West Ham United 2 Newcastle United 2: Owen has big hand in pegging back Hammers

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West Ham may have been jeered off after last week's uninspired win against Derby but the fans got value for money yesterday, even if the result didn't reflect their team's early dominance. Newcastle are back all right; at one point defending like novices only to turn the game round in thrilling style.

Kevin Keegan's men came from two goals behind to draw level on the stroke of half-time and they went on to extend their unbeaten run to seven games. They had their share of fortune though and West Ham ought to have had a penalty late in the day when Michael Owen handled in front of referee Uriah Rennie.

"We went in a bit deflated at half-time after playing so well – we should have finished it off," said West Ham manager Alan Curbishley. "It was a crazy couple of minutes when they came back into it but I was pleased we stuck at it in the second half." And the penalty? "I haven't seen it again but it looked to have bounced up and hit his arm." Keegan acknowledged: "We were not at the races early on but showed great spirit to come back. It was a decent game."

Perhaps West Ham's players were stung into action by the acclaim which greeted their former icon Paolo di Canio as he took his seat in the stand, or maybe they just wanted to mark their 500th Premier League game in style.

With Scott Parker pulling the strings in midfield against his former club, the Hammers dominated and went ahead after 10 minutes. George McCartney got the better of two defenders on the left flank to whip in a cross that the unmarked Mark Noble converted emphatically with a first-time half-volley.

West Ham, decimated by injury, lost Freddie Ljungberg after he damaged a rib midway through the half but it had little effect, for they went further ahead two minutes after he was replaced by Luis Boa Morte. Dean Ashton, returning to West Ham's attack, turned David Edgar inside out from Bobby Zamora's header before rifling a low shot to Steve Harper's right for his ninth goal of the season.

Newcastle were all over the place and Harper's distribution was so bad Keegan had his reserve goalkeeper Fraser Forster warming up after 25 minutes.

Julien Faubert and Boa Morte could have added to the tally but suddenly Newcastle were woken from their slumber. Owen had a header blocked by James Tomkins but the young centre-back was caught out when Newcastle pulled a goal back after 42 minutes, misjudging Joey Barton's chipped pass for Obafemi Martins to run on to dink the ball over the advancing Robert Green.

Newcastle drew level with two minutes of added time showing and Martins was again involved, driving in a shot from the edge of the area which struck Geremi's head before beating the despairing Green. Lucky and unlikely, but the Toon were level.

"I have never handled a player quite like Martins," Keegan added. "He does fantastic things and he is more of a team player now." Understandably, there were fewer fireworks after the interval, although there were enough spiky challenges to keep referee Rennie busy.

Ashton, economical with his finish, was suddenly profligate, firing high and wide on three occasions and seeing his passes go astray. McCartney also blazed over when well positioned. However, it took an excellent Harper save to deny the striker 10 minutes from the end, tipping over a rasping Ashton shot after good work by Faubert and substitute Carlton Cole. It was from the resulting corner that Owen handled – less than 10 yards from Rennie – but no penalty was given. A last-ditch save by Green from Martins prevented further frustration for the Hammers.

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