Carroll's bustle allows Toon to break even
Newcastle Utd 1
BAD-tempered, vicious and vindictive this match may have been -- competitive the managers called it -- but for Andy Carroll it was a dream.
Overcoming an ankle injury, the big man again spearheaded the Newcastle attack, revelling in the physical stuff and cancelling out Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's opener with a delightful run and header for his fourth goal in two games.
True, he missed a sitter in the second half, and was booked for claiming his shot had been deflected (it wasn't), but as he disappeared down the tunnel he would have reflected on another good day's work.
The Wolves back four, who would have been a relieved bunch when Carroll was substituted after 81 minutes, should meanwhile buy their goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann a beer. The American saved Kevin Nolan's volley from close range in the second half. It would have been a worthy winner.
Rather than relief, the over-riding emotion from the Wolves supporters was fury after Stuart Attwell failed to grant their side a second-half penalty. James Perch could conceivably have nicked the ball a second before taking Matt Jarvis' legs away in the area, in which case it was a corner. The other option was a penalty. Attwell went with a goal-kick -- another indication that the 27-year-old referee is out of his depth.
It had been a grim start, Ebanks-Blake hitting the post with a header from a corner, although he was given an opportunity to make amends in the 43rd minute, when Jelle Van Damme found the striker in the area. Ebanks-Blake dealt with Perch in the air, before volleying past Steve Harper.
Alas for Wolves, Carroll's diagonal run through the box to intercept Joey Barton's 62nd-minute free-kick was not picked up, and he was left with a free-header past Hahnemann.
Despite the draw, when the Wolves players attacked their cornflakes this morning they will have done so in the knowledge that are in the top four.
Manager Mick McCarthy, though, was typically composed. "You see the league before a ball is kicked, and we're bottom," he said. "So I don't care where we are now." (©Daily Telegraph, London)