More misery for Magpies
Bent strike sees Spurs past Shearer's side
Last Updated: 19/04/09 4:53pm
Bent: Mobbed by team-mates
Newcastle's Premier League status remains in the balance following a 1-0 defeat at Tottenham on Sunday.
Darren Bent's first-half effort proved to be the difference between the two sides at White Hart Lane, but the victory should have been more emphatic.
Newcastle entered the game without a win in seven and looked nervous from the off, inviting Spurs onto the front foot.
It did not take long for Harry Redknapp's side to make the ensuing pressure count, as Bent fired home on 24 minutes after Steve Harper had beaten away his first attempt.
Luka Modric was then unfortunate to see a deflected effort fail to find the target, while Michael Owen found himself squeezed out during a rare Magpies attack.
Bent should have made more of an Alan Hutton cross as the opening period came to a close, but he could only nod over from close range.
The hosts continued to look the more likely to force a further breakthrough shortly after the interval and only some heroic defending from Sebastien Bassong prevented Wilson Palacios from notching his first goal for Spurs.
Obafemi Martins was somewhat unfortunate to see a fine finish chalked off for handball on 68 minutes as Newcastle rallied, but a dejected Magpies side offered few complaints.
Their Nigerian striker once again created a clear sight of a goal a few minutes later, but he sliced straight at Heurelho Gomes from eight yards out.
Tom Huddlestone stung Harper's fingertips with a well-struck drive as the clock ticked down, while Martins was found wanting when charged with the task of rescuing a point.
Michael Owen endured a frustrating afternoon in the capital and provided little to persuade Fabio Capello, who was in the stands, he is worthy of an England recall.
With Andy Carroll rewarded with a starting place after earning a point against Stoke last time out, the visitors struggled to create chances early on.
Their only shot of the first half, a tame effort from Kevin Nolan, came seconds before Bent's opener.
Heurelho Gomes saved Nolan's shot and hurled the ball out to Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Modric took over and angled a pass towards Robbie Keane, which was cut out by Bassong but fell to Bent, who finished at the second attempt from a tight angle after Harper had saved his initial effort.
Spurs fans taunted Shearer, who remained stony-faced as he had before the goal.
There were worrying scenes just after the half-hour mark when Michael Dawson landed heavily and was carried off on a stretcher with his ankle strapped up.
It looked serious and Redknapp got up from the dug-out to console his centre-back.
The stoppage did not break Spurs' momentum, though, and they were unfortunate not to add a second when Modric's shot deflected off Bassong on the line for Harper to claim easily, with the Newcastle defender knowing little about his part in denying a goal.
Bent also cleared the crossbar with a header just before the break, with Newcastle struggling to hold on.
Centre-back Steven Taylor was replaced at half-time by Alan Smith and the substitution did little to tighten Shearer's defence, with a last-ditch tackle needed from Habib Beye on Keane after Bassong failed to deal with a high ball.
Huddlestone tried to find his range with a couple of first-half efforts and one of his free-kicks after the restart struck Bassong straight between the legs.
The French defender recovered and bravely blocked Modric's shot when Keane laid the ball back to the Croatia playmaker.
Shearer's response was to bring on Martins and Mark Viduka, with Nolan and Carroll making way. The two replacements joined Owen in a three-man attack.
Martins had the ball in the net with a slick finish but Mark Halsey whistled for handball against the Nigeria striker.
Then Martins went over in the penalty area with seven minutes to go under a Jonathan Woodgate challenge, but Halsey waved play on.
Martins also blasted over in the dying moments during his exciting cameo.
|Tottenham Hotspur||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|4||Shots on Target||3|
|5||Shots off Target||5|
Barclays Premier League
|5||West Ham United||18||31|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||18||17|
|16||Queens Park Rangers||18||17|