Newcastle Robbed Again, No Dowd About It – West Ham United 0 Newcastle United 0 - Match Report and Reaction

 Newcastle player  Steven Taylor (Google Creative Commons)

Newcastle player Steven Taylor (Google Creative Commons)

Newcastle United are supposedly playing in neutrally-officiated football competitions yet had their SEVENTH wrongly disallowed goal of the season denied yesterday. It was from striker Papiss Cisse in the 25th minute, the 6th time a goal of his has been incorrectly not counted this season. Latching onto a ball from Yohan Cabaye, Cisse’s finish was just over the line yet linesman Matthew Wilkes inexplicably slipped over and failed to see it. It was the 2nd time West Ham have benefited from a wrong decision by a linesman against Newcastle this season. In the corresponding home fixture at St. James’ Park, Demba Ba scored a perfectly good equaliser at The Gallowgate End to cancel out Kevin Nolan’s opener only for it to be denied by a similarly vision-impaired linesman.

If only the controversy ended there yet linesman Wilkes is familiar to Newcastle fans for being the same inept official who overlooked the worst tackle of the season by Wigan’s Callum McManaman on Massadio Haidara. That day he should have been sent off and rightfully banned for the rest of the season due to the severity and reckless nature of the lunge. Instead he scored the vital winning goal yesterday as Wigan beat West Brom 3-2 to claw themselves 3 points closer to safety and Newcastle with a game in hand. Such blatant injustice has been the story of Newcastle’s season and may cost the club its Premier League status. I demand to know why this is happening.

Such incidents make the rest of the game and match report irrelevant. In a football calendar year that has had headlines of European match-fixing alongside cyclist Lance Armstrong being found guilty of taking performance-enhancing drugs and stripped of his titles, there is something going on in the football world. The Premier League is not competed in for small amounts of money, a place in the much-vaunted ‘Best League In The World’ next season is worth tens of millions of pounds to every club that is in it, hundreds of millions of pounds over future seasons. Is it too big a leap of imagination to consider that players, clubs and owners would do anything via fair means or foul to ensure their place in it? Similarly, is it unreasonable to surmise that poorly-paid and much-criticised officials could possibly be in the pay of, and at the bidding of, billionaire owners?

For the record, Newcastle had the best of the play. A reshuffled Alan Pardew line-up saw attackers Yoan Gouffran and Hatem Ben Arfa restored to the starting XI and a return for Captain Fabricio Coloccini. Missing out through injury were Massadio Haidara and Moussa Sissoko while James Perch dropped to the bench. Danny Simpson came in at right-back for the suspended Mathieu Debuchy in a 4-3-3 formation. West Ham lined up in a familiarly robust 4-4-2 with former Newcastle no. 9 Andy Carroll up front with Ricardo Vaz Te and Kevin Nolan just behind them.

After the 6-0 defeat against Liverpool and a week in which many journalists and pundits had poured salt on Newcastle’s wounds resulting in The Daily Telegraph’s ban from the club, the away side’s attacking approach was refreshing as they went in search of 3 points. It contrasted as always with Big Sam Allardyce’s glorified ‘thugby’ approach to the beautiful game being littered with meaty challenges and deserved bookings. Ben Arfa, who had looked bright and inventive, tested Juusi Jaaskelainen after one such challenge on Steven Taylor with a 20-yard free-kick from an acute angle that caught the Finnish keeper, who was expecting a cross, off-guard. West Ham responded through Diame’s blasted shot high and hard over Elliot’s goal at the other end.

The game-changing moment came in the 25th minute. Yohan Cabaye arrowed a perfect pass into Cisse’s path and the Senegalese striker dinked it in past Jaaskelainen with the subtlest of touches. Only linesman Wilkes who had slipped over failed to see it cross the line – just – before defender Winston Reid cleared. Papiss Cisse’s pained reaction told a familiar tale – another perfectly valid goal had been wrongly disallowed.

West Ham came back into it in the second half as Alan Pardew seemed to have accepted a consolation point for his side that might prove crucial. Coloccini was outstanding at the back as West Ham threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Pardew’s Geordie side. A half shout for a penalty was rightly turned down when Coloccini brushed Carroll, the giant Geordie going down far too easily for Refereree Phil Dowd’s liking.

Shola Ameobi replaced Ben Arfa after 65 minutes, offering a target up front to stem the home pressure. The no. 23 cult hero soon dragged a right-foot shot wide that had  Jaaskelainen floundering after an up and under from the back. Gouffran had Newcastle’s best chance of the second period, heading a long ball from Tiote past the onrushing keeper yet his shot from a wide angle flashed agonisingly past the open goal.

West Ham had a final flurry as Andy Carroll went close, Kevin Nolan missed from close range and Robbie Elliot saved excellently from Jarvis yet anything less than a point would have heaped even further injustice on Newcastle who had deserved all three points.

In the words of Alan Pardew via The Daily Mail:

‘We’ve had a legitimate goal chalked off…I thought it was over the line and I saw the linesman slip over and that worried me. I asked the assistant and he told me it wasn’t over, but how could he see? I saw the reaction of the West Ham players and that tells you a lot.’

In a sport in which goals wins games and every point matters, Newcastle are being cheated out of contention. Something must be done and fast.

Man of the Match: Matthew Wilkes

West Ham United (4-4-2) Jaaskelainen; O’Brien, Reid, Collins, Demel (Sub, Taylor, 80) ; O’Neill, Diame, Nolan (c), Jarvis (Sub: Cole, 84); Vaz Te (Sub: Collison, 58), Carroll.

Newcastle United: 4-3-3) : Elliot; Simpson, S.Taylor, Coloccini (c), Yanga-Mbiwa; Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez; Ben Arfa (Sub: Ameobi, 65) Cisse, Gouffran (Gosling, 76).

15 Comments on "Newcastle Robbed Again, No Dowd About It – West Ham United 0 Newcastle United 0 - Match Report and Reaction"

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  1. YerAKnob says:

    You actually took the time to post this bollocks? Never over the line son and you shoulda been hammered 2nd half, numerous penalty decisions turned down.

  2. /Porciestreet says:

    Your name fits you like a glove “SON” Once you’v seen all the angles, it is definitely over the line”son”. Pity your one eye isn’t a good one, bit like the official’s really.

  3. Championship Geordie says:

    Going down going down going down.

    Pardew on an 8 year contract! Jeez what a fuck up.

    At least the best team from Tyneside are staying up, well done Paolo Di Canio.

  4. Jimmy says:

    What a laughably biased report this is. Dowd and his officials were poor all game, missing not one but two strong penalty shouts for West Ham in the second half. I am also concerned for the Newcastle players’ well being; they spent so much time falling over that I feel a bulk order of extra long studs may be necessary for their final two games in the Premiership. It would be such a shame to see the Premiership’s motley foreign region slip out of the division with no more than a toothless whimper….

  5. bubbles says:

    Never over the line … blind as well as stupid. Hope you go down where you belong

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