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Premier League

  • August 24, 2013
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 49622

Newcastle 0-0 West Ham: Toothless Toon held by spirited Hammers

Alan Pardew's men picked up their first point of the season after they were held to a goalless draw at St James' Park by a plucky performance from the visiting Hammers

Newcastle picked up its first point of the Premier League season after being held to a goalless draw by West Ham.

Alan Pardew - who enjoyed a three-year spell as West Ham boss - headed into the game under significant pressure following Newcastle's 4-0 loss to Manchester City, while Sam Allardyce - sacked by Newcastle in 2008 - was hoping to guide his side to a second successive win.

It was the latter who will have been the happier of the two managers, though, as his charges produced a professional defensive display to claim a point.

By Miles Chambers
A bore draw on paper but there was plenty of fight and spirit on the pitch to keep West Ham's 0-0 draw at Newcastle United interesting. Both sides showed guile defensively and a clean sheet following a torrid showing at Manchester City has to please Magpies manager Alan Pardew.

Sam Allardyce, whose Hammers were pressed continuously in the final 30 minutes, had Lady Luck on his side as he came away with a point to keep their positive start to the campaign chugging along.

Shola Ameobi's skied chance in the dying seconds of the match will leave a bitter taste on the Toon Army's tongue but overall it was a vastly improved performance from a side many have tipped to struggle once again this season.

Newcastle made four changes to the team that was dismantled by City on Monday, Davide Santon, Vurnon Anita, Sylvain Marveaux and Shola Ameobi coming into the side, with Yohan Cabaye again left out as speculation over his future at the club continues to mount.

Stewart Downing was named in West Ham's starting lineup for the first time since joining from Liverpool, while Kevin Nolan lined up against his former club.

Newcastle went closest to finding an early breakthrough after 12 minutes, but in fortuitous circumstances.

Defender Winston Reid attempted a backpass that drifted narrowly wide of the post after Papiss Cisse had failed to latch on to a through-ball from Anita.

The visitors almost netted at the right end just five minutes later, though, Modibo Maiga glancing a header wide after good work down the right from Guy Demel.

Alan Pardew's side dictated the play in midfield, but it was West Ham who created the better chances in the first half, Reid latching on to a Maiga flick-on to fire over from close range midway through the first half.

Chances continued to come and go in a relatively entertaining opening period, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa heading over at the near post from a Marveaux corner before Downing failed to direct an excellent left-wing cross from Matt Jarvis into the bottom corner.

Newcastle could not break the visiting defense down before the break, but it approached the second half with renewed vigor as the club upped the tempo in search of the opener.

Again it was West Ham who crafted the better openings, Downing forcing a near-post save from Tim Krul before Kevin Nolan headed over from point-blank range.

Both managers rung the changes in the hope of engineering a positive impact in the closing stages, Sammy Ameobi and Yoan Gouffran came on for Marveaux and Cisse for Newcastle, while Allardyce threw on Joe Cole and Ravel Morrison for the visitors.

Newcastle showed the greater ambition, with Hatem Ben Arfa at the focal point of most of its attacks but, despite their relative superiority, they were unable to significantly test Jussi Jaaskelainen.

West Ham finished the stronger, though, substitute Cole curling over the bar seven minutes from time, before Maiga had the ball in the net, only to see his strike ruled out for offside.

There was still time for more late drama as Sammy Ameobi struck the post with a deep cross and Gouffran fluffed his lines as he spooned the rebound over the bar from two yards.