Sunny stalemate! S.C. Maritimo 0-0 Newcastle

Shola unable to find the breakthrough
Newcastle secured a valuable away point in Portugal last night to start our Europa League campaign off on a steady footing.

A much changed side hit the woodwork three times on the night and created enough chances to have won the game. However it could have been worse for United but for our own crossbar and the intervention of Davide Santon who both worked together to clear a Valentin Roberge header off the line.

Senior stars such as Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, were all left at home while Vurnin Anita jetted back home due to his wife going into labour. That meant starts for the likes of Gael Bigirimana, Dan Gosling, Gabriel Obertan, Romain Amalfitano and Haris Vuckic while Shola Ameobi was tasked with playing the lone striker role. Rob Elliot played his first game in goal for a year as Steve Harper was also rested and had to make do with a place on the bench.

It was a slow start for a Newcastle side that started the game on the backfoot and could have fallen behind with less than two minutes on the clock when David Simao found space on the left to send in a dangerous cross which was only just too strong for Heldon as he slid in.

The hosts passed the ball nicely and at times they looked too much for Newcastle during the opening exchanges. Had it not been for Rob Elliot the game could have been out of reach for United. The former Charlton stopper pulled off a smart save to keep out Sami’s 11th-minute volley and then blocked with his legs after the striker had run clear of the United defence.

But having endured a difficult start to the game, the Magpies gradually started to find their feet and went close to the opening goal on four different occasions inside four first-half minutes. Gael Bigirimana saw his 27th-minute corner tipped over by goalkeeper Romain Salin as it threatened to dip under the crossbar and then French midfielder Romain Amalfitano had a goal-bound volley blocked after connecting with another Bigirimana corner.

Then Mike Williamson managed to find the ball at his feet inside the penalty area and, when his shot was deflected, Ameobi dived in to head the ball towards goal where it hit the post and was scrambled away to safety by the recovering Maritimo ‘keeper.

Dan Gosling was then denied by the opposite post when his 25-yard drive hit the foot of the post with Salin beaten.

Half-time: S.C. Maritimo 0-0 Newcastle

Newcastle could have taken the lead early in the second half when Shola Ameobi strolled into the penalty area and sidestepped Roberge before curling a shot past the Maritimo ‘keeper only to see his effort rebound off the bar.

Shola’s brother Sammy was introduced early in the second half, and it was the Ameobi brothers who combined to forge the next chance for Romain Amalfitano although the summer signings shot was high, wide and not so handsome.

However there was still danger for United and the home side could have gone ahead on the hour mark when Maritimo’s on Sami found space on the left and crossed the ball for Fidelis who fired wide first time with Rob Elliot beaten.

Back at the other end Shola Ameobi again went close when he turned Guilherme after a pass by Davide Santon although his effort was weak and was saves by Salin.

With ten minutes left Newcastle very nearly lost the game after Maritimo captain Roberge headed a corner against the underside of the crossbar with Davide Santon perfectly placed to head the ball clear before it crossed the line thus avoiding any repeat of the incidents witnessed at Goodison Park on Monday.

Full-time: S.C. Maritimo 0-0 Newcastle

There were some good performances for us on a pitch that, by all accounts, both teams struggled with. I though Gael Bigirimana and Dan Gosling were excellent in midfield. They broke up play, distributed the ball well and helped support any attacks. Rob Elliot was also good in the Newcastle goal and pulled off some decent saves early on whilst controlling his penalty area. He made all the right calls and claimed the ball when he needed to.

Yes we perhaps should have won when you see the chances that we had, but an away point will do for me. If we can pick up points away from home whilst winning our home games that will be enough to get us out of the group.

It’s not all doom and gloom!

S.C. Maritimo: Salin, Briguel, Guilherme, Roberge, Olim, Miranda, Luiz, Heldon, Simao, Sami, Dias

Subs: Lima, Diogo, Rosario, Rossi, Abreu, Fidelis, Adilson

Newcastle: Rob Elliot, James Perch, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson, Davide Santon, Gabriel Obertan, Gael Bigirimana, Dan Gosling, Haris Vuckic, Romain Amalfitano, Shola Ameobi

Subs: Steve Harper, James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, Mehdi Abeid, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Adam Campbell

Attendance: 4,000

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

21 thoughts on “Sunny stalemate! S.C. Maritimo 0-0 Newcastle

  1. Bigi was by far and away the best player on the field.
    Gosling had a decent game alongside him.
    Elliott looked nervous before ko but did very well.
    Shola did a good job (I think its too late in his careeer to work on striking with his left foot.)
    I don’t know Amal’s favoured position, but he didn’t look particularly comfortable.
    Obertan was Obertan. I’m losing patience.
    Sammy played very well for ten minutes and them turned into Obertan.
    Willo never looks comfortable with a football anywhere other than on his head.
    Sayls has got to be careful with those elbows.
    A decent performance from Santon, but must do better when he gets in their box.
    Big glass house Haris seemed to be hiding somewhere.
    Perchie was steady.
    Well done Pards for having us higher up the pitch and having men get forward in support.


  2. Yeah apart from the 1st 15 – 20mins we looked capableeven though Maritimo still looked dangerous on the break. But as you say we should have had the win, but a draw is better than nowt.
    I just wish we would take a chance on a goal scorer as with one imo we would have won.


