A thrilling Tyne-Wear derby between Newcastle and Sunderland ended 1-1 as the host’s rescued a point against their ten-man visitor’s.
At times this game threatened to boil over, with eight bookings and a sending off. The yellow card count stood at six just after the twenty minute mark but fortunately the game settled down until Sunderland’s Stephane Sessegnon saw red with thirty minutes remaining.
The Black Cats had managed only one win in their last 14 meetings with their bitter north-east rivals but looked set to double that when they took the lead from the penalty spot after Toon defender Mike Williamson pulled down Michael Turner.
Nicklas Bendtner it was who made no mistake with converting Sunderland’s first penalty of the campaign.
The visitor’s deserved their lead and it was only as the half was ending did Newcastle begin to press as Demba Ba hit the crossbar with a header.
The home side continued to exert pressure after the interval although Newcastle keeper Tim Krul kept his side in the game with a fine double save that was to prove crucial as almost immediately Sunderland were reduced to ten men.
Sessegnon elbowed Cheick Tiote, and whilst the Magpies player exaggerated the impact the referee had no option but to show red.
For the remainder of the game it was Sunderland sitting deep and defending well in repelling non-stop Toon attacks but they looked to have been breached with eight minutes left.
But the Magpies continued to pour forward and on the stroke of full time Wayne Bridge failed to mark Ameobi who reacted quickest to a flick to salvage a point.
A frenetic last couple of minutes saw Newcastle twice go close to clinching an unlikely victory before full time was called on a feisty encounter.
Referee: Mike Dean
Venue: Sports Direct Arena
Newcastle scorers: Ameobi 90
Sunderland scorers: Bendtner (pen) 24
TRIBAL ASKS: A full blooded derby but full marks to the referee for his handling of the game as both sets of players made his job difficult.
Yellow cards: Tiote (NEW), Simpson (NEW), Williamson (NEW), Cabaye (NEW), Ba (NEW), Cattermole (SUN), McClean (SUN), Gardner (SUN)
Red card: Sessegnon (SUN)