Is Jones Hiding Under The Bed?

Last updated : 20 December 2009 By Boro Mad


Jones, McMahon, Wheater, Pogatetz, Hoyte,O'Neil, Rhys Williams, Osbourne, Arca (Yeates 66),Lita (Franks 83), Kitson (Bent 46).  Subs Not Used: Coyne, Taylor, Riggott, Luke Williams.

He put in a performance at St James' Park that was ... errrr ... how can I put this ... frightening!

Right in front of a 50,000 crowd (a record for the Championship) and a TV audience of millions, poor Brad showed put in a Muppet performance that will last in the memory.

Marlon Harewood and Shola Ameobi teamed up to fire Newcastle 10 points clear at the top of the Championship, and Boro looking at another no-score performance, trailling the Magpies by 20 points after winning just one of their nine games since Gareth Southgate was sacked.

However, the Teessiders left St James' Park feeling hard done by after appeals for a push in the run-up to Harewood's goal and their claims for a first-half penalty went unanswered by referee Kevin Friend.

In a relatively even contest, the home side took their chances, while the visitors once again lacked the cutting edge to get anything from the game.

Boro started confidently and Leroy Lita headed over from Gary O'Neil's 12th-minute free-kick, but it was the Magpies who took the lead with 16 minutes gone after a challenge by Kitson on Alan Smith 25 yards out.

Ameobi got to Danny Guthrie's free-kick marginally ahead of keeper Brad Jones to head down for Harewood to stab the ball home from close range, with Boro appealing in vain for a push on Emanuel Pogatetz.

But Harper needed the help of the woodwork four minutes later when, after he had parried O'Neil's swerving free-kick, Isaiah Osbourne's scrambled follow-up hit Steven Taylor's arm before coming back off the post and dropping into the keeper's arms.

Jones got away with a glaring error with 54 minutes gone when he blasted a clearance straight at Harewood and saw the ball ricochet just wide of the unguarded net.

The Boro keeper had another let-off seconds later when Harewood failed to convert Jose Enrique's driven cross from point-blank range, and although the Teessiders broke at pace, Lita wasted the opportunity when he fired high and wide from a tight angle.

David Wheater headed across goal from O'Neil's 58th-minute free-kick, but Ameobi was not so wasteful seconds later when he climbed high above Wheater to power home Guthrie's cross.