Magpies merit good away point but results elsewhere go against Toon

Last updated : 19 February 2022 By C. Morris

Newcastle deserve draw at top-four chasing Hammers

Newcastle United kicked off the Premier League weekend with a lunchtime kick-off at Champions League chasing West Ham United and the resurgence of the new-look team under Eddie Howe continued with a well-deserved 1-1 draw.

After a fairly even first half-hour the hosts took the lead on 32 minutes when Cresswell’s free-kick was headed powerfully past Dubravka by Craig Dawson. Just as it looked as though the Magpies would go in behind at the break, they found an equaliser in stoppage time. Fraser crossed from the left, Declan Rice failed to clear the ball properly and Joe Willock pounced to deftly steer the ball past Fabianski and just over the goal line, as confirmed by goal line technology. It was Willock’s first goal of the season and a reward for another good all-round display by the midfielder who made such a positive impact on loan last season.

Eddie Howe’s side were worthy of at least the point they came away with as they restricted their hosts to speculative efforts in the second half as the Hammers failed to get anything of note on target in the final 45 minutes. Indeed, had Newcastle shown a bit more composure in the final third they may well have come away with a rare win in the capital.

As it was, the point can be seen as another step on the positive progress that has been made in recent games, though after the 3pm Premier League kick-offs came to an end it didn’t look quite as good as it might have done. That’s because although lowly Norwich were beaten at Anfield, fellow strugglers Burnley and Watford recorded surprise away wins, at Brighton and Aston Villa respectively.

Newcastle remain in 17th place, though they are only two points behind 14th-placed Brentford, who they face in London next weekend. Watford are four points behind Newcastle from the same number of games played, Burnley are a further point back but they have played two games less.