Fab Coloccini secures a point

16 October 2010 05:05
Having witnessed three of those arrive in matches at St James' Park, manager Chris Hughton can now take heart from the way his players responded to falling two goals down to ahead of their next opponents at St James' Park, Sunderland on October 31.

Newcastle made significant improvements after the restart, but having hit half-time two goals down courtesy of Charles N'Zogbia's double there looked too much of a mountain to climb.

N'Zogbia, sold by Joe Kinnear 18 months ago after being infamously labelled Charlie Insomnia by the former Magpies boss, headed his first inside 22 minutes.

Despite his small frame and the attention of James Perch and Mike Williamson, he was somehow allowed to direct his header from Franco di Santo's cross beyond Tim Krul.

Worse was to follow less than two minutes later for Perch, who afforded too much freedom to the Frenchman inside the Newcastle box. N'Zogbia confidently struck sweetly high inside Krul's near post after another di Santo centre had picked him out.

Newcastle were poor. They failed to retain possession and provide too much of a threat, despite Hughton's decision to hand Peter Lovenkrands a starting role alongside Andy Carroll in attack.

But they gave themselves a lifeline 18 minutes from time. Shola Ameobi, on for the ineffective Lovenkrands, arrived in the area to nod a Jonas Gutierrez centre beyond goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.

And then Gutierrez, by far Newcastle's most creative player on the day, sent over a corner, Carroll leaped high to head towards goal and Coloccini's powerful header could only be helped in by Al-Habsi's right hand.

A point was secured and a defeat was spared, but Hughton knows that huge improvements need to be made to stay clear of the bottom three.

NEWCASTLE (4-4-2): Krul; Perch (Ranger 89), Williamson, Coloccini, Enrique; Guthrie (Routledge 65), Barton, Tiote, Gutierrez; Lovenkrands (Ameobi 60), Carroll. Subs: Taylor, Smith, Kadar, Soderberg (gk).

WIGAN (4-5-1): Al-Habsi; Boyce, S Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Stam (Cleverley 79), McCarthy, Gomez, Thomas, N'Zogbia (Diame 90); Di Santo (Rodallega 65). Subs: Kirkland (gk), Watson, Boselli, Moses.

Source: Northern_Echo