuable, yet disappointing point after a 1-1 draw with Newcastle, who remain in the bottom three, at the Britannia Stadium this evening. Live on Setanta Sports, Abdoulaye Faye headed the Potters in front mid-way through the first half, netting against his former club for the second time this season, before Newcastle’s Andy Carroll punished Stoke’s defensive approach and earned his side a point with a looping header, ten minutes from the end of a bad-tempered second half.


A confrontation typical of a fiesty encounter

  Stoke manager Tony Pulis selected a rare unchanged side for the match, with Danny Higginbotham able to play in his usual left-back role despite carrying a back injury. Both Steven Taylor and Obafemi Martins were ruled out late for the visitors, meaning David Edgar and former ineffective Stoke loanee Shola Ameobi lines up in the Newcastle defence and attack respectively.

  It was Stoke who made the brighter start, forcing a succession of early throw-ins and corners, and it was from one of these corners that the first chance of the game came about. Ryan Shawcross met Matthew Etherington’s whipped cross ten yards out, but was only able to glance it inches wide of Newcastle ‘keeper Steve Harper’s left hand post, though in truth, with men on the goalline, had his header been on target it would probably have been blocked.

  The Potters enjoyed further pressure as the half progressed, twice going close to opening the scoring in the fourteenth minute of the game. First, James Beattie, who played the majority of the match with his head heavily bandaged after being caught in the head by the arm of Ameobi, saw his stabbed effort cleared off the line after a goalmouth scramble, before Ricardo Fuller, who had one of his frustrating matches headed well over after beating Harper in the air to Glenn Whelan’s cross.


Beattie’s head injury didn’t stop him being an aerial threat

  As the game entered it’s second quarter, the visitors began to get more of a foothold in the game, and fashioned their first genuine opportunity, Michael Owen getting in behind the Stoke defence after some hesitation, before finding Ameobi in the middle, but the ball only struck the forward’s torso and bounced behind for a goal-kick. Still, it was a warning shot for the Stoke defence, who had begun to look complacent, especially Faye, who was keen to prove his quality to the club who ludicrously let him go in the summer.

  As well as displaying his awesome defensive capabilities, Stoke’s Senegalese captain, who was voted man of the match, showed what a menace he can be going forward too, opening the scoring in the 33rd minute. The Magpies showed why they are in such a poor league position, with some defending that an under eights team would be ashamed of from a Liam Lawrence corner. Harper hesitated in coming for the ball, his defenders stood stationery, no-one tracking the run of Faye, who had the easy task of powering a header into the gaping net to put Stoke one to the good. After the match, Newcastle were agrieved that the corner that led to the goal was awarded, with Match of the Day’s embarrasingly Shearer-centric analysis proving that a goal-kick should have been the outcome of referee Chris Foy’s decision.

  
Faye scores his third of the season, and, never one to respect his former club, proceeds to rub it in

  The impetus was very much with Stoke for the remainder of the half, and Newcastle probably considered themselves lucky to be just one goal behind at the break, with Harper saving well from Fuller’s powerful header in the half’s final moments. It was, in fact, what I like to call a “Given save”, after the media plaudits Harper’s predecessor in the Newcastle goal Shay Given has been winning since his move to Manchester City, a “Given save” being one that looks good, but the ‘keeper would have been disappointed not to make.

  Newcastle’s interim manager, and returning hero Alan Shearer, who was taunted by the rowdy home fans for much of the game, had his side out extremely early for the second half, but it seemed to have no positive effect on his players, as Stoke continued to boss proceedings, playing arguably the best twenty minutes of football we have seen all season, creating chance after chance to open up a two goal cushion, with Fuller, Etherington (twice), Whelan (twice) and Faye failing to convert good chances.

  It doesn’t matter how well you’re playing though, while the scoreline’s only 1-0, there’s always a chance you’ll concede an equaliser, and that was exactly what happened to Stoke. In truth, from seventy minutes onwards things started to go wrong for Stoke, with Pulis making a very questionable substitution, replacing Beattie, who seemed fit and dangerous, with Richard Cresswell, who poses nothing like the threat up front. This allowed Newcastle a little more freedom at the back, and they pushed up more, while Stoke continued to sit deeper and deeper, to the extent that when the equaliser came, it was no surprise to anyone. In fact, Carroll had gone close minutes before, heading wide of Thomas Sorensen’s goal when he really ought to have scored.

  Thus, Newcastle’s goal eventually did come ten minutes from time. After a long throw, a weapon so successfully used by Stoke this season was cleared by the Potters’ defence, the ball was sent back into the danger area, where it was met by Carroll, jumping majestically and showing excellent neck strength to guide the ball looping over and past Sorensen and into the Stoke net, sending the previously subdued travelling Geordie contingent wild.

Carroll scores for Newcastle
Carroll heads the Magpies level

  Having had our two most dangerous attacking outlets in Beattie and Etherington just substituted, it was always going to be difficult for Stoke to push on in search of another goal, and few chances were created in an even end to the game, Whelan having the only shot and sending it well over seconds before the final whistle.

