Harper grateful for 'bit of luck'

BY foxsports • September 18, 2012

Newcastle keeper Steve Harper was thankful for his stroke of luck as his side drew 2-2 at Everton in Monday night's Premier League clash.

Harper turned Victor Anichebe's goalbound header onto the underside of the crossbar and it bounced down, seemingly over the line, before Mike Williamson cleared.

The goal was not given and though Anichebe later put the Toffees 2-1 up, Newcastle substitute Demba Ba equalised with his second goal of the match.

Asked about the controversial goal-line decision, Harper told Sky Sports 1: "It was behind me. I genuinely though I'd saved it but apparently it was over the line.

"You're taught never to give it up and I didn't, and we went and scored at the other end so I'm pleased.

"I got a hand on it and got a bit of luck - you need a bit of that, I didn't have much luck with the two goals so what goes around comes around."

The Magpies had been beaten 3-1 at Goodison Park on the final day of last season and a repeat looked on the cards when Leighton Baines' goal rewarded the hosts' first-half dominance.

Ba, who admitted he was "not happy" to be left on the bench, was introduced at the interval and equalised for the first time within four minutes.

He grabbed a predatory second in the last minute to prove his point to manager Alan Pardew, who admitted: "Sometimes players play better when they're angry.

"I can't keep everyone happy in this squad, there are still one or two who aren't happy."

And the Senegal striker told Sky Sports 1: "It was good to get a draw because it was difficult.

"Last season here it was very difficult and tonight the first half was the same, but the second half was very different."

Harper agreed: "It's a fantastic point, we were well beaten here in May.

"The manager was not pleased at half-time, and rightly so, but we've got Demba on the bench and he came on and made a difference.

"At 2-1 down we were disappointed but the spirit in our squad is fantastic and when you've got Demba, Papiss and Hatem's quality, you've always got a chance."