Jack Colback’s 74th minute goal should’ve been the start of a Newcastle blowout, but missed chances and poor marking allowed Peter Crouch to grab Stoke City a point in a 1-1 draw on NBCSN early Sunday.
Newcastle blew the chance to move 10th, and remains two points behind Stoke City.
Substitute Gabriel Obertan was a star for John Carver, who came within minutes of presiding over back-to-back Newcastle wins, but several poor plays from Mike Williamson and the Magpies defense begged the Potters to tie things up.
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Missed passes and dicey fouls were the story from a rough bit of Sunday morning viewing, but they gave way to an exciting ending.
Newcastle came very close to finding the opener in the 11th minute when Asmir Begovic just got a hand on Remy Cabella’s flicked header off a Moussa Sissoko cross from the left.
Cabella and Sissoko nearly turned the trick 15 minutes later, when the latter burst up the middle of the field before working a hopeful 1-2 that Begovic claimed before Sissoko could arrive in the six.
It was a clumsy, if vicious, first half. Four yellow cards were handed out, with three going to Stoke and one going to Sammy Ameobi.
Cabella slid Ayoze Perez through in the 43rd minute, but his right-footed shot from just inside the 18 bounded wide of the goal.
The Potters could’ve found their way into a halftime lead, but Tim Krul made a flying left-handed save on Mame Biram Diouf.
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The second half took a good, long while to show any excitement, but Stoke had the better of possession and earned several corner kicks and somewhat-dangerous restarts. The match needed an infusion of energy for the Magpies, as a content Stoke brought in USMNT veteran Geoff Cameron shortly after half.
Carver took off Vurnon Anita and put Papiss Cisse up top with just over 25 minutes to play, before moving Remy Cabella off for Obertan moments later.
Obertan made all the difference, as he linked up with Daryl Janmaat down the right side for plenty of opportunities. There was little danger, though, until Obertan found fellow Frenchman Sissoko, who laid off for Colback — fortunate to have avoided a second yellow card moments earlier — to blast home.
A gorgeous bit of football amidst the mediocrity. Colback strikes for Newcastle.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 8, 2015
The Magpies lead opened Stoke up, with both Obertan and Perez missing glorious chances in the final 10 minutes.
And those would come back to haunt them, as Crouch headed over a diving Krul just before four minutes of stoppage time on a huge cross from Cameron.
Newcastle United: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Haïdara; Sissoko, Anita (Cisse, 65′), Colback; Cabella (Obertan, 70′), Perez, Ameobi (Abeid, 86′)
Goal: Colback (74′)
Stoke City: Begovic; Bardsley, Muniesa, Wollscheid, Wilson (Cameron, 51′); Whelan, Nzonzi; Walters, Ireland (Crouch, 82′), Moses; Diouf
Goal: Crouch (90′)