Newcastle United 0 Middlesbrough 0

Last updated : 27 April 2005 By Footymad Previewer
It was honours even for the second time this season in the Tyne-Tees derby in what was arguably the most dreadful match seen at St James' Park for many seasons.

Quite simply, both sides were woeful, unimaginative, boring and never looked like scoring.

The jeers at the final whistle told the full story of a clash that lacked both passion and commitment.

Newcastle, incredibly, started with only Alan Shearer up front as they looked to end a run of five successive defeats.

Shearer created yet more club history, as the Premiership's highest scorer became United's record Premiership appearance holder - his 268th outing enough to overtake his big pal Robert Lee.

Szilard Nemeth caught United on a break down the right in the second minute and pulled the ball back for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who failed to trouble Shay Given.

United created nothing until the 20th minute when a Shearer flick was volleyed into the ground by James Milner, presenting Boro shot-stopper Brad Jones with a simple save.

There was the worrying sight of the fit again Kieron Dyer feeling his troublesome hamstring after 28 minutes and those fears were recognised when the England midfielder limped off forlornly seven minutes later - surely a signal his season is now over.

Within seconds of Shola Ameobi's arrival Newcastle won the first corner of the game and the substitute glanced his header wide.

The second half started no better than the instantly forgettable first 45 minutes until Boro were presented with a great 52nd-minute opportunity.

Robbie Elliott was beaten by the bounce allowing Ray Parlour to break on the right and pull the ball back to Nemeth lurking on the edge of the area, but he directed a first-time effort just wide of Given's far post.

Three minutes later Hasselbaink missed the chance of the match when clean through on goal. He tried to chip Given, only to play the ball straight at the keeper for what was Boro's first and only effort on target.

Newcastle hit back with three corners in quick succession, the last of which finally brought some response from the subdued home fans when Charles N'Zogbia curled Milner's cross into the side netting.

Jones had little to do for Boro before pulling off a stunning reflex save to deny Milner after 75 minutes. A cross dropped invitingly just inside the box for the former Leeds youngster and he could not have hit the ball more sweetly, but the Australian managed to turn the ball away.

Newcastle should have won it in the last of the five minutes added on when Shearer broke on the right and crossed for N'Zogbia who, with the goal all but at his mercy, fired over.