Premier League - Lennon goal denies Newcastle

Sat, 22 Jan 16:58:00 2011

Tottenham Hotspur fought back to claim a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United at St James' Park in an exciting Premier League clash.

Fabricio Coloccini fired the Magpies ahead on the hour mark of a match with plenty of chances at both ends, before Aaron Lennon grabbed a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser.

Securing that late point sees Spurs draw level with fourth-placed Chelsea, ahead of the Blues' trip to Bolton on Monday, and Newcastle move up to eighth above Stoke City on goal difference.

Lennon, who hit the late winner in Tottenham's comeback victory over Liverpool back in November, scored his third goal of the season to salvage a point, the 17th Spurs have recouped from losing positions this season.

Andy Carroll was again missing for Newcastle as he continues to recover from a thigh injury, so Leon Best and Shola Ameobi comprised the Magpies' attack.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp made four changes, with reserve goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, former Newcastle midfielder Jermaine Jenas, striker Jermain Defoe and debutant Steven Pienaar all coming into the side.

Not long into the match Redknapp was forced to make another change after Gareth Bale, playing at left-back behind Pienaar, picked up an injury. Sebastien Bassong came on in his stead after just 11 minutes.

None of the last 21 league meetings between these two sides had finished as a draw, so it was no surprise to see chances at both ends in an open encounter.

Defoe fired wide early on before Ameobi sent a pair of strikes into the stand behind Cudicini's goal.

Both sides edged closer to an opener, with Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper doing well to force Defoe wide after a fortunate rebound put the England forward through on goal before Best's looping effort hit the bar at the other end.

Harper was called into action again in the final act of the half as Spurs were in the ascendant. Pienaar found Rafael van der Vaart on the edge of the area and the Dutchman flicked a delightful backheel into Defoe's path, but Harper was equal to the strike.

The pattern remained much the same in the second half. Best headed wide and had a shot blocked in the first few minutes after the restart while Jenas fired wide and Pienaar was denied by a well-timed tackle by Coloccini.

Just moments after that challenge, Coloccini made an even bigger contribution at the other end.

The Argentine defender took a long diagonal ball on his chest, got past Alan Hutton and fired in a strike that Cudicini could not keep out despite getting a hand to it.

Spurs fought back, with Lennon forcing a near-post stop from Harper and Luka Modric crashing an effort off the crossbar, but they struggled to find a way through the Newcastle backline despite hogging the possession for extended periods.

In fact, Newcastle looked likely to score a second, and Cudicini had to make a block when one-on-one with substitute Peter Lovenkrands before tipping an Ameobi effort over the bar.

However, the introduction of Crouch added another dimension to Spurs' play, and it paid dividends in the first of four added minutes. The tall forward's flick-on found Defoe, who played the ball out to Lennon on the left. The winger cut inside and skipped across the box before firing in a clinical low drive into the near bottom corner to grab a share of the points.

Tony Mabert / Eurosport

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