Newcastle United have trawled the globe in a so far fruitless search for a new striker but on the evidence of this hard-fought defeat of Morecambe tonight, the solution may lie closer to home.
The home-grown pair Shola and Sammy Ameobi scored the first goals of Newcastle's season at the Globe Arena to ease the tension on Tyneside, as well as bolstering manager Alan Pardew after a poor start to the campaign.
The brothers rode to the rescue on a night when Newcastle fans voiced their discontent at director of football Joe Kinnear and owner Mike Ashley, the architects of the club's flawed recruitment drive.
Ameobi Snr hit a late drive to give the visitors the lead in this Capital One Cup second-round tie before a superb individual effort from younger brother Sammy settled nerves on a night when Morecambe extended their Premier League hosts.
Pardew's team selection was bold. He made eight changes to the team that drew a blank against West Ham, and made the curious decision to hand a first team debut to young centre-back Curtis Good. His most recent game in this competition had been for Bradford City in last season's final but he soon realised he was a long way from Wembley as a feisty and physical Morecambe side set about their illustrious opponents with the look of a team who believed they could pull off an upset.
The first half was most certainly theirs. Rob Elliot was the busier of the two goalkeepers and twice had to block Padraig Amond efforts, while Dan Gosling blocked on the line as Morecambe showed their aerial dominance from corners and dead balls.
Newcastle, by contrast, carried the listless demeanour of a inexperienced team thrown together at the last minute. Their mix of young players and fringe men had to wait until the late stages of the first half for their first sight of Barry Roche's goal, Gaël Bigirimana testing the Morecambe keeper with a dipping free-kick.
The second half brought respite for Pardew. The introduction of the older Ameobi, whose experience might have helped Newcastle from the start, made a difference even if the striker missed a gilt-edged opportunity within minutes of coming on.
Morecambe (4-3-3): Roche; Wright, Parrish, Hughes, Diagne; Williams, Drummond (Mwasile, 87), Fleming (Kenyon, 77); Ellison, Sampson, Amond (Marshall, 57).
Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Elliot; Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Good, Dummett; Marveaux (Sissoko, 88), Bigirimana, Gosling, Sammy Ameobi; Vuckic (Shola Ameobi, 46); Gouffran (Ben Arfa, 71).
Referee M Haywood (W Yorkshire).
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