  3. Agree with B & B’s comments on each player. we lacked a finisher, hoping top see something of Campbell soon in one of these games.


  4. I’ll say one thing worries me a little… There was a shortage of players that want to boss the game or even their direct opponent. The likes of Obertan, Roman & Vukic seem to let the game flow around them with out really getting stuck in. Obertan will never cement a starting place until he ups his work rate and learns to be more combative. Even Sammi, although he is young and learning, seems to run hot and cold… I can see some years of frustration coming up with that fella 😎


  5. Pleased we have reserves who can step up. I am sure that individually any of the reserve players would look even better if surrounded by ten first team players. Bigi stands out as class and Willo should take lessons from him on how to make s simple pass.


  6. Aussie they seem to run about with no cutting edge or any real idea. I said lastnight with one of the Demba’s that can regularly put the ball in the back of the net, or a player like Benny that would have tore them to shreds πŸ˜‰


  7. I love Willo’s long balls foward….. I don’t think I have seen him hit a target in over 2 seasons πŸ˜† πŸ˜†


  8. After watching the game BD, I would say that you are right mate.. Benny would have run amok but the pitch didn’t look like a good’un to dribble on tho… and I know a lot about dribbling 😯 :mrgreen:


  9. TC – Shola was inadvertently pushed by the Everton defender into the path of Willo’s wild pass…. luckily it bounced off Shola’s chest :mrgreen:
    I was not be literal mate πŸ˜‰


  10. TC
    Shola does have a good touch, he has a good finish too. Unfortunately he is slow as lava and lazy. He shouldn’t be used for more than 30mins in my opinion.

    Whenever he plays a full game he looks no good, but he has made some very valuable contributions with short substitute appearances.
    His attitude is exceptional but he just doesn’t have the legs or workrate.


  11. I didn’t get to see the game last night unfortunately but from what I’m reading it seems to be the same old story. Willo not good enough at the back and not enough fire power up front (without the Dembas). Elliott seems to be getting good praise this morning which is pleasing to hear and afew good comments for young Bigi as well.
    I said the other day that Pardew is probably looking to the home games for the bulk of the points and the away games will be what will be. A point isn’t the worst result, and I’m sure it’s gave Pardew a chance to see what the likes of Amal, Bigi and Elliott have to offer the squad.
    I would have liked to have seen Abied get a run out as well. I think he has a bit more offensively than Gosling.
    God I wish Shola could score goals, but a point is better than nowt.


  12. Aussie – must be that famous Geordie luck that helped us into fifth position last season! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

    JJ – I wasn’t talking about Shola, but aye, he’s a decent enough third/fourth impact striker. He was a bit unlucky last night not to bag a goal. Definitely not as useless as some make out, but I’d be worried if he was leading the line for more than a handful of games this season.


  13. Big Dave – saw your link for how ticket prices are set in League Cup in previous thread – thanks for that. The Toon seem to charge reasonable prices for home Cup games – Β£15 for FA Cup against Blackburn last year and the same for Europa League game v Bordeaux. Expect they will go up if we progress further.
    Thought Bigi and Gosling had very good games last night. Bigi looks a real find – been impressed with him whenever he has played. Thought Gosling put in a shift and had a decent game. Elliot did very well – still not seen enough of him but he looks like he is decent enough back-up.


  14. Need 10 points to get out of a four team group, Win our home games and were there.

    Should of won but i would have taken a draw pre match so not a bad result…


  15. Bigi, Elliot, Shola, Gosling in that order for me.
    Ammy and Ober created nothing, Vuckic was invisible. Both defenders got done like kippers at one point or another, Staylor was the steadier but should have been sent off πŸ˜•


  16. Saylor needs to wind back the aggression, it’s all very well being the hard man but he will get his arse sent of before long.. Both he and Willo are no working too well together and against popular opinion, I will say the fault lays with Saylor. Willo for all his faults actually worked very well with Collo last season. Saylor seems to be all over the place with his positioning.. A lot of his last ditch blocks are due to him scrambling to cover his poor marking. He nearly cost us a goal when he marked space rather than the player in the second half.. Why he would choose to do that when it is a one on one is beyond me.. Willo seems to get a lot of stick but Saylor deserves his share as well..


  17. Aussie-Agreed. People went ballistic when Willo held someone at a corner vs the scum, but now you see Staylor smash an elbow into a face and there’s nowt to be said for it. Very lucky really.


  18. Bigi, Elliot, Shola, and Gosling were my picks for last night too. All performed steadily and had a few very good moments.

    Obertan was not as good as his previous game, but better than usual. He at least had an idea of what to do when he had the ball, although u knew it was always to go right to send in a cross.

    Disappointments were Vuckic, Amalfitano, and Marveaux. Did nothing when they were on and did not show the hunger to do anything to get a goal.


  19. Aussie Magpie Fan says:
    September 21, 2012 at 09:27
    I’ll say one thing worries me a little… There was a shortage of players that want to boss the game or even their direct opponent. The likes of Obertan, Roman & Vukic seem to let the game flow around them with out really getting stuck in.

    I think the problem is that they lack confidence but you need playing time to gain confidence so hopefully matches like this will do them a bit of good.

    Ideally, these guys would get time with more senior players around them which I hope we will see in the coming europa fixtures when a few get back from injury


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