Newcastle United recover from abject 45 minutes to claim point as Andy Carroll makes comeback
The striker, re-signed on transfer deadline day last month, was a late substitute in this evening’s goalless draw.
Steve Bruce’s side – who had been booed by some fans at the break after a dismal first 45 minutes – had their best spell after the introduction of fit-again Carroll and Allan Saint-Maximin at St James’s Park, where the game was watched by a crowd of 43,316.
Brighton had the better start, They got down the flanks and caused problems for United in the first 20 minutes. The ball kept coming back Newcastle, who struggled to break out of their own half.
Miguel Almiron, still looking for his first goal, shot directly at Mat Ryan during a brief United foray into the visiting half.
Newcastle stood off Brighton, and Bruce changed to a flat back four as the half-hour mark approached. Steven Alzate had a goal ruled out for offside, and Joelinton should have done better for United with the free header he put wide from a corner.
The half, somehow, ended goalless, and there were boos from disgruntled home fans at the break.
Bruce sent out an unchanged side for the second half, but he did change the formation. Bruce reverted back to a 5-4-1 formation. Jonjo Shelvey – who didn’t get on the ball enough – tried his luck from distance, but the momentum was still with Brighton.
The crowd tried to lift the team, and Bruce sent on Saint-Maximin and Ki Sung-yueng in the 73rd minute.
Fabian Schar brilliantly cleared a shot from substitute Aaron Connolly off the line, and Newcastle attempted to take the game to Brighton in the last 15 minutes.
Then came Carroll, who replaced Willems for the last 10 minutes. United pushed for a winner, but Brighton held on.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Willems (Carroll, 82); Almiron (Saint-Maximin, 73), Hayden, Shelvey (Ki, 73), Atsu; Joelinton. Subs not used: Darlow, Krafth, Fernandez, Muto.
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION: Ryan, Webster, Dunk, Burn, Stephens, Propper, Alzate, Montoya, Mooy (Connolly, 70), Gross (Bissouma, 82), Maupay (Bong, 82). Subs not used: Butto, Duffy, Murray, Baluta.