Newcastle 2-2 Bristol City: Match Report

25 February 2017 05:34

Magpies pinch point with late rally against Robins

Sky Bet Championship leaders Newcastle recovered from being two goals down at home to draw 2-2 with struggling Bristol City.

The Robins took a surprise two-goal lead in the first half at St James' Park through Aaron Wilbraham and David Cotterill.

But a second-half own goal from Korey Smith and a Ciaran Clark strike secured a vital point that keeps Rafael Benitez's men on top of the table - at least for a few hours.

With trips to Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading up next, three points at home to struggling Bristol City were a must for promotion-chasing Newcastle.

However, they were punished for a sluggish start when Lee Johnson's men silenced St James' in the 11th minute.

Gary O'Neil found space on the right to swing a cross over to the back post where veteran striker Wilbraham was waiting unmarked to head past Karl Darlow.

There were appeals for offside from the Newcastle defence, but they fell on deaf ears.

Eight minutes later DeAndre Yedlin made a last-ditch block to stop Bobby Reid making it two with the Magpies backline all over the place.

In the 21st minute things went from bad to worse for the hosts. Newcastle keeper Darlow was caught out by Paul Dummett's header back, leaving Cotterill with an easy finish into an open goal.

The home faithful were dismayed and that was not helped by the fact that only Rotherham have taken fewer points away from home than Bristol City this season.

Just after the half-hour mark Benitez's side mustered a chance when Christian Atsu's cutback found Ayoze Perez in the box, but the Spaniard's shot was deflected away.

The frustration on Tyneside only got worse after the interval when appeals for a home penalty were dismissed by referee Chris Kavanagh.

Aleksandar Mitrovic was bundled over by last man Aden Flint chasing Jonjo Shelvey's searching ball, but nothing was given.

The hosts piled on the pressure as they looked to get back into the game and finally broke the Robins' resolve in the 59th minute.

Good work by Atsu down the right saw the on-loan Chelsea man send a low ball across goal and Smith sent the ball into his own net under pressure from Shelvey on the line.

A Cotterill free-kick almost restored the visitors' two goal lead moments later, but Darlow did well to get a strong hand to the Bristol man's effort.

At the other end, Fabian Giefer made a great stop to deny Matt Ritchie's stinging shot before Mitrovic headed over from a corner.

Newcastle pushed and pushed for an equaliser - and it came with eight minutes left on the clock when Clark got the final touch on Ritchie's corner to salvage a point for the hosts.


Source: PA


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