Football: Howey earns Newcastle late reward

Newcastle United. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Blackburn Rovers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

THE happiest manager at the end of the St James' Park showdown was not Kevin Keegan of Newcastle or Kenny Dalglish of Blackburn. It was a less heralded former Liverpool player, Roy Evans.

Evans, now in charge at a resurgent Anfield, will regard this draw as the culmination of a satisfying weekend. Of the the top five in the Premiership only Liverpool won and they are now two wins behind Newcastle with a game in hand.

Keegan and Dalglish were less happy. Blackburn would have settled for a draw in advance, but after going ahead on 58 minutes through Alan Shearer's penalty they felt they should have won.

Newcastle, who have now dropped home points to both Liverpool and Blackburn, ended the game grateful for the draw. Their equaliser, which will be claimed by Steve Howey, was a scrambled affair just two minutes from time. Colin Hendry, otherwise outstanding, unintentionally flicked on Scott Sellars' corner and the ball fell to Howey. His shot was cleared off the line by Jason Wilcox only to rebound into the net off the back of the Blackburn goalkeeper, Tim Flowers.

'We don't seem to get much good fortune at the moment,' Dalglish said. 'I am disappointed. We were a wee bit unlucky not to come away with three points.'

Keegan was more philosophical. 'We got what we deserved,' he said. 'We did not do enough to win but we did not deserve to lose either. I don't think either side played particularly well. We cancelled each other out.'

Newcastle's lead over Nottingham Forest remains what it was on Saturday morning. They are two points clear, with Blackburn three points further adrift in third place.

The game, despite the thrilling climax, never matched its advance billing. Both sides were below par. Although Newcastle dominated possession, the best chances fell to Blackburn. The most clear-cut came in the third minute, when Shearer headed wide from three yards from Stuart Ripley's cross.

Andy Cole, whose head-to- head with Shearer had been eagerly anticipated, responded by seizing on Graeme Le Saux's error, only to shoot fiercely over the bar. As Newcastle continued to press, Robert Lee found space to send a low shot just wide, Ruel Fox flashed a header past the near post and Cole shot weakly at Flowers. Blackburn, breaking, offered a rushed and wild drive by Wilcox after Chris Sutton had set him up.

Chances, yes, but the execution was poor and the unexpected - a goalless stalemate - beckoned. Then Wilcox, running on to Le Saux's long ball, was rashly brought down by Pavel Srnicek, the Newcastle goalkeeper. The referee, Stephen Lodge, who had a poor game, settled for his fourth booking and a penalty, which Shearer converted.

Newcastle at last roused themselves. Lee had a header tipped over and Peter Beardsley, who was later withdrawn from the England squad, hit the bar from 20 yards.

Blackburn, however, could have settled it. Srnicek twice redeemed himself with excellent saves from Sutton and Atkins before Lodge refused appeals for another penalty when Peacock brought down Sherwood.

It was a fortunate escape. Six minutes later, with Newcastle's first defeat in 14 matches imminent, Howey forced the equaliser.

In five meetings between the pair at managerial level, Keegan has yet to defeat the man who succeeded him as Anfield's darling. Of more concern to the Newcastle manager will be his team's failure to defeat the top sides in the Premiership.

Newcastle United (4-1-3-2): Srnicek; Hottiger, Peacock, Howey, Beresford; Watson; Fox, Lee (Kitson, 77), Sellars; Cole Beardsley. Substitutes not used: Clark, Hooper (gk).

Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2): Flowers; Berg, Warhurst, Hendry, Le Saux; Ripley, Sherwood, Atkins, Wilcox; Sutton, Shearer. Substitutes not used: Slater, Pearce, Mimms (gk).

Referee: S Lodge (Barnsley).

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect