West Ham 2 Newcastle 2

Last updated : 12 January 2003 By Footymad Previewer

West Ham might have taken flight from bottom spot, as Lee Bowyer's dream of starting their Great Escape with a debut day victory was wrecked by Jermaine Jenas' 80th minute leveller for the Magpies.

"We may be in 19th place but we are disappointed that we have dropped two points," admitted Glenn Roeder. "Lee Bowyer got stronger and stronger and showed that he does not want to play in the comfort zone and that's why he has chosen to come to us in a pressure situation."All eyes had been on Bowyer but he had an uneventful, albeit workmanlike, start to his Hammers career after receiving a mixed reception in his native East End.

Indeed, within just ten minutes the mountainous task facing the controversial England midfielder and his new team-mates was underlined when Newcastle quickly saw the gaps in the home defence.

Shola Ameobi and Jenas carved a swathe through the Hammers rearguard to leave Craig Bellamy with the simply task of tapping home his seventh of the season from six yards.

Within four minutes though West Ham were level when Steve Lomas' long throw found its way to Joe Cole, who held off Andy Griffin to net at the far post.

As an ebbing and flowing first period drew to a close, Jermain Defoe netted his seventh of the season when he collected Lomas' cross at the near post, spun Steve Caldwell and put the Hammers in front on the stroke of half time with a low angled eight-yard shot.

Even then, Clarence Acuna's point-blank shot was saved by David James as the Magpies were denied a stoppage time leveller.

The second half was equally frantic but after West Ham expensively spurned the handful of chances that came their way, Jenas equalised with just ten minutes to go when he let fly with a spectacular 20-yarder that dipped under the right-hand angle of the flying James.

"It was a diplomatic result because neither side deserved to lose," said Sir Bobby Robson. "They still may not have won at home in he league, but I can still see West Ham getting out of trouble."