Toon fight back to hold Spurs

16 October 2011 05:59
ewcastle twice came from behind to extend their unbeaten Premier League record and earn a 2-2 draw with Tottenham at St James' Park on Sunday.[LNB] Local hero Shola Ameobi came off the bench to blast home his side's second equaliser four minutes from time as a pulsating encounter ended all square.[LNB]Jermain Defoe looked to have won it for the visitors when he fired past Tim Krul with 68 minutes gone, but Ameobi denied Spurs a fifth successive Premier League win to the delight of the majority of the 46,420 crowd.[LNB]Rafael van der Vaart had put Harry Redknapp's men ahead from the penalty spot five minutes before the break, but Demba Ba's equaliser - his fifth goal in three games - within three minutes of the restart set the scene for the late drama.[LNB]Newcastle ran out knowing they were facing perhaps the toughest test of their campaign to date, but confident that they could come through it.[LNB]For 40 minutes, they gave as good as they got in a game in which the impetus repeatedly shifted between the sides.[LNB]Spurs started brightly with Gareth Bale having been switched to the right wing to chance his arm against makeshift left-back Ryan Taylor.[LNB]In the event, the former Wigan man coped admirably and long before half-time Bale returned to his more usual position on the left, leaving Taylor to deal with Luka Modric instead.[LNB]The visitors passed the ball confidently in the opening exchanges with Newcastle old boy Scott Parker and Modric prominent, and Emmanuel Adebayor, whose participation was in doubt because of a hamstring injury, stretching the home defence at regular intervals.[LNB]That said, chances were few and far between, and although Krul had to race from his line to snatch van der Vaart's seventh-minute through-ball off Adebayor's toe and then pluck a looping Jake Livermore header out of the air four minutes later, there were few genuine scares for the Dutchman.[LNB]As the half wore on, the Magpies warmed to their task and with wide-men Gabriel Obertan and Jonas Gutierrez causing problems and Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote edging things in the middle of the pitch, they started to threaten.[LNB]Leon Best only just failed to get a toe to Ryan Taylor's driven 13th-minute free-kick and Ba headed straight at keeper Brad Friedel from Cabaye's cross 11 minutes later.[LNB]But the breakthrough arrived five minutes before half-time, and it did so to the horror of Newcastle defender Steven Taylor.[LNB]Taylor tracked Adebayor's run into the penalty area and saw the former Togo international go down under his challenge.[LNB]Referee Lee Probert took his time with the defender protesting his innocence but eventually pointed to the spot and, amid a cacophony of boos from the home fans, van der Vaart sent Krul the wrong way to open the scoring.[LNB]Ba headed high over from Cabaye's 42nd-minute cross as the Magpies attempted to drag themselves back into the game, but they headed for the dressing room on the whistle knowing they had a tough task on their hands.[LNB]Newcastle needed just three minutes to get themselves back on terms, and they did so in some style as Gutierrez produced a wonderful, mazy run.[LNB]The Argentina international skipped pass Modric and then full-back Kyle Walker on the left before crossing for the unmarked Ba to slide in and send the ball goalwards, where Friedel could only carry it into his own net.[LNB]Sensing an opportunity to win the game, the Magpies piled forward in numbers, but in doing so, opened themselves up to Spurs' pace on the counter-attack.[LNB]Adebayor fired across the face of goal and van der Vaart shot straight at Krul with the home defence struggling to keep the visitors at bay.[LNB]But in the meantime, Obertan had whistled a 56th-minute drive just wide of Friedel's far post in a frenetic passage of play.[LNB]Redknapp opted for even more pace with 63 minutes gone when he replaced van der Vaart with Defoe, and the newcomer wasted little time in making his mark.[LNB]Having already forced Krul to sprint from his line to cut out Parker's through-ball, he turned smartly on the midfielder's pass to thump a left-footed shot past the keeper and into the bottom corner.[LNB]Pardew threw on Hatem Ben Arfa and Ameobi after withdrawing Ba and Best with 19 minutes remaining, and it was the home side which finished the stronger.[LNB]Friedel had to pull off fine saves from Tiote and then Ryan Taylor as time ran down, but there was nothing he could do to prevent Ameobi from snatching a point with his drilled 86th-minute strike.[LNB]Defoe and Fabricio Coloccini both might have won it in a breathless conclusion, but the spoils were ultimately shared.

Source: Team_Talk