Belfast Telegraph

Late Lennon strike saves Spurs

Aaron Lennon got Tottenham out of jail as Newcastle saw victory snatched from their grasp in injury-time once again as the two teams recorded a 1-1 draw.

The England winger smashed home a 91st-minute equaliser as Spurs' sustained assault finally paid dividends, replicating Sunderland's last-gasp equaliser against the Magpies last week.

Newcastle looked to have won it when defender Fabricio Coloccini fired home a stunning 59th-minute opener and substitute Nile Ranger could have killed the game off before Lennon's late intervention.

The visitors started at a high tempo and lone striker Jermain Defoe whipped a third-minute shot across Steve Harper's goal after goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, deputising for the injured Heurelho Gomes, had sparked a lightning attack with an early throw to Lennon.

Gareth Bale, who lined up at left-back with new signing Steven Pienaar taking over ahead of him, lasted just 11 minutes before limping off to be replaced by Tyneside old boy Sebastien Bassong and Newcastle started to find their groove as Shola Ameobi failed to hit the target with two half-chances and Leon Best struck the crossbar.

Spurs finished the first half with a flurry, and almost went in front when Rafael van der Vaart flicked Pienaar's pass into the path of Defoe - but Harper spread himself to make a vital block.

Newcastle returned in determined mood, with Best proving a handful in the opening minutes of the second half, heading wide from a Jonas Gutierrez cross and seeing a shot blocked.

The home side took the lead with 59 minutes gone when Coloccini controlled Danny Guthrie's cross on his chest before smashing a shot past Cudicini.

Harper had his crossbar to thank for denying Luka Modric a 76th-minute equaliser, then substitute Nile Ranger wasted a glorious opportunity to secure victory in the final minute of normal time.

The miss proved costly in injury time when Lennon cut inside and blasted a right-foot shot past Harper to earn the visitors a point.


From Belfast Telegraph