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Newcastle 2-2 Stoke

By Aimee Lewis

Abdoulaye Faye
Abdoulaye Faye celebrates scoring Stoke's equaliser

A late Abdoulaye Faye equaliser ensured Stoke came from behind to secure a deserved point against Newcastle.

Newcastle took the lead when Michael Owen was put through by Jonas Gutierrez and the striker doubled the lead with a tap-in from an Obafemi Martins cross.

Stoke improved after the break and halved the deficit after Mamady Sidibe converted Ricardo Fuller's square ball.

And in the 90th minute the visitors drew level when Faye tapped-in from a Glenn Whelan free-kick.

It was only Stoke's third point away from home and although their search for a first Premier League win away from the Britannia Stadium continues, manager Tony Pulis can take heart from his side's much-improved second-half display.

Two well-taken goals from Owen within the first 24 minutes looked to have put the home side on course for victory.

606: DEBATE
chrissmithstoke

But following an injury to Danny Guthrie, with the former Liverpool player being substituted at half-time, the Newcastle midfield lacked poise after the break and allowed Stoke to dominate.

Owen had Gutierrez to thank for his opener with the lively Argentine causing all sorts of problems down the right in an impressive first-half display.

Gutierrez bisected Stoke's defence with a sublime pass which put Owen through for the striker to finish with a low shot to Thomas Sorensen's right.

It was Owen's first goal for the Magpies since he came off the bench to score against Wigan at St James' Park in mid-November.

Pulis relieved after 'embarrassing' start

In the 22nd minute, Salif Diao limped off to be replaced by Whelan, but Newcastle were dominant even before Stoke's enforced substitution.

Gutierrez had an opportunity to extend Newcastle's lead but his shot was blocked by Danny Higginbotham and it was left to Owen to add to the home side's tally.

Geremi, starting in place of the injured Nicky Butt, fed Martins on the left and the striker set up Owen for a simple finish on his 50th appearance for the Magpies.

The visitors improved in the second half and would have halved the deficit were it not for a superb last-ditch tackle by Steven Taylor, a second-half replacement for Guthrie, on Richard Cresswell.

Pulis sacrificed Rory Delap, whose long throw-ins proved to be ineffective, for his top scorer Fuller as the visitors searched for a goal. And the move paid dividends as Fuller was involved in Stoke's first goal just three minutes after coming on.

Sidibe flicked on to Fuller who danced past Fabricio Coloccini and squared to Sidibie for an easy tap-in.

Newcastle frustrated by late Stoke draw

The visitors were revitalised with the menacing Fuller causing all sorts of problems and Faye came close to equalising, hooking his shot inches wide, before Higginbotham flicked Whelan's free-kick towards Faye for the former Magpies player to level matters.

Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear was unhappy with the free-kick awarded against Sebastien Bassong for a foul on Fuller in the run-up to the goal.

The 61-year-old made his frustrations clear, resulting in referee Mike Riley sending the former Wimbledon to boss to the stands.


Stoke manager Tony Pulis:
"In the first 20 minutes we were so poor and so far off their players it was pretty embarrassing and we pride ourselves on working hard as a group and as a team.

"We haven't got the quality other teams have got but if you've got good work ethic and the team knows what they're trying to do, I think you can take teams on.

"Every point you get you gleam more confidence from. It's a good point for us, if we could have played the first half like we did the second we could have won the game."

Newcastle coach Chris Hughton on Joe Kinnear after the 61-year-old had been asked to leave the technical area for disputing the free-kick:
"I think it was for perceived comments, but from where I was, I certainly didn't hear anything. That's what I think it was for.

"It was an old-fashioned shoulder charge, both players competing for the ball, and the free-kick was given.

"As I say, it is an emotional game particularly against a team who thrive on set-plays and free-kicks."


Newcastle: Given, Beye, Coloccini, Bassong, Jose Enrique, N'Zogbia, Geremi (Cacapa 82), Guthrie (Taylor 46), Gutierrez, Owen, Martins (Viduka 74).
Subs Not Used: Harper, Xisco, Edgar, Carroll.

Goals: Owen 8, 24.

Stoke: Sorensen, Griffin, Sonko, Abdoulaye Faye, Higginbotham, Delap (Fuller 57), Amdy Faye (Tonge 78), Diao (Whelan 21), Pugh, Cresswell, Sidibe.
Subs Not Used: Simonsen, Olofinjana, Cort, Davies.

Booked: Griffin.

Goals: Sidibe 60, Abdoulaye Faye 90.

Att: 47,422

Ref: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Newcastle's Michael Owen 9.02 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
Owen talks delayed by 'turmoil'
06 Dec 08 |  Newcastle
Premier League as it happened
06 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
06 Dec 08 |  Football


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