Owen Saves 'Half A Season'!

Last updated : 27 August 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor

COVENTRY: Marshall, Hall, Ward, Dann, Fox, Beuzelin (Doyle 63), Mifsud, Gunnarsson, Tabb (Simpson 88), McKenzie (Gray 74),Morrison.

Subs Not Used: Ireland, Turner, Thornton, Clarke.

NEWCASTLE: Given, Beye, Coloccini, Bassong, Jose Enrique, Milner, Geremi (Owen 75), Butt, Guthrie, N'Zogbia, Gutierrez.

Subs Not Used: Harper, Taylor, Edgar, Tozer, Donaldson, Ranger.

Att: 19,249

Owen calmly slotted home an extra-time winner from the most exquisite of cross-field passes from Jose Enrique, to take us through to the next round of the Carling Cup.

This is a competition that the Mags have yet to win, and we only have one final appearance (1976) to record since the League Cup was formed.

But who's to say Kevin Keegan will not return to Wembley in March, the place he remembers - not for Newcastle glory - but his stint as England boss?

We got through on merit, but we could have done without Scott Dann's stoppage-time leveller to send the game into extra-time.

I'm sure Owen was pleased for the run-out, introduced as a substitute with 15 minutes remaining of normal time, and it represented another 30 minutes fitness and another goal to his name.

The England forward stole the show, speeding past a static Coventry defence and chipping Andy Marshall to give us a victory that eneded up being hard fought after Charles N'Zogbia and James Milner put us in the comfort zone.

Keegan, and the fans, saw plenty of positives ... but I'm sure the negatives in defence will get priority at the next team meeting.

The two goals they did score could easily have been doubled without much effort if we had a recognised striker in the side, but let's not dwell on it because that was not the fault of players or manager.

Coventry produced hustle and bustle, but the Magpies were the class.

Yet for all the talk of signings, there is as much speculation about those who may leave, and James Milner is obviously top of the list with Aston Villa still probing.

He was a constant thorn in Coventry's side, and everything positive in attack came from him, playing a major role in both Toon goals.

The first came as a result of Milner's burst of pace down the left, which caught Coventry napping, allowing the former Leeds man to send a low cross towards the near post which Charles N'Zogbia, without a goal since last September, to squeeze home.

Milner scored the second himself, although it was hardly one of his finest as Marshall's hesitation allowed the cross-shot to skip through the Coventry defence and into the far corner.

In first half injury time Jay Tabb failed to collect Clinton Morrison's square pass, the ball bounced back to the Republic of Ireland hit-man, whose well-struck shot hit the net just as the stadium announcer was confirming one additional minute to be added on.

Owen's introduction for Geremi eventually came 15 minutes from time in a bid to quell the head of steam Coventry were starting to build up.

But Newcastle could not survive one more bomb from Aron Gunnarsson, whose long throws had been a problem all night.

And with the contest deep in injury time, Dann leapt highest to power the tie into an extra half hour. Little did the defender know it but he was playing right into Owen's hands.

Coventry came desperately close at the end through Robbie Simpson before Elliott Ward's header crashed back off the bar, kept trying until the end.

But Owen was the matchwinner, much to the joy of the travelling Toon Army.