It was an afternoon which provided incentive for Newcastle should they be victorious. Three points would have seen the lads jump above today’s opponents Bolton in the table and really made some noise for a European place.
Europe talk aside, who can forget the humiliation of the 5-1 hammering at The Reebok earlier in the season? It was our biggest defeat of the season to date and a day many of us wish to forget. Even the scorer of our consolation goal that afternoon was Boyzone loving, money grabbing,grubby shitbag Andy Carroll, who is also a thing of the past we’d like to forget.
With that result fresh in the mind of both the players and supporters, Newcastle looked to get revenge on Bolton and pick up all 3 points at St James’ Park. The afternoon didn’t get off to the greatest of starts as Joey Barton was injured during the warm up and forced to withdraw from the starting line up. Step in Ryan Taylor, the versatile Scouser returned to senior action for the first time since sustaining a training ground injury after a collision with Sol Campbell.
Newcastle started the game well, Leon Best saw his decent left foot effort sail just wide of the post. It was then Peter Lovenkrands who saw an effort dealt with by Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen who pushed the ball out of play. Ryan Taylor’s resulting corner was a disappointing one, it failed to find anyone and looked as if it was going to go out for a throwing on the other side. But Cheick Tiote was able to pick the ball up and deliver a wonderful cross which was met by captain and former Bolton man Kevin Nolan, who perfectly glanced the ball into the back of the net. 1-0 Newcastle United on 13 minutes.
Bolton had their moments in the first half, their front line looked organised and proved a handful for the United defence. Newcastle though looked the better team and hoped to build on the 1 goal advantage. That could have been the case as in form striker Best looked as if he had a good shout for a penalty midway through the first half. Leon was brought down in the box, only to see the linesman waving his flag for offside therefore no spot kick.
Best looked good again today and was unfortunate to not get on the score sheet after a couple of half chances in the first half. Bolton certainly weren’t ruling themselves out the game and on loan striker Daniel Sturridge was able to capitalise on a rare Tiote mistake towards the end of the half. Tiote gave the ball away in a dangerous area, Sturridge was able to collect the ball a slot it past Steve Harper for a Bolton equaliser.
The second half dealt a huge blow to Nufc when the returning Ryan Taylor was shown a straight red card following a two footed lunge on Johan Elmander. After watching the replay of the incident it’s hard to complain about the outcome, the tackle was unfair and reckless. With the former Wigan man off, Newcastle were down to 10 men against a very good footballing side.
Pardew knew he had to compensate tactically, soon the gaffer replaced Lovenkrands and Jonas with Steven Taylor and Nile Ranger respectively. It was a move that saw us play with 3 centre halves and use full backs Simpson and Enrique in a more offensive wing back type role.
On another day Bolton may of used the extra man to their advantage, but Newcastle were holding on for something. Substitute Nile Ranger thought he may of won it for Newcastle at the death as he saw his header hit the back of The Wanders’ net. But before the youngster could celebrate his first goal of the season he looked up to see the linesman’s flag raised. It was a tight call, but Nile maybe was slightly off.
Manager Alan Pardew was frustrated with the outcome today and disappointed with the performance of referee Chris Foy. On a day that offered a lot of incentive sadly we failed to take maximum points, although if you look at the sending off we should probably be satisfied with a draw… well just.
Newcastle United: Steve Harper; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique; Joey Barton, Cheick Tiote, Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez; Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands.
Subs: Tim Krul, James Perch, Sol Campbell, Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor, Nile Ranger, Shefki Kuqi.
Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Robinson, Cahill, Wheater, Alonso, Elmander, Holden, Muamba, Petrov, Sturridge, K Davies.
Subs: Bogdan, Steinsson, M Davies, Taylor, Klasnic, Rodrigo, Chung-Yong.
Referee: Chris Foy.