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Goalless at St James' Park
Published : 24 Aug 2013 19:32:04Rss feed
Substitute Sammy Ameobi came within inches of salvaging three priceless points for Newcastle but under-pressure Magpies boss Alan Pardew had to settle for a grim goalless draw against West Ham at St James' Park.
Ameobi's injury-time cross caught the inside of Jussi Jaaskelainen's post and bounced back out to Yoan Gouffran who somehow contrived to spoon the rebound over the bar from point-blank range.
The near-miss summed up the frustrations of the home side who once again started without Frenchman Yohan Cabaye in their matchday squad and failed to muster a single shot on target through the afternoon.
Former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce stretched his record of never having lost at his former club since his departure, but will have left the north east frustrated at not having taken all three points in a game his side edged.
Winston Reid, Kevin Nolan and substitute Joe Cole all missed good chances before the Hammers briefly thought they had won it themselves in the 89th minute when a Modibo Maiga tap-in was ruled out for offside.
The home side's best chances fell to Hatem Ben Arfa, who hit a couple of free-kicks well wide, and a misplaced back-pass by Reid which trickled inches past the post with keeper Jaaskelainen beaten.
The Hammers had looked sharper from the start, winning a third-minute corner which was flicked on to the far post where the lively Reid poked a shot towards goal which was blocked by Vurnon Anita.
The home side's first foray forward in the seventh minute was brought to an end by James Collins' foul on Ben Arfa, and the same player stepped up to scoop his dangerous-looking free-kick way over the bar.
Mohamed Diame was posing the home side some threat down the right but they came closest after 13 minutes when Anita played the ball towards Papiss Cisse and Reid's interception trickled inches past his own post with Jaaskelainen beaten.
Despite that near miss the visitors continued to shade the opening exchanges, and might have gone ahead five minutes later when Guy Demel dug out a cross from deep on the right but Maiga could not quite connect in front of goal.
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