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Premier League

  • 25 February 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Referee: P. Walton
  • • Attendance: 52287

Newcastle 2-2 Wolves: Late Kevin Doyle strike caps surprise two-goal comeback to give Connor point in first game

Newcastle 2-2 Wolves: Late Kevin Doyle strike caps surprise two-goal comeback to give Connor point in first game

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New manager gets off to a good start as second-half display earns a point after the hosts had led through goals by Papiss Demba Cisse and Jonas Gutierrez

Wolves came from behind to draw 2-2 with Newcastle in Terry Connor’s first game as boss as goals from Matt Jarvis and Kevin Doyle gave them a precious point in their quest for Premier League survival.

The Magpies dominated the first half, as goals from Papiss Cisse and Jonas Gutierrez gave them a deserved lead at the interval.

However the visitors rallied after the break as Jarvis struck early on to get the visitors back into the game and Doyle got them level after the Magpies failed to clear their lines from a free-kick to earn a share of the spoils.

Newcastle made three changes from the team that lost 5-0 to Tottenham two weeks ago. Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye and Ryan Taylor all came into the side replacing Gabriel Obertan, James Perch and Danny Guthrie.

Terry Connor, meanwhile, made four changes to the Wolves team that lost 5-1 to West Brom in his first game in charge. Richard Stearman, Ronald Zubar, Karl Henry and Christophe Berra all came into the side replacing Steven Fletcher, Sebastien Bassong, Roger Johnson and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.

Wolves threatened early on and could have gone ahead through Kevin Doyle as he and Jamie O’Hara broke down the right. Doyle cut inside and beat Mike Williamson however he scuffed his shot and it was easily saved by Tom Krul in the Newcastle goal.

Doyle was made to rue this chance as Newcastle took the lead through Cisse after Berra was robbed of the ball in his own box by Cabaye. The Frenchman crossed for Demba Ba whose backheeled effort was well saved by Wayne Hennessey, Tiote pounced on the rebound and his shot was deflected into the path of Cisse who poked the ball past Stearman on the line.

The Magpies could have doubled their lead through Danny Simpson as Ba fed him on the edge of the area and Hennessey had to be at his best as the full-back launched a powerful 25-yard effort at goal which he got his fingertips to and managed to tip the ball over the bar.

Newcastle looked dangerous on every attack and got a deserved second in spectacular fashion when Gutierrez fired a 25-yard effort into the top corner giving Hennessey no chance as the visitors gave the Argentine all the time in the world to pick his spot and he duly delivered with a wonderful strike.

The game settled down after the Argentine’s goal as the Mapgies were seemingly content with their two-goal advantage which invited Wolves onto them and it nearly cost Pardew’s side as Kevin Doyle’s deflected shot fell into the path of Matt Jarvis in the six yard box. The winger tried to lift the ball over Krul but the Dutchman was out sharply to block his effort.

Wolves came out the better of the sides in the second half and got back into the game through Jarvis who took the ball down on the left and cut inside on his right foot and launched a shot at goal which flew past Krul into the top corner. The shot looked to have taken a deflection off Simpson on its way to the net.

The visitors threatened again minutes later as Stephen Ward raided down the left, cut inside and fired an effort to the near post which Krul had to be down sharply to gather as Doyle was lurking for any rebound.

Connor’s side deservedly got back into the game through Doyle when he pounced from close range tapping past helpless Krul after the home side had failed to clear their lines from O’Hara’s free-kick to the delight of the travelling Wolves support.

Newcastle struggled going forward in the second-half as they failed to get their passing game up to the high standard it had been in the first-half as key players Tiote, Cabaye and Gutierrez drifted out of the match against a resilient Wolves side.

The visitors looked the more likely to steal the points as they looked dangerous on the break with Jarvis and Michael Kightley breaking with pace as the Magpies struggled for attacking impetus late in the game.

Neither side could force a winner so both teams had to settle for a share of the spoils, as Wolves earned a crucial point in their quest for Premier League survival while the Magpies' Champions League hopes were dealt a blow.

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