Still no win

Last updated : 21 September 2003 By FootyMad

Newcastle United have made a disappointing start to the season and it continued as Bolton Wanderers held them to a frustrating goalless draw at St James' Park.

The Magpies dominated the game but found Bolton, who sat deep in defensive numbers, difficult to break down and when chances did come United's way they failed to capitalise.

The returning Jonathan Woodgate shored up Newcastle's defence but Bolton still had chances to steal the points.

Newcastle were unlucky not to take a second minute lead when Gary Speed crashed a header off Jussi Jaaskelainen's crossbar from a Laurent Robert free-kick.

With ten minutes gone Kevin Nolan shot wide for Bolton but United made the early running, rallied by a crowd desperate for a first Premiership win of the season.

After Shay Given had made a fine low save from Jay-Jay Okocha's 25-yard free-kick in the 14th minute, Wanderers were very much on the back foot and forced to defend several raids on their box.

United's best chance of the half fell to skipper and talisman Alan Shearer who latched on to a long punt forward from Andy Griffin, but Bruno N'Gotty managed to get himself level with the former England skipper and prevent him from adding to his five-goal tally.

After the break Shearer sent a Robert cross over the bar and he was in the thick of things again ten minutes into the half when he nodded a hopeful ball forward into Nolberto Solano's path, but Simon Charlton threw himself in the way of the shot.

As United pushed on Titus Bramble, still looking for his first goal for Newcastle, saw his header from Craig Bellamy's cross hit the crossbar.

The Magpies continued to turn the screw while Bolton's best chances came on the break and from set-pieces.

Sir Bobby Robson brought on fresh legs in the shape of Shola Ameobi and Jermaine Jenas in the 78th minute and the substitutions almost paid dividends seconds later when Ameobi narrowly failed to convert a rebound from a Shearer free-kick.

An off-key Kieron Dyer then almost turned in a low Ameobi centre at the near post before Sam Allardyce brought on Per Frandsen with three minutes left and attempted to run down the clock.

Wanderers held on to record their third successive clean sheet and take their first ever Premiership point at St James' Park.