Stoke City 0 Newcastle United 0
Time on the ball was next to non-existent in the hustle and bustle of the opening exchanges.
And 18 minutes past before Mark Viduka turned Leon Cort to fire a tame shot which was comfortably fielded by Steve Simonsen.
Simonsen was more seriously tested eight minutes later when he dashed from goal to deny Michael Owen, who had burst on to a pass from Viduka.
But Stoke threatened for the first time within seconds as Abdoulaye Faye deflected Ricardo Fuller's shot for a corner. The remainder of a largely cagey first half contained only a modicum of excitement with defences on top.
And it was much the same story at the start of the second half before Newcastle came within inches of breaking the deadlock in the 56th minute.
Charles N'Zogbia swung in a free-kick from the right and Viduka's close-range header hit Simonsen's right-hand post.
Having rode their luck, the Stoke players and fans sensed a shock could be on the cards.
And substitute Jon Parkin will never know how he missed an opportunity just seconds after replacing Mamady Sidibe in the 65th minute.
Fuller presented him with an open goal from six yards, but Parkin's finish smacked against Faye, who managed to scramble the ball off the line.
Stoke continued to press with Richard Cresswell and Parkin having efforts kept out by Shay Given, who was suddenly becoming the busiest player on the field.
And Given needed some good fortune himself when Fuller cracked a shot which took a deflection and sneaked past a post for a corner.
Fuller for Stoke and United substitute Andrew Carroll squandered the final two half chances before referee Steve Bennett called time.