Nobby spares blushes
Carlisle United 1, Newcastle United 1
Nobby Solano rescued Newcastle United today with an injury-time equaliser against League One outfit Carlisle United.
Sam Allardyce was thankful for his South American star after the Cumbrians came close to inflicting a pre-season defeat in the Newcastle managerÃ¢ÂÂs second game in charge.
Joey Barton captained Newcastle today at Brunton Park with Shay Given and Shola Ameobi rested and Michael Owen out with a thigh injury.
However, despite the lack of England star Owen Newcastle still started brightly and created a few chances.
On six minutes Obafemi Martins struck a left-footer from the right but keeper Kieran Westwood tipped it wide of his right-hand post.
Newcastle came forward again on 22 minutes when Nicky Butt clipped in a right-wing cross with Barton heading powerfully at goal, but Westwood was equal to it.
Two minutes later Martins received the ball from Stephen Carr on the left and dribbled his way through but his left-footed effort could only brush the side netting.
And just five minutes before the break an effort from Andy Carroll went the wrong side of the post in a goalless first half in Cumbria.
Yet there would be goal action in the second period when Carlisle grabbed a shock lead.
Just 11 minutes had elapsed after the restart when Michael Bridge-Wilkinson crossed from the left with Danny Livesey heading firmly past Steve Harper with the Toon keeper rooted to the spot.
Unsurprisingly the second half was constantly interrupted by a series of substitutions by both sides which prevented either team being able to build up any flowing moves.
On 64 minutes though NewcastleÃ¢ÂÂs debutant Geremi fired in a free kick from 30 yards which flashed just past the post.
Three minutes later there were interruptions again, this time after an attempted pitch invasion by two supporters which caused another minor delay.
Newcastle looked to be heading for an embarrassing pre-season defeat until a left-wing cross deep into stoppage time fell for Peruvian Solano who chested it down on the corner of the box before firing over the top of keeper Westwood to spare the blushes of 3,000 Toon fans.
Newcastle United: Harper (Krul), Carr (Bertram), Rozehnal (Huntington), Ramage (Francis), NÃ¢ÂÂZogbia, Dyer (Troisi), Barton (Lough), Solano, Butt (Geremi), Carroll, Martins (LuaLua).
Subs (not used): Milner, Forster.
Referee: Mike Pike