Toon Had No 'Plan B'

Last updated : 31 January 2010 By Footy Mad - Editor

LEICESTER CITY: Weale, Morrison, Hobbs, Brown, Berner, Gallagher (Dyer 66), Wellens, King, Oakley, Fryatt (Solano 84), Waghorn (Howard 71).

Subs Not Used: Logan, Neilson, McGivern, N'Guessan.

NEWCASTLE: Harper, Van Aanholt, Williamson, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Guthrie, Smith (Ranger 62), Butt, Routledge, Nolan (Pancrate 75), Carroll.

Subs Not Used: Krul, Hall, Lovenkrands, Gutierrez, Kadar.

Att: 29,067

Newcastle remain unbeaten in the league since losing 2-1 at Scunthorpe on October 20, but the performance lacked any cutting edge, probably due to the number of new players on show.

The pattern of play was set out for Chris Hughton's side to steal a point, and sadly there was no 'Plan B', as the Toon never upped a gear when Leicester lost a man.

Leicester midfielder Ritchie Wellens was sent off for the ninth time in his career on the half-hour mark after picking up his second yellow card of the game for a foul on Wayne Routledge.

Wellens had already been booked after 17 minutes for a misdemeanour on Alan Smith.

But Hughton continued to let his boys sit deep, fill the midfield, and pump the long hopeful ball to Andy Carroll surrounded by Leicester players.

The closest the Magpies came to capitalising on their numerical advantage was when Patrick Van Aanholt forced a save from Chris Weale late in the first half.

The point extended Newcastle's unbeaten league run to 14 matches and saw Chris Hughton's side stretch their lead at the top of the table to four points after nearest rivals Nottingham Forest were beaten 1-0 at Pride Park by Derby earlier in the day.

Steve Harper tipped a shot from Matty Fryatt over the crossbar midway through the first half, while at the other end Weale pushed Van Aanholt's effort round a post.

The Magpies twice went close in quick succession from corners courtesy of headers from Smith and Andrew Carroll.

Kevin Nolan threatened with another headed effort at the start of the second half.

A rare Leicester attack saw on-loan Sunderland striker Martyn Waghorn fire a left-foot shot just wide soon afterwards.

Carroll saw a goalbound effort blocked by Wayne Brown with 10 minutes remaining.

There was a notable moment six minutes from time when Leicester's new signing Nolberto Solano came on as a substitute for his debut.

The Peruvian received a warm reception from both sets of supporters having spent eight years at Newcastle during spells between 1998 to 2004 and 2005 to 2007.

The Magpies continued to push forward and came close to a winning goal in the final minute but Routledge's shot cleared the crossbar.