Newcastle United 1-1 Watford: Hornets frustrate Magpies to earn first point of the season
Photo Credit:(Gettyimages/Mark Runnacles)

Newcastle United were held to a 1-1 draw with Watford which was watched on by the lowest crowd at St James' Park since December 2012.

The Magpies had to fight back from a very poor start St James' Park but came out fighting in the second half when they squandered a number of chances.

Story of the game

Watford raced into an early lead through Will Hughes after two minutes.

Newcastle were back on level terms after 41 minutes with Fabian Schar getting his first of the season.

The Hornets were gifted a goal after just two minutes when Tom Cleverly saw his shot take two deflections which saw the ball drop kindly for Hughes to slot home.

However, in a poor first-half, it was a curling effort from Schar that levelled things up.

Schar reacted quickest to the second ball before composing himself and finding the far corner.

The second-half saw a flurry of chances as the Magpies came out the blocks fastest when Sean Longstaff picked out Schar unmarked from a free-kick.

However, the Switzerland international could only guide his header wide of Ben Foster's post from 12-yards out when he should have put the Magpies ahead.

The Magpies kept up the pressure on 57 minutes when Christain Atsu was released down the left-hand side before picking out Miguel Almiron who saw his goalbound effort blocked excellently by Christain kabasele.

Newcastle's second-half flurry of chances continued two minutes later as Isaac Hayden unleashed a thunderbolt from 25-yards out which forced Foster into an excellent save as he tipped it over the bar.

After 68 minutes Jetro Willems played in a delightful low cross which looked to have picked out Atsu but despite the winger's best efforts he could not connect with the cross.

However, after coming on as a substitute Isaac Success caused Newcastle a number of problems with his movement as he peeled away from Jamaal Lascelles and forced Martin Dubravka into a diving save.

There was a chance for the home side to snatch all three points in the 94th minute when Yoshinori Muto flung himself at a cross that just missed his head at the back post.

Takeaways

Both sides struggling offensively 

That was just Watford's second goal in the Premier League this season whereas it was just Newcastle's third of the season.

It was obvious to see that both sides are goal shy at the minute as well as struggling for confidence.

Andre Gray managed just 15 touches during the game today whereas Joelinton did not have any chances at goal today that were not blocked.

If both of these sides are to stay up and be clear of a relegation fight they will need their front men to start scoring the necessary goals.

Injuries beginning to take their toll

Newcastle were having to play players that were carrying knocks and had played three games in a week.

Steve Bruce was limited with options off the bench with a number of players looking exhausted as the game entered added time.

The Magpies will be hoping the international break will allow them to clear the treatment room and give Bruce more options on his bench when they travel to Anfield.

Man of the match - Christian Atsu

The Ghanian winger was a constant threat to Watford's backline and ran at Daryl Janmaat at every opportunity.

Atsu and Willems were brilliant down the left-hand side and the winger could have had a goal himself but did put in a tireless performance causing the Hornets problems all afternoon.

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