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Page last updated at 18:08 GMT, Saturday, 14 March 2009

Hull 1-1 Newcastle

By Saj Chowdhury

Geovanni and Geremi
Midfielders Geovanni and Geremi tussle for the ball

Premier League strugglers Hull and Newcastle shared the points after a nervy encounter at the KC Stadium.

The Tigers took an lead early in the match when Geovanni headed in Craig Fagan's cross from the right.

But Newcastle equalised just before the break when Steven Taylor turned in Nicky Butt's low delivery.

Magpies striker Obafemi Martins fired over from eight yards, while Geovanni struck his 25-yard free-kick a foot wide of the Newcastle post.

A point for each club was just about fair from a scrappy match that both teams were desperate not to lose.


Newcastle showed their ugly side as early as the ninth minute when the defence went missing to allow Fagan to deliver a lovely ball from the right which Geovanni, who started the move 50 yards down field, nodded in at the far post.

Brown frustrated with draw

The Brazilian came close to scoring his second but bent his wonderful free-kick over and around the wall but also past the Newcastle upright.

The previous week Phil Brown's men had halted their spectacular freefall by recording a first victory in 11 games at Fulham. The return of confidence coupled with a good record against the Magpies would have made them confident of holding on for victory.

The Tigers defence brilliantly marshalled the potent duo of Martins and returning Michael Owen, although the Nigerian would have been bitterly disappointed with his miss from eight yards on one of the rare occasions he found himself free.

And perhaps it was the overzealous defending of Newcastle's front two that led to the equaliser.

A throw-in from Geremi on the right found its way to Nicky Butt who curled in a low cross into the area which the unmarked Taylor converted with his shin past goalkeeper Matt Duke.

Hughton pleased with 'character' of team

Both teams pressed for a winner after the break. For all of Newcastle's endeavour and possession, the visiting team were often let down by desperately poor service to their strikers or stopped by a fantastic Hull defence commandeered by Anthony Gardner.

The tireless work put in by Hull should have been rewarded by goal from Manucho, but a terrible pass from Bernard Mendy denied the substitute the chance to put his team back in front.

It was Hull's only clear chance of the second half, while Newcastle were limited to a toe poke from Martins that did not trouble Duke.

Hull boss Phil Brown:
"It was a scrappy affair, not a great spectacle in terms of football but there was a lot of nervous tension about, from both sides.

"We came out of the traps and approached the game the right way and got in front with a great goal.

"But then that lapse of concentration in the first half and we allowed a poor goal from our point of view."

Newcastle assistant Chris Hughton:
"We gave away a poor defensive goal very early in the game, which rocked us and gave them the confidence they needed.

"But having scored our goal at a good time, I was convinced at half-time we were in the ascendancy and go on to get the three points.

"I felt in the second half we were the side more likely to get the win."

Hull: Duke, Ricketts, Turner, Gardner, Kilbane, Mendy (Barmby 80), Ashbee, Zayatte, Geovanni, Fagan (Garcia 70), Cousin (Manucho 54).
Subs Not Used: Myhill, Dawson, Hughes, Halmosi.

Booked: Fagan, Zayatte, Garcia.

Goals: Geovanni 9.

Newcastle: Harper, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Bassong, Jose Enrique, Smith (Ryan Taylor 75), Butt, Geremi, Gutierrez, Owen (Ameobi 73), Martins.
Subs Not Used: Forster, Duff, Lovenkrands, Edgar, Carroll.

Booked: Geremi, Coloccini, Smith.

Goals: Steven Taylor 38.

Att: 24,914

Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Newcastle's Jonas Gutierrez on 7.28 (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
Saturday's football photos
14 Mar 09 |  Football
Owen poised for Newcastle return
11 Mar 09 |  Newcastle
Points not plaudits, says Hughton
05 Mar 09 |  Newcastle
Owen absent for up to six weeks
30 Jan 09 |  Newcastle
Owen delays decision over future
22 Dec 08 |  Newcastle
Magpies' Owen has groin operation
22 Feb 09 |  Newcastle

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