Carroll to the rescue for Magpies
Andy Carroll salvaged Newcastle a point with a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Swansea.
Last Updated: 13/02/10 6:07pm
Andy Carroll salvaged Championship title-chasing Newcastle a scarcely-deserved point with a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
The striker responded to David Cotterill's excellent opener in South Wales to return his team to the top of the Championship having now played an equal amount of games to rivals West Brom.
For play-off hopefuls Swansea, the result was harsh after Paulo Sousa's men had dominated prior to, and after, Cotterill's superb goal in the 56th minute.
However, Chris Hughton's Newcastle, who had been thumped at Derby in midweek, displayed the hallmark of champions-elect as Carroll equalised in the 87th minute when heading substitute Leon Best's cross.
It was the first goal City have conceded in over six hours but, nevertheless, the point extended their unbeaten run to 12 league games and saw them leapfrog rivals Cardiff into fourth place.
Hughton will be relieved to have snatched a point having already seen his Newcastle side's club-record 15-match unbeaten league run abruptly ended at Pride Park.
Swansea started on the front foot with a succession of corners, but after just four minutes left-back Federico Bessone was forced off with what appeared to be a calf injury.
The hosts dominated possession, but had few chances to show for it, with Andrea Orlandi's 21st-minute free-kick drifting wide.
City's lack of creativity up front almost came back to haunt them soon after as Kevin Nolan, with 10 league goals to his name this season, headed the best chance of the opening half-hour wide.
Swansea were still the dominant force as the interval approached, earning a couple of half-chances, although the Magpies were showing glimpses of their threat going forward.
The Swans started the second half in the same fashion as they started the first, and Nathan Dyer whistled an effort inches wide from around 25 yards as Orlandi and Shefki Kuqi also went close.
Darren Pratley was next to pose a threat before Cotterill finally broke the deadlock with his second goal in the space of a week.
The midfielder received the ball on the edge of the area, feigned to shoot before picking his spot and curling an unstoppable effort into the top corner past a helpless Steve Harper.
Swansea continued to look strong after grabbing the initiative and Ashley Williams wasted a great chance to register a second when he headed well off-target from four yards out.
Newcastle were struggling to create any clear-cut openings for an equaliser, but Carroll was to emerge as their saviour with three minutes of normal time to go.
He showed his striker's instinct to head a late leveller from Best's cross to deny Swansea a first win over their North East opponents in more than 30 years.