Middlesbrough 2 Newcastle United 2

Last updated : 14 August 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Newcastle United were unlucky not to take three points from the North-East derby at the Riverside Stadium.

Middlesbrough were rescued by a last-gasp goal from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, one of five summer signings of manager Steve McClaren in a bid for European glory.

Several Newcastle players had gone down with conjunctivitis earlier in the week and manager Sir Bobby Robson had described the match preparation as the worst of his career.

United put a very spirited performance in and their supporters must have been downhearted when they made their way home along the A19 to Tyneside.

Middlesbrough suffered a pre match blow when skipper Gareth Southgate and full-back Franck Queudrue were ruled out through injury.

Nevertheless, the home fans were in confident mood with the introduction of three start names after a hectic signing spree.

Newcastle, however, provided an early shock with Craig Bellamy putting them ahead following a lapse by Chris Riggott.

The former Derby County defender failed to cut out an Aaron Hughes pass and Bellamy pounced on his mistake.

The Welsh international darted forward to round Mark Schwarzer just inside the penalty area and shoot into an empty net.

Alan Shearer put a low diving header past the far post in another Newcastle attack, while George Boateng blazed a shot over the bar for Middlesbrough.

Ray Parlour was a driving force on his Middlesbrough debut, but he was overshadowed by Nicky Butt in the Newcastle engine room.

Butt made an instant impression following his transfer from Manchester United.

There had been a lot of pre-match hype on Middlesbrough with some pundits rashly forecasting they could challenge for the Champions League.

There is a long way to go, though and Boro flattered to deceive in spells.

There was a lack of penetration until second-half substitute Stewart Downing stepped on the field.

Downing - the only homegrown player in a cosmopolitan side - levelled the scores from a Hasselbaink right-wing cross.

The England Under-21 international steadied himself for his shot just outside the six-yard box. Shay Given got a hand to the ball but could not prevent it crossing the line.

Newcastle sent on substitute Shola Ameobi for Laurent Robert. The Frenchman did not look happy with the decision as he left the field, but Ameobi had an almost immediate impact.

He was knocked off the ball by Boudewijn Zenden and the referee immediately awarded a penalty.

Shearer stepped up to blast the ball into the roof of the net for a late 34th birthday present.

Shortly after Shearer made way for Patrick Kluivert. There was a warm handshake for the former Barcelona star.

Kluivert will be a strong rival for a place in attack, but Bellamy and Shearer did sufficient to suggest they will take some dislodging.

Jermaine Jenas missed a gilt-edged chance to put the issue beyond doubt in the closing minutes when he shot wide from close range.

Newcastle paid the penalty when Hasselbaink claimed a debutant goal in the 90th minute.

Zenden hit the ball across the face of the goal and Hasselbaink had an easy chance to score with a three-yard header at the far post, although there was a strong suspicion of handball by the goalscorer.