Premier League: West Ham 0 Newcastle 0
By Football News
Newcastle remain in a relegation battle after a 0-0 draw against West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday.
Alan Pardew's men failed to break down a physical West Ham side and sit just above the drop zone.
West Ham have Winston Reid to thank as his excellent chase and goal-line clearance in the first half denied Newcastle the victory.
After last week’s 6-0 home humiliation against Liverpool, Pardew brought Hatem Ben Arfa and club captain Fabricio Coloccini into the side.
However, Moussa Sissoko missed his first game for the club following his January move from Toulouse due to an ankle injury - a blow for Newcastle as they looked for their first win in four games.
Sam Allardyce had no new injury worries and was able to welcome Joe Cole back into the squad, with Andy Carroll once again leading the line on his own.
Newcastle, who began the day in 17th place, started the brighter of the sides, but the first chance fell to the home team as Mohamed Diame blasted over the bar.
Although West Ham had more possession, it was the midfield five of Newcastle who posed more of a threat and Ben Arfa put a free-kick just over the bar from 30 yards after Matt Jarvis had fouled Steven Taylor.
Newcastle continued to press and nearly opened the scoring midway through the first half when Papiss Cisse was put through.
His shot slipped past the onrushing Jussi Jaaskelainen, but Winston Reid chased back and cleared it off the line. Cisse was furious but replays showed the officials had got the decision right.
The incident spurred the away side on, and Ben Arfa forced a good save from Jaaskelainen after a 40-yard run through the West Ham midfield.
West Ham United were unable to get close to their opponents during the half and committed numerous fouls to the annoyance of their former boss Pardew.
The second half started in a much more frantic manner, with England international Carroll going close for the home side before Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye fizzed a 20-yard effort just past the post.
The game then slowed down again, but West Ham had two quick-fire chances to take the lead soon after.
First, former Newcastle player Kevin Nolan forced Rob Elliot into a point-blank save, before Elliot again made a great stop to deny Jarvis with the ball flying towards the top corner.
The game then came alive and Yoan Gouffran nearly capitalised on some hesitation from Jaaskelainen to score for Newcastle, but his effort went straight across the face of the goal.
Carroll then forced Elliot into another smart save having turned away from his marker inside the penalty area.
Substitute Shola Ameobi looked bright when he came on and immediately caused problems for the defence as his drilled shot went just past the post.
West Ham pushed forward late in the game and brought Joe Cole on for his first appearance since injury, but Newcastle held firm.
The result means that Newcastle stay firmly in contention for the drop, while West Ham continue to push for a top-ten finish.