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    Newcastle United 0-0 Stoke City Match Report

    By Ryan Carter. Twitter: @TheRyanJCarter.

    Newcastle United and Stoke City shared the points when the two met at St James’ Park in what proved to be a goalless thriller.

    Both sides created a number of fantastic opportunities to score, in an exciting contest which saw near misses and glorious saves.

    A win would have seen Newcastle climb out of the relegation places but Jack Butland’s heroics denied them a crucial victory.

    There was an early scare for the home side in the first half, as Stoke’s former Barcelona star Bojan collected the ball on the right wing and got the better of Paul Dummett.

    The Spaniard then ran into the box but soon went to ground after the player’s heels appeared to be clipped by the boot of Dummett but referee Roger East ignored the penalty cries.

    However if the foul had been given, the right call would have been to award a free-kick, as the contact appeared to be first made outside of the area.

    Newcastle reacted to the close call and pushed forward which almost saw the side rewarded with the game’s opening goal.

    Dummett collected the ball from Gini Wijnaldum and delivered a good cross into the area, where Aleksandar Mitrovic looked destined to head home.

    But Phillipp Wollscheid was on hand to save Stoke from going behind, as his last second interception prevented Newcastle’s Serbian striker from finding the back of the net.

    After some good defending at one end, the away side then went on the attack and produced a fantastic scoring chance themselves.

    Charlie Adam collected the ball on the left and delivered a dangerous ball into the area towards Jonathan Walters.

    But the striker was put off by the attempted clearance of Chancel Mbemba and as a result, failed to connect well enough with the ball.

    The fact this game remained scoreless for so long was somewhat unbelievable, as another great chance again failed to produce the contest’s first goal.

    Moussa Sissoko was given far too much room on the left of the pitch and the Frenchman targeted Mitrovic in the penalty area.

    The Newcastle forward leapt above his marker and headed towards goal but his effort could only find the post.

    Despite such great opportunities falling for both sides, the first half finished goalless and the teams went in at the break knowing they would have to do better in the following 45 minutes.

    The first chances of the second half came from the home side, as an effort from Ayoze Perez on the edge of the area just curled wide of the far post before a Wijnaldum free-kick was well saved by Jack Butland in the Stoke goal.

    But much like the first half, the game was end-to-end and the Potters were creating chances and Newcastle had Rob Elliot to thank for keeping the scores level.

    Walters, who could have so easily scored earlier in the contest, headed the ball at goal from close range but the man called to replace the injured Tim Krul produced a vital save.

    Steve McClaren could only watch on from the sidelines in hope, as his side continued to create chances for themselves but fail to put them away.

    Both Sissoko and Perez had strikes saved brilliantly by Butland, who has been in impressive form this season, while Mbemba saw his headed chance go narrowly wide.

    The players on the pitch were clearly frustrated and frustration was getting the better of some players more than others, as Mitrovic and Wollscheid clashed.

    Newcastle and Stoke players surrounded Roger East as Mitrovic went to ground holding his face after the two exchanged pushes with one another.

    But the referee kept eleven men on the field for each team and chose to instead book the pair for their antics off the ball.

    The Magpies’ Serbian striker is known for two things, his hot-headed actions on the football pitch and his fantastic presence in front of goal and both were on show in this fixture as he came close yet again.

    Mitrovic did well to beat the offside trap and met a cross coming in from the left and aimed his effort towards goal but Butland was again on hand to save Stoke.

    Failure to put the vast array of goal scoring opportunities away looked more and more likely to result in a cruel blow for Newcastle, as the Potters kept on pushing forward.

    Glen Johnson found himself in the area and looked set to pull the trigger and fire his team ahead but he dwelled too long on the ball and saw his chance expertly blocked.

    With less than five minutes to go, Sissoko looked set to finally break the deadlock as he dribbled his way through the Stoke defence and took aim.

    But the Frenchman was denied yet again by Butland, who seemed to be keeping Newcastle out all on his own in the second half.

    The young England goalkeeper then topped his save against Sissoko by producing a stunning reaction save to keep out Jamaal Lascelles’ header from point blank range.

    Lascelles’ effort proved to be the last big chance of the game and it was not taken, meaning the points were shared between the two sides and the hosts remain in the bottom three despite their best efforts on a day Jack Butland was in the form of his life.

    Newcastle’s next test is an away trip to newly promoted Bournemouth for a lunchtime kick off next Saturday, while Stoke play host to a struggling Chelsea side.

    Player Ratings:

    Newcastle United:

    Rob Elliot: 8

    Daryl Janmaat: 7

    Fabricio Coloccini: 7

    Chancel Mbemba: 7

    Paul Dummett: 7

    Cheick Tiote: 7

    Vurnon Anita: 7

    Gini Wijnaldum: 7

    Moussa Sissoko: 8

    Ayoze Perez: 7

    Aleksandar Mitrovic: 9

    Subs: De Jong: 6, Lascelles: 7

    Stoke City:

    Butland: 9, Johnson: 6, Wollscheid: 6, Shawcross: 6, Pieters: 6, Adam: 6, Whelan: 6, Arnautovic: 6, Shaqiri: 6, Bojan: 6, Walters: 7.

    Subs: Afellay: 6, Van Ginkel: 6, Crouch: 5.

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    Item Reviewed: Newcastle United 0-0 Stoke City Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ryan Carter
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