Newcastle 2-2 Tottenham

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
Tootenham striker Jermain Defoe
Defoe proved to be Tottenham's super-sub at St James' Park

Shola Ameobi came off the bench to score as Newcastle maintained their unbeaten start to the season by drawing with Tottenham.

Rafael van der Vaart opened the scoring from the spot after Steven Taylor was judged to have brought down Emmanuel Adebayor.

Demba Ba equalised for Newcastle from close range before substitute Jermain Defoe fired in low to put Spurs ahead.

Newcastle owners deserve credit - Pardew

But Ameobi won a point for Newcastle when he struck in from the angle.

It was an outstanding strike by the substitute who was played in by a cute flick from Ryan Taylor.

The equaliser came four minutes from normal time although both the home side and the visitors could have take away all three points in a frenetic final five minutes.

Defoe twice had a chance to score, but his first shot was brilliantly blocked by Taylor before the follow-up was palmed away by Tim Krul.

And in stoppage time, Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini had a chance to become a hero but he fired wide after turning inside the six-yard area.

The finale was in stark contrast to a rather subdued first half during which Newcastle were content to contain the visitors.

The home side's disciplined approach was working a treat until five minutes before half-time, when they made an error.

Cabaye had the ball poked from his possession by Jake Livermore and Adebayor ran on to the loose ball before he was clipped by Taylor in the area.

Referee Lee Probert looked at his linesman for guidance before pointing to the spot.

The Magpies ditched their conservative tactics after the break and three minutes into the half they were level.

Argentine Gutierrez left Luka Modric sleeping on the left and got down to the by-line before dinking the ball into the area which was slid in by Ba for his fifth goal in three games.

Harry Redknapp regrets missed chances

However, Spurs, free from their chains, were now also able to play their game.

Adebayor was twice unlucky not to put his side back in front, first screwing a shot an inch wide before Krul cleared just as the Togo striker was about to shoot.

However, a minute later they finally scored the second when Defoe spun in a flash to drill a low strike past the Dutch goalkeeper.

Alan Pardew's men were now 22 minutes from losing their unbeaten record.

Both Cheik Tiote and Ryan Taylor went close when their long-range strikes were saved by Brad Friedel but the American stopper had no chance of saving Ameobi's rocket.

The home-grown striker picked up quick ball from Cabaye and rifled his effort low and hard into the bottom left corner of the Tottenham goal.

The Magpies remain in fourth while Spurs stay sixth in the Premier League table.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew:

"In the second half we created a lot of pressure. Both teams wanted to try and win and that provided great entertainment

"Our reaction to going behind was great. It shows the spirit and character of our group. We have players on the bench who can come on and change the game.

"I'm proud of the players and proud of the staff and pleased for the owners who have taken a lot of criticism. Things take time."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:

"When you are 2-1 up in the 86th minute you are looking for three points.

"This is a tough place to come but we felt comfortable at 2-1 and in a position to finish them off. We thought we could nick another goal.

"We started with Rafa but he looked a bit leggy and Jermaine came on full of beans and grabbed a goal. Both played their part and both scored a goal."

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