Newcastle vs Burnley report: Managerless Magpies held by Burnley after George Boyd goal seals remarkable 3-3 draw

Newcastle 3 Burnley 3: Assistant John Carver took charge of the home side

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It is hard to remove the managerial uncertainty from the very top of any Newcastle agenda but Burnley did their very best here.

Three times they fought back from a goal down and, on top of that, they struck the woodwork four times. If a winner was going to emerge, they would not have been wearing black and white, but then Newcastle’s fans are getting more and more used to that state of affairs.

The year may be new but old failings remain. The Newcastle side Alan Pardew has left behind (technically, at least, he was still the manager today) has long been alarmingly brittle.

They conceded three or more goals on 12 occasions last year and the start of  2015 has presented no argument to suggest that unwelcome statistic is about to change. Newcastle even tried five at the back in the closing stages. It did not matter – they still have a soft underbelly.

Newcastle caretaker manager John Carver (right) reacts

That will be the first job for the man who succeeds Pardew, with Steve McClaren emerging as a front runner, although as of late on New Year’s Eve there had not been any contact with Derby County.

John Carver is likely to stay in charge for Newcastle’s third round FA Cup tie at Leicester on Saturday. Given Newcastle’s unashamed aversion to the competition, there is no rush. Holding on to Moussa Sissoko and Ayoze Perez will be near the top of the new man’s remit as well. The club are insisting privately that Sissoko will not be sold, no matter how pressing the needs of Arsenal. Perez’s name has yet to be mentioned greatly, but it will. From somewhere Newcastle have unearthed a real gem.


For 26 minutes, however, it was more about those from the North-east: Carver sat alongside Steve Stone and Peter Beardsley in the home dugout and the three goalscorers were all produced in the region.

No one can say that Pardew was not prepared to pick local talent.  His first act as manager was to give Steven Taylor a new contract. In the 15th minute, Taylor directed a Jack Colback corner into the bottom corner of Tom Heaton’s goal.

Injury ended his afternoon and probably his whole season on the hour, however, and he hobbled out of St James’ with his foot in a moon boot. “It looks like he has ruptured his Achilles tendon,” Carver said, “so I think that’s the end of him now for the season.”

Danny Ings celebrates his goal for Burnley

The lead lasted just four minutes, until Paul Dummett, whose lot has risen considerably this season, placed a header over his own goalkeeper, Jak Alnwick, into the home goal. It was a horrible, tragicomic error by the young defender.

Another goal was just around the corner, again from a local player. This time Colback cracked a fine, left-footed strike into the bottom corner of Heaton’s goal. For the rest of the half, Newcastle were in control. Thereafter, they most certainly were not.

You could not deny Burnley’s spirit and the home side could not long deny them a goal. Danny Ings has long been linked with a move to Newcastle and he did not disappoint his admirers, despite picking up a needless booking for simulation. It did not affect him, and within two minutes he glanced Michael Kightly’s  inswinging free-kick into the corner of the Newcastle goal.

Trickery from Perez set up Sissoko for Newcastle’s third with 12 minutes to go but Burnley refused to be beaten. Ings turned creator, teeing up George Boyd– who had been excellent – to drive a left-footed shot past Alnwick.

“They reacted to the managerial uncertainty but we had an outstanding mentality,” said Burnley manager Sean Dyche. He was not wrong there.