Taylor helps Magpies steal a point

BY foxsports • March 16, 2009

Steven Taylor grabbed a crucial equaliser but Newcastle were still pushed towards relegation by Hull following a 1-1 draw at the KC Stadium. The Magpies are in deep trouble at the wrong end of the Premier League table but their plight could have been worse had Taylor not replied to the inspirational Geovanni's early effort on Saturday. Newcastle now face Arsenal and Chelsea in the next fortnight and their top-flight status is looking precarious as they are only level on points with third-from-bottom Stoke City, who have a much easier run-in. Chris Hughton remains in caretaker charge in the continued absence of Joe Kinnear and the club have won only one of their last 11 games. They were at least buoyed by the return of Michael Owen after five games out with an ankle injury but the striker had a quiet comeback and was withdrawn after 72 minutes. Hull were certainly happier to take a draw and inch another point closer to their survival target. The Yorkshire side were allowed to dominate the opening half-hour as Newcastle continually gifted Brazilian playmaker Geovanni space to attack. The former Barcelona player threatened from early on with a tricky run into the box but Fabricio Coloccini covered. Bernard Mendy also had an opening on the right but, after initially getting the better of Jose Enrique, the Newcastle left-back recovered and blocked. Hull grabbed the lead in the ninth minute after a swift counter-attack started and finished by Geovanni. His spat with manager Phil Brown after being substituted a fortnight ago consigned to the past, Geovanni relished the chance to break from inside his own half after a Newcastle attack broke down. He powered forward to release Craig Fagan down the left and then continued his run into the box to head firmly past Steve Harper after being picked out by a fine return cross. It was his seventh goal for Hull since his summer move from Manchester City but his first since playing against his former club in November. Obafemi Martins curled a shot just over as Newcastle tried to respond but a wide-open Geovanni caught the visitors out again, only to deliver a poor cross. Fagan, who has history with Newcastle after his leg was broken in the reverse fixture last September, was booked for confronting Steven Taylor following a clash between the pair. Geremi was also given a yellow card moments later for a foul on Kamil Zayatte. Sebastien Bassong then clashed with Hull goalkeeper Matt Duke in a scrappy passage of play. But Hull retained the upper hand and Geovanni won a free-kick on the edge of the area after being clipped by Geremi. His curling effort looked to have Harper beaten but it just drifted wide of the post. Newcastle levelled against the run of play seven minutes before half-time when Nicky Butt crossed and Taylor flicked a well-controlled volley over Duke from the near post. Daniel Cousin had a chance to restore Hull's lead before the break but shot well wide and Fagan also fired over with an overhead kick. Newcastle appeared to tighten up early in the second half and Brown changed things for Hull by swapping Cousin for Manucho. Martins had a good chance on the volley for the Magpies but Hull skipper Ian Ashbee blocked. Manucho, buoyed by his late winner at Fulham, was quickly into the action and forced Harper to save low down after being fed by Mendy. A good run by Geremi then allowed Martins to set up Jonas Gutierrez but the Argentinian curled his effort over. Martins had another chance after getting ahead of Sam Ricketts but he could not make firm contact with a shot as Duke closed him down. But Newcastle switched off again and Mendy should have punished them after breaking clear down the right. Manucho was unmarked in the box but the Frenchman badly mishit his cross and a relieved Harper was able to gather. Hull appeared to settle for a point as the clock wound down and they spent most of the closing stages defending. Newcastle pressed but were unable to find a way through and, with their difficult run-in ahead, only time will tell if the draw proves good enough.


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