Newcastle 3-3 Brentford: Eddie Howe era begins with six-goal thriller at St James’ as Allan Saint-