Dramatic draw in Howe’s first game in charge
Eddie Howe may not have been present for his first game in charge of the Magpies due to Covid restrictions on Saturday, but he will be well aware of the task he faces to turn things around following a dramatic afternoon at St James’ Park.
With Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones deputising in the dug under instruction from the head coach, the Howe era got off to a flying start when Lascelles headed home to the delight of the Toon faithful. That joy was to last for less than two minutes as former Newcastle striker Ivan Toney made it 1-1, Toon keeper Darlow will doubtless have been disappointed with his attempt to prevent the goal.
Just after the half-hour mark Brentford turned the game on its head when Canos crossed for Henry to give the visitors the lead with a powerful header.
Sic minutes before half-time the scores were level once more when Joelinton scored with a low drive after Saint-Maximin’s initial strike had been blocked.
The second half was not as frenetic as the opening 45 minutes but it wasn’t short of drama. Having started the half on top, the home side fell behind against the run of play when Lascelles deflected Onyenka’s strike past his own keeper.
Newcastle didn’t allow their heads to drop after the setback and were rewarded with 19 minutes to go when substitute Ryan Fraser’s deep cross picked out Saint-Maximin to make it 3-3. The best chances to win the game in the closing stages fell to the home team but they couldn’t find a 4th goal and so had to settle for a point.
While there were certainly positives to take from the performance, the defensive issues highlight the problems that have plagued their season so far. Elsewhere a win for Norwich means that Newcastle drop to the bottom of the Premier League table and Watford’s win at home to Manchester United leaves Newcastle 5 points behind 4th-bottom Leeds United who are yet to play this weekend.
Newcastle have failed to win any of their 12 league games to date this season and face a tricky trip to Arsenal next weekend before back-to-back home games against fellow strugglers Norwich City and Burnley.