10 mins An elongated free kick routine outside the United area ended with a low
shot from Nicky Maynard reaching Steve Harper, who dived to block but couldn't
hold the ball. He then watched as one-time mackem loanee, Lewin Nayatanga
nipped into to poke home from close range. 0-1
44 mins Having scored twice in midweek when City lost 3-2 at
Plymouth, Nicky Maynard then doubled City's advantage, brushing past a
back-pedalling Simpson before shooting beyond Harper and in off the far post
Half time: Robins 2 Magpies 0
71 mins Home goalkeeper Dean Gerken had been City's hero in the 0-0 draw
at SJP earlier in the season, but turned villain here with a shoddy throw
out to dawdling defender Cole Skuse. He was promptly robbed by Jonas
Gutierrez, who showed some unexpected composure to round Gerken and slotting home. 1-2
Moving forward at speed down the United left, Enrique and Routledge worked an opening for
Carroll to arrive in the box and sweep the ball home to level amid further
scenes of great jubilation in the Wedlock Stand behind the goal. Note to the
three loons on to the pitch near the corner flag, slip on shoes and muddy
surfaces just don't mix - like cross-ply and radials* 2-2
Full time: Robins 2 Magpies 2
* if this comment means nothing to you, then the world of TV public
information films and mentions of "a nice little dinjy",
"Reginald Molehusband" and "SPLINK" are
similarly wasted. Enlightenment however is at hand here
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton said:
"We would have been
favourites with most people going into the match, but didn't get the win we
wanted. There is no question of
setting a points target for reaching the Premier League. We focus on each game
individually because they are all tough, as City proved today
I knew it would be
tough because City had beaten West Bromwich Albion here and were under a new
caretaker-manager. I thought in the end we had the chances to take all three
points, but from 2-0 down at half time you are always happy with a point. There
has never been any question about the spirit in our squad and we had to
demonstrate it again.
At this moment, I think the
feeling is we probably won't be bringing someone in (on loan to compensate
for defensive injuries), but I'll be assessing it.
"Mike Williamson's very close to being back – closer than what we thought
- that's a plus. He'll play with a small cast, similar to that which Nicky Butt
wore and what lots of other players have had. We've had it passed, so that's not
a problem. We're probably more looking at Forest, but we don't want to rule
(Kadar) came on and did very well. He's a young player and he's developing.
We always said he'd get opportunities, and he could possibly get another
In-form striker Andy Carroll added:
didn’t know the other scores - to be honest I don’t really look at other
scores but probably some of the other lads do. Everyone’s got promotion in the
back of their minds but you just take every game as it comes really. Three
points is all that is on our minds.
"We were disappointed in the first half. At 2-0 down at half-time we had to
show everybody what we were made of and that’s what we did. We pulled back for
the draw and I thought it was well deserved in the second half.
"They played really well
in the first half, put the pressure on us, and we didn’t expect it to be
honest, but I think we did well to come back and get the point I thought we
"We’ve got to believe that if we go down 2-0 we can come back.
We’ve done it a few times in different games and showed at Bristol what
we’ve got in the team. We weren’t going for the one point, we were always
going for the three and that’s all we were looking at for the whole game."
dismissal of Gary Johnson earlier in the week, his former assistant Keith
Millen was appointed caretaker boss of City for the second time and
"It's been a difficult
week and I'm emotionally drained. I enjoyed leading the team out in front
of a full-house crowd and the television cameras and I enjoyed walking off
at half-time leading two-nil.
"When we came under pressure late in the
game, I half expected Gary to phone me and give me some advice! I'm not
sure if he was watching but, if he was, I expect it would have been very
difficult for him.
"If you had offered me that (result)
at the start of the day, I would have snapped your hand off. I'm proud of
the lads and I'm proud of the fans. They created a great atmosphere and
the players responded. I thought the lads showed a terrific spirit and
they did it for themselves and for the club.
