Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Defensive Lapse Denies Toon Win

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Defensive Lapse Denies Toon Win

Article excerpt

Byline: By Miles Starforth

It didn't take Craig Bellamy long to silence those Charlton Athletic fans baiting him.

The Newcastle United striker capped a trying week with a rare headed goal that John Barnes would have been proud of in front of those south Londoners who had been all too quick to remind him of England's win over Wales at Old Trafford.

But Bellamy, restored to his favoured role alongside Alan Shearer for the visit to The Valley, didn't get the satisfaction that three points would have given him after a difficult fortnight's international football.

Two points gained or a point lost? Probably a bit of both.

United looked in control at the interval, and Graeme Souness' stressed to his players at half-time the importance of dealing with a Charlton fightback before pushing on with their own game.

But six minutes into the half the Addicks were level, and frustratingly for Newcastle it came from a ball that nine times out of 10 would have been cut out before it rung any alarm bells.

One thing which has largely been missing from United's Premiership revival has been clean sheets, and another went begging yesterday.

But once Kevin Lisbie's deflected shot had levelled the scores, Graeme Souness wasn't thinking of settling for the point as the introduction of Shola Ameobi, Laurent Robert and finally James Milner was to demonstrate.

Robert helped Newcastle back into the game against Birmingham City at St Andrews just over two weeks ago, and he was denied a goal himself against Charlton by a Luke Young block.

The Frenchman had replaced Darren Ambrose, surprisingly handed a start ahead of Robert or Milner with Patrick Kluivert having lost his battle to be fit for the first of United's six trips to the capital this season.

Ambrose, who has hardly kicked a ball in anger this season having picked up an injury in the pre-season friendly against Rangers, would have liked to have seen more of the ball but he got up and down in a way Robert rarely does away from home. …

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