BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE – ST. JAMES’ PARK – Saturday November 15th 2008
Owen 80
Martins 87
Taylor 3
Bramble 89

Latics took this game to Newcastle from the start and Henri Camara’s first minute header just looped over the bar, but it set out his intentions for the game. Two minutes later Ryan Taylor, the bain in Newcastle’s side tried a cheeky shot.

The 23 year old had scored in his last two starts against the Toon and this game was to see him do it again as his 20 yard shot with the outside of his boot left Shay Given stranded in the Newcastle goal at he watched the ball go over his head.

The first half then turned into a scrappy affair, but Latics always looked the more likely to score with Valencia, Palacios and Camara tearing the Toon midfield to shreds. Palacios unleashed the next shot but the effort was straight at Given and he saved easily.

Newcastle weren’t offering much and their fans started to jeer them and even their first shot from Damien Duff couldn’t bring them around and the following looping header from Ameobi just got a few grunts.

Newcastle suddenly turned in to the Bolton of old as the long ball tactic was deployed, but Latics saw out the last ten minutes and took their lead into the interval.

The game was turned on its head though early in the second half as the inept Andre Mariner chose to send off Emmerson Boyce for a second yellow card. Boycey had made a terrific tackle and got the ball cleanly but the ref was having none of it and to his own embarrassment sent him off.

Our backs were now against the wall, although the defence worked magnificently until the introduction of Owen. His extra pace immediately told and went close with his first effort. Considering the amount of pressure we were under at this point, it was quite a shock to see Camara break away and be one on one with Given.

The Senegalese International did everything right but his shot came back off the post after it should have put the game beyond Newcastle’s reach. It was then that Owen capitalised from Kirkland spilling the ball from an Ameobi shot.

The ex-England International striker was in the right place at the right time to knock in the ball from 4 yards. Martins then pounced 5 minutes later to score what they thought would be the winning goal, only for Titus Bramble to rip the Toon’s hearts out with a last minute equaliser.

As it happened Newcastle should never have got anything out of this game, we were in full control until the disastrous decision to send Boyce off. But come the end it was a well earned point as we held out against the odds.

Report by Jason Taylor

Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
Attendance: 47,657
1 Shay Given 1 Chris Kirkland
21 Habib Beye 2 Ryan Taylor
2 Fabrizio Coloccini 19 Titus Bramble
12 Sebastien Bassong 7 Paul Scharner
3 Jose Enrique 31 Maynor Figueroa
7 Joey Barton 17 Emmerson Boyce
22 Nicky Butt 5 Wilson Palacios
23 Shola Ameobi 23 Olivier Kapo
9 Obafemi Martins 16 Antonio Valencia
11 Damien Duff 4 Lee Cattermole
18 Jonas Gutierrez 27 Henri Camara
13 Stephen Harper 12 Mike Pollitt
6 Claudio Cacapa 38 Jonathan Routledge
20 Geremi 27 Tomasz Kupisz
14 Charles N’Zogbia 8 Kevin Kilbane
8 Danny Guthrie 11 Michael Brown
10 Michael Owen 18 Daniel de Ridder
39 Andy Carroll 21 Tomasz Cywka
3′ Goal Ryan Taylor
16′ Yellow Card Emmerson Boyce
16′ Player Off Joey Barton
Player On Danny Guthrie
49′ Yellow Card Habib Beye
80′ Goal Michael Owen
50′ Yellow Card Titus Bramble
54′ Yellow CardYellow Card Emmerson Boyce
57′ Yellow Card Wilson Palacios
68′ Player Off Jose Enrique
Player On Charles N’Zogbia
68′ Player Off Jonas Gutierrez
Player On Michael Owen
87′ Goal Michael Owen
81′ Player Off Ryan Taylor
Player On Daniel de Ridder
87′ Goal Obafemi Martins
89′ Goal Titus Bramble
90′ Player Off Olivier Kapo
Player On Michael Brown
90′ Player Off Henri Camara
Player On Kevin Kilbane