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Thursday 26 April 2018

Wasteful Toon are pegged back by Burnley

Newcastle 1 Burnley 1

Newcastle United’s Jamaal Lascelles scores his side’s only goal of the game during the Premier League clash with Burnley at St James’ Park last night
Newcastle United’s Jamaal Lascelles scores his side’s only goal of the game during the Premier League clash with Burnley at St James’ Park last night

Goalkeeper Karl Darlow's late own goal denied struggling Newcastle a first Premier League win at St James' Park since October as Burnley struck late to snatch a 1-1 draw.

Sam Vokes' close-range header went in off Darlow via the crossbar with five minutes remaining to cancel out Jamaal Lascelles 65th-minute opener, on a night when the main focus off the pitch on Tyneside was Leicester striker Islam Slimani's proposed loan switch.

However, the Magpies' lack of firepower was cruelly exposed once again as Joselu wasted a first-half penalty and a series of other opportunities to fire his side away from the relegation zone.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche was left to bemoan a first-half penalty decision which did not go his way and a disallowed goal, and will feel his team was worth at least a point.

Fans at the Gallowgate End of St James' Park made their feelings about owner Mike Ashley abundantly clear ahead of kick-off when they held up a banner quoting former manager Kevin Keegan's assertion that the club is bigger than any one man.

But it was their team which made the better of the early running and impressive loan signing Kenedy came desperately close to marking his debut with the opening goal when he stepped outside two challenges before unleashing a 17th-minute shot which goalkeeper Nick Pope managed to turn on to a post before claiming Christian Atsu's weak follow-up.

Geordie hearts were in mouths seven minutes later when Jack Cork fell over a prone Paul Dummett inside the box sparking concerted, but unanswered, penalty appeals and Ashley Barnes was aggrieved to see a strike ruled out for a push on Lascelles.

The home side should have been ahead four minutes later when full-back Phil Bardsley scythed Kenedy down inside the penalty area as he ran on to Mikel Merino's pass and referee Simon Hooper pointed straight to the spot, but Joselu's side-footed effort was easily saved by Pope as he dived to his left.

The Clarets keeper came to the rescue once again six minutes before the break when he palmed away Ciaran Clark's bullet header from another Kenedy cross, but Barnes whistled a long-range effort just wide in stoppage time as play switched rapidly from end to end.

Joselu's luck did not improve after the break when he headed over from Kenedy's early corner, but it was the home side who broke the deadlock with 65 minutes gone when Lascelles timed his run to perfection to glance another Kenedy corner past the helpless Pope.

Joselu might have wrapped up the points 17 minutes from time when he collected substitute Jacob Murphy's cross but dragged his shot inches wide.

And Newcastle were made to pay when defender Kevin Long helped on a corner for Vokes, whose initial header was turned on to the bar by Darlow but the ball rebounded off the keeper and into the net.

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