  Reflectively, six points clear of the relegation zone in thirteenth position with six games left t play, our position still looks very strong, and was slightly improved by other results today, but it is a great disappointment to have squandered the chance to earn a deserved three points as a result of some over-negative play today. Hopefully we will be able to go one step further and close out that win to all but secure safety next Saturday, when struggling Blackburn visit the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke side: (4:4:2)

                                   Sorensen

Wilkinson  Shawcross  Abdoulaye Faye  Higginbotham

               Lawrence  Delap  Whelan  Etherington

                                  Beattie  Fuller

Substitutions: Cresswell for Beattie (73), Pugh for Etherington (80), Kelly for Wilkinson (90)

Subs not used: Simonsen, Sonko, Olofinjana, Tonge

Attendance: Unknown

6 Responses to “Stoke City 1-1 Newcastle United”

  1. Toon Fan Says:

    Your fans are a disgrace. Throwing a bottle at ryan taylor who was fouled by your dirty team.

    Disgusting.

    Who enjoys watching stokes football?

  2. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    I will comment in more detail much later VJ, but good report, and what an atmosphere at the Britannia.

  3. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    You haven’t mentioned the fact that it shouldn’t have been a corner for your goal, but fair play to Stoke, they used their tactics and it paid off. However, and I’m sure you will agree with me, there is no place in football for fans who throw objects at players. I hope that the fan who dd aim the bottle at Ryan Taylor will be banned from football for life. apart from that, I thought the Stoke fans were fantastic, the noise level was very impressive.

    One phrase I like is “sending the previously subdued travelling Geordie contingent wild.” Nothing too fancy, but just a lovely sounding phrase!

    And, may I just point out that I think every goalkeeper in the Prem is guilty of a ‘Given save’ in every match. They all make it look harder than it actually is.

  4. I*T*P*L Says:

    Toon Fan, I agree that throwing objects at players is disgraceful and has no place in our game, but it wasn’t a bottle, it was much smaller, the referee easily fitted it in his pocket and continued refereeing. Also, the object missed him by at least five yards, I was right behind it and the MOTD angle made it look a lot closer than it was. That’s not excusing it though. Personally I thought that Ryan Taylor was a very bad influence on the game throughout, making the most of that Etherington foul, moaning at the referee after the half time whistle and then launching into a premeditated foul of at least equal proportion as the one on him in the second half.

    Who enjoys watching a team apparently easing it’s way to Premier League survival? hmmm I wonder. Also, our football was at times quite good yesterday, we put together a few decent breaks in the second half and it was a shame we couldn’t have made more of them. I was surprised with how much long ball you played, just aiming for Ameobi and later Carroll a lot of the time. It was effective though, maybe you should try it more.

    Steven, at the time of writing I hadn’t seen “The Let’s Stick Up For Shearer Show” AKA Match of the Day, so I didn’t know it was actually a goal-kick, but I will change it. Re: the object throwing, see the above. You’re probably right that all goalkeepers do pull a “Given Save” from time to time, but Given gets far more praise than anyone else for them.

  5. Ched Evans IS MY HERO :) Bellamy you’re not bad either ;) Says:

    Great review VJ,

    ‘It was, in fact, what I like to call a “Given save”, after the media plaudits Harper’s predecessor in the Newcastle goal Shay Given has been winning since his move to Manchester City, a “Given save” being one that looks good, but the ‘keeper would have been disappointed not to make.’ - Like this part, so true, but everyone (as Steven says) is guilty of trying to make it look even better!

    ‘Toon Fan, I agree that throwing objects at players is disgraceful and has no place in our game, but it wasn’t a bottle, it was much smaller, the referee easily fitted it in his pocket and continued refereeing. Also, the object missed him by at least five yards, I was right behind it and the MOTD angle made it look a lot closer than it was. That’s not excusing it though. Personally I thought that Ryan Taylor was a very bad influence on the game throughout, making the most of that Etherington foul, moaning at the referee after the half time whistle and then launching into a premeditated foul of at least equal proportion as the one on him in the second half.’

    I do agree with both of you here, the fan should be banned for life from football. Not like at the cardiff game where he will be banned from just their home ground, it’s ridiculous, he will just do it elsewhere? Ryan Taylor though (as much as I do like him and his fiery temper, reminds me of Bellamy) made some rash decisions and launched into a tough challenge late on against Matty Etherington, absolute disgrace.

    ‘Who enjoys watching a team apparently easing it’s way to Premier League survival? hmmm I wonder. Also, our football was at times quite good yesterday, we put together a few decent breaks in the second half and it was a shame we couldn’t have made more of them. I was surprised with how much long ball you played, just aiming for Ameobi and later Carroll a lot of the time. It was effective though, maybe you should try it more.’

    I was also going to comment on how they played a similar sort of game to you at the end (last 30 mins) so I don’t know how ‘Toon Fan’ can say who enjoys it, it was identical!

    Keep it up, good work!

    p.s NEVER A CORNER!

  6. I*T*P*L Says:

    Thanks for the comment Matt.

    “I do agree with both of you here, the fan should be banned for life from football. Not like at the cardiff game where he will be banned from just their home ground, it’s ridiculous, he will just do it elsewhere?” - I’m not quite sure what you mean here. Are you saying that the fan who threw a plastic item to miss a player should be more severely punsihed than one whoo threw a metal item to hit a referee’s head? In my opinion they should both be given lengthy ban, but not lifetime ones, as we live in a country where rehabilitation and remorse are the centre of our judicial system and where offenders are, wherever possible given a second chance.

    I know it was never a corner, but does that excuse dreadful marking and hesitant goalkeeping? You’ve got to take your luck where you find it.

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