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Newcastle United 0 Bristol City 0: match report

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03 Oct 2009 18:37:55

Newcastle United 0 Bristol City 0: match report

At a windswept St James's Park, Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, sunk deep in his directors' box seat, was seemingly keeping a lower profile than usual. Arms crossed, Ashley sat impassively and expressionless was he was repeatedly, and passionately, told him to "get out of our club" by supporters still coming to terms with the revelations which came out of Kevin Keegan's Premier League tribunal, the verdict having laid bare the inner workings of the club under the sportswear magnate, not least Dennis Wise's novel use of YouTube. Chris Hughton had been again named the Championship's Manager of the Month, and while the honour was no doubt welcome, United's caretaker manager would rather have collected three points from Bristol City, instead settling for one as the leaders failed to score in the league for the first time this season, though Marlon Harewood was denied what looked a clear penalty late in the game. Asked if his preparations had been affected by the revelations off the field, Hughton - whose side remain three points clear at the top - simply said: "Not at all. "I thought we deserved the win, and it was an absolutely clear penalty. With some penalties, you're not sure if the referee's going to give it, but I could have almost looked away – I was just waiting for him to point to the spot." Newcastle started brighter, and loanee Harewood hit the post with a volley in the eighth minute on what was his full debut. Hughton's side were given a scare by another of their loan signings, Zurab Khizanishvili, in the 20th minute when his weak pass let in Lee Johnson, but to United's relief the midfielder rolled the back across the face of an empty net. Captain Alan Smith, still looking for his first goal 54 games into his St James's Park career, had a half chance, but Newcastle's early promise had faded in the face of City's doggedness and determination, not least from Bradley Orr, released by United more than five years ago without having made a first-team appearance. Hughton, not known for his temper, was angrily on his feet as the interval approached, his players struggling to get any kind of momentum going forward. Peter Lovenkrands created a chance for himself early in the second half, taking the ball on the right before cutting inside and shooting narrowly wide with his favoured left foot. Danny Guthrie and Kevin Nolan both forced saves out of Dean Gerken as the half wore on, and United found something of a rhythm. Taylor struck the crossbar with a header from a Harewood header, and somehow, Lovenkrands shot wide from the ensuing scramble. Harewood had a strong penalty appeal waved away by referee Graham Salisbury after he appeared to be caught in the box by Jamie McCombe in the 73rd minute. United's support, having seen their side held for the second time this week at St James's Park, rued the decision at the final whistle. And City manager Gary Johnson said: "I must admit my heart was in my mouth at the time, but the referee makes the decision. "From our point of view, it's a great result, but we didn't come here for a point, we came here to win." Match details Newcastle United (4-4-2) Harper; R Taylor, S Taylor, Khizanishvili, Simpson; Guthrie (Ranger, 85), Nolan, Smith, Gutierrez (Carroll, 66); Harewood, Lovenkrands. Subs: Krul, Kadar, Butt, Donaldson, Geremi. Booked: Khizanishvili. Sent off: None Bristol City (4-5-1): Gerken; Orr, Carey, Nyatanga, McAllister (McCombe, 46); Sno, Johnson (Williams, 73), Elliott, Skuse; Maynard; Saborio (Haynes, 60). Subs: Clarkson, Hartley, Sproule. Booked: Saborio. Referee: Graham Salisbury


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