Newcastle and West Ham United played out a hard fought 0-0 draw at St. James’ Park.
But the game lacked real quality in the penalty box, with only one shot on target between both teams as defensive solidity ruled in the North East.
The best chance of the game fell to Newcastle’s Yoan Gouffran in stoppage time but he somehow blazed over from five yards out following Sammy Ameobi’s hopeful cross-shot that hit the inside of the post.
The draw will sit much better with former Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce, as his West Ham side were comfortable throughout despite not creating many clear cut chances.
As for Alan Pardew, he will be disappointed that his team didn’t make the most of long periods of pressure, and he again left French midfielder Yohan Cabaye out of the squad as Arsenal ready a second bid for the Magpies main man.
The game started off slowly, with the long ball approach of each team cancelling each other out. However Papiss Demba Cisse was working the flanks well and created plenty of problems for West Ham’s full backs.
It took until the 36th minute to get the first real chance of the game, which fell to West Ham. Winston Reid flicked his shot just over following a delicious in-swinging cross to the back post. Three minutes later, Newcastle United midfielder Moussa Sissoko headed over in the box under pressure, as set pieces seemed to be the best way either team would score.
However in the 41st minute a great run down the left from Matt Jarvis saw him cross towards Stewart Downing who headed down and across goal but really should have buried the Hammers best chance of the first half.
After the break the Hammers once again had a great chance when Downing put in a tempting cross from the right and former Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan arrived by missed a terrific chance after 59 minutes.
But just as West Ham began to build pressure, Newcastle hit back and put the Hammers on the back foot for the final knockings in front of a partisan home crowd at St. James’ Park.
Yet there wasn’t too much to shout about until the three minutes of stoppage time arrived.
In the 90th minute, West Ham thoguht they’d snatched a late win, as Modibo Maiga tapped in from five yards out following a blocked shot. But the Mali international was in an offside position, much to the relief of Newcastle’s fans.
Then the Magpies went straight down the other end and almost grabbed a last-gasp winner in dramatic circumstances.
In the 92nd minute winger Sammy Ameobi cut in from the left and over hit his cross that looped over West ham ‘keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen before rebounding off the post and straight to Yoan Gouffran.
However the Frenchman somehow put the ball over from four yards out, and the game finished 0-0.
Newcastle: Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini (c), Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon; Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita, Marveaux (Sammy Ameobi 66); Shola Ameobi, Cissé (Gouffran 72) Subs not used: Elliot, Bigirimana, Dummett, Gosling, Vuckic.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O’Brien, Collins, Reid, Noble, Diame (Morrison 75), Nolan, Downing (Cole 64), Jarvis, Maiga. Subs not used: Adrian, Rat, Tomkins, Diarra, Vaz Te.