"They know they have been inconsistent
and they know they have let people down at times. Unfortunately, it cost Gary
his job. But they showed great commitment in this game. There are some very
tired legs and the injuries have left us short in defence. I need to put out a
side which can play with the same energy we showed in the first half against
Newcastle and that will mean making some changes. My job for the next day or two
will be to assess which players are fittest.
"To be two-nil up at half time was a
dream start, but you know Newcastle are top of the league for a reason and they
are a class side. We knew they were going to come at us. Dean (Gerken)
apologised afterwards, but no one is blaming him. It was an honest mistake and
he made some great saves to keep us in the game.
"I've been asked to do the job for now
and that's what I'm doing. I can honestly say, all I'm thinking about right now
is Tuesday and getting the team ready for a game against Barnsley. Of course, if
we go and win the next two or three games, everyone is going to think I'm great.
If we don't win the next couple of games, then people will say I'm not up to the
job. That's how fickle football is.
"But it's not about me. I have to
concentrate on the players and what they are doing. We still need to win a
couple of games to be safe and that's what I am focusing on. I know the names
that have been put forward for the job and I know they are the ones with
experience. But I don't think you need to have managed at the top level.
"There are a lot of managers who have not managed in the Premier League who
have taken clubs up from the Championship. I've not been asked what I think and
I don't really have an opinion at the moment. If I'm asked for my opinion, then
I will sit down and discuss it with him (the Chairman).
(Millen is no stranger to Magpies boss Chris Hughton - the pair were team
mates at Brentford during the 1992/93 season and played in the Bees side
beaten by United at Griffin Park en route to our last successful promotion).
@ Robins - All-Time Record:
2009/10 drew 2-2 Gutierrez, Carroll
1995/96 won 5-0 D.Peacock, Sellars,
Ferdinand, Gillespie, Lee (LC)
1992/93 won 2-1 Kelly, Scott
1991/92 drew 1-1 Clark
1990/91 lost 0-1
1980/81 lost 0-2
1977/78 lost 1-3 Barrowclough
1976/77 drew 1-1 Burns
1910/11 lost 0-1
1909/10 won 3-0 Randall, Stewart 2
1908/09 drew 3-3 Higgins, Veitch 2
1907/08 drew 1-1 Orr
1906/07 lost 1-2 Brown
(All games played @ Ashton Gate)
Full record v City:
Andy Carroll scored his fifteenth goal of the season for
Newcastle and the eighteenth of his senior career as a Magpie.
Since ending an eight match scoreless streak with two against West
Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup, he's netted eleven times in thirteen
became our 100th substitute in the league this season when he
replaced the hamstrung Fitz Hall.
We last recovered from a two-goal deficit to take a point back in October
2008 at Everton.
Proof of the randomness of our away game strip selection this season,
against teams clad in red:
Leyton Orient (a) yellow shirts
Forest (a) black and blue shirts
Barnsley (a) black and white shirts
Boro (a) black and white shirts
Bristol City (a) yellow shirts
After a week when several rank outsiders upset the odds at nearby Cheltenham,
Newcastle avoided becoming fall guys after a late revival spearheaded by their
own pair of ponytailed thoroughbreds.
There's an ancient piece of football lore that says beware
of managerless sides (see also rookie goalkeepers playing blinders/ballboy's smart
returns leading to goals) and this was no exception.
Talk of dressing room spats and on-pitch disputes amid supporter discontent
gave way to a show of unity from home fans and players alike under their
caretaker boss - even if former Toon man Bradley Orr had to be restrained at
one point in the second half after berating a team mate.
This Magpie migration brought thousands of Robins followers back to Ashton Gate
and despite taking every opportunity to ridicule their illustrious guests, the
City fans betrayed a grasp of our recent history (most of their Championship
counterparts have avoided mention of Alan Shearer's time in charge, while it's
been a long time since "cry on the telly" had an airing.....)
Two behind at the break, Newcastle had chances of their own in the first half,
with Kevin Nolan heading straight at the keeper and Danny Guthrie seeing his
effort cleared off the line. Other than that though the league leaders looked
distinctly uncomfortable, apparently intent on providing live TV viewers
with an unscheduled Saturday night horror movie.
Without Peter Lovenkrands due to a calf strain, Chris Hughton opted to retain a
4-4-2 formation with Leon Best making his fourth start for the club, alongside
Andy Carroll. Unfortunately the ploy of playing two wingers away from home left
Guthrie to cover an awful lot of ground in the centre of midfield - as Nolan
opted to sit in an advanced role, opening up a sizeable gap behind him.
United boss resisted an Avon culling at half time and sent the same side out to
right the wrongs of the first - despite shouts for the more popular Ranger to
replace Best. A further change was quickly forced upon him though, when Fitz Hall
pulled a hamstring and Tamas Kadar replaced him in central defence - although
both Danny Simpson and Jose Enrique hardly looked to be 100%.
The Hungarian defender then began our fightback with a low, long-range effort that was blocked by City 'keeper Dean Gerken - although there was nobody
in a yellow shirt close enough to challenge for this rebound. That was followed by a series of United corners that saw the home defence stand
firm and Wayne Routledge bring ironic cheers when he launched a shot out of the
City had earlier been forced into a defensive change of their own, with Jamie
McAllister failing to reappear for the second half. That placed further
pressure on a City defence for whom youngster Christian Ribeiro was making his
Despite superior possession though, United were badly in need of some attacking inspiration.
That was to come from Jonas Gutierrez, who hadn't made much
headway against Bradley Orr, but took the game by
the scruff of the neck once United were attacking their own fans.
His accurate volley from another corner was straight at the 'keeper but offered
encouragement to the travelling support behind the goal. And within seconds the Argentinean had his third
goal for the club, after some poor work from City gave United a foothold in the
There was no time for masks or other celebrations though, as Jonas & Co. seized the initiative and City looked like reverting to their past tendency of
losing points by conceding late goals. And within four minutes, United had
worked an equaliser reminiscent of an Andy Cole effort against Birmingham City in
our last promotion campaign.
Like Carroll's latest supersaver, that 1993 strike brought us back on level terms after we
trailed 0-2 at the break.
That game also ended 2-2 as a rejuvenated Newcastle
dominated the closing stages but couldn't quite find the vital shot or pass to
grab a third.
The 2010 vintage Magpies came close through a Leon Best header and a couple of
Gutierrez efforts after some mazy dribbles, but City held on for their second
draw of the season against United - a result which was broadly satisfactory for
Once again United were indebted to the broad shoulders of Andy Carroll,
who scored for the fourth
consecutive away game and as he had at both Swansea and the smoggies, made a
crucial late intervention to secure
a point from a game where our unbeaten run looked like going west.
While it can be argued that both Coloccini and Enrique have flourished by
playing a second season in England out of the top flight, the most visible
signs of progress have come from Carroll - who has improved steadily since
beginning the campaign as part of a freakish pairing with Shola Ameobi.
Carroll's all-round effort today was unquestionable, with his major
contribution to the side before scoring to make a series of powerful headed
challenges out of his own penalty area.
As expected, both West Brom and Forest had recorded home wins before we kicked
off, but with games running out, our two and ten point gaps respectively, look
ever healthier and we still have an extra game to play.
We can now finish no lower than eighth and only a strange set of results in
midweek would see us fail to guarantee a top six finish and at least a place in
the playoffs. Winning our four remaining home games will secure a return to the
top flight at the first attempt.
Games continue to come thick and fast, with another potentially tricky away
trip to Doncaster on Tuesday, followed by a gap until the following Monday's
summit meeting at SJP against Nottingham Forest.
Injuries are starting to take their toll on the side, but another point added
to the total maintains morale and the effort and commitment remains
unquestionable - even if the quality isn't always there away from Barrack Road.