Martins rescues a point for Magpies
Hammers let lead slip away
By Hayley Paterson. Last Updated: 26/04/08 5:44pm
Geremi: Rescues point
Newcastle United came back from two goals down to secure an away point thanks to goals from Obafemi Martins and Geremi.
The Magpies travelled to Upton Park but failed to create any chances in the first forty minutes as a rampant West Ham side looked dangerous in front of goal.
Left-back George McCartney found space down the flank and his inch-perfect pull back was met clinically by Mark Noble who guided the ball past Steve Harper for 1-0.
Dean Ashton made it two in the 23rd minute when he was allowed to turn and fire home into the far corner with the Hammers in cruise control.
However against the run of play Martins brought down Joey Barton's superb through-ball and he cleverly lifted the ball over the advancing Robert Green to reduce the deficit.
Minutes later Martins was again involved when his pile-driver was expertly guided into the net by the head of Geremi.
Boos to cheers
The home side had managed to get themselves booed off by their own fans the previous week despite actually winning but this time the fans greeted the final whistle with applause.
With full-back McCartney marauding down the left, West Ham attacked relentlessly from the off and an inexperienced Newcastle back line that featured Steven Taylor and David Edgar was nowhere in the 10th minute when midfielder Noble arrived to send a left-footed effort past goalkeeper Steve Harper from McCartney's cross.
There was a setback for the Hammers when Freddie Ljungberg was hurt in the Newcastle box and had to be carried off on a stretcher but the loss of the Sweden international in the 22nd-minute did not diminish his side's momentum as Ashton made it 2-0 less than a minute later with a shot on the turn after Bobby Zamora had headed on a long ball.
Newcastle had offered zero in return with their three-man strike force of Michael Owen, Mark Viduka and Martins failing to make any headway against a home defence that also included a rookie in the shape of James Tomkins.
But when Tomkins failed to cut out a ball over the top Martins put his side back in the game with a smart finish past the exposed Green, who must have been as startled as anyone to be picking the ball out of the net again two minutes later in stoppage time.
Martins was involved again, firing in only his side's third shot of the afternoon from the edge of the box. Exactly where it would have ended up is anyone's guess but it took a deflection off the head of Geremi to fly into the net.
Newcastle were far more adventurous after the restart but were relieved when Luis Boa Morte, Ljungberg's replacement, fired narrowly wide after Ashton and Noble had seen drives blocked by brave defending.
The second period was more bad-tempered too with Habib Beye of Newcastle followed into the book by Hammers Julien Faubert and John Pantsil.
Nicky Butt was also shown a yellow card for his part in the recriminations that followed Pantsil's indiscretion and Martins was then booked for fouling the West Ham defender following a tussle in the box.
Zamora was replaced by Carlton Cole with 22 minutes left on the clock but the chances had long since begun to dry up and there was to be no repeat of the replacement's winner last week.
Ashton, back in the side following yet another injury, sent a volley spinning across goal and wide and then saw Steve Harper pull off a fine tip-over after Cole had teed him up.
Referee Uriah Rennie might have provided the last word by penalising Owen in his own box but although Faubert's cross clearly hit the Newcastle skipper on an arm, the official ruled it had been accidental.
|West Ham United||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|2||1st Half Goals||2|
|8||Shots on Target||3|
|7||Shots off Target||1|
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|4||West Ham United||8||13|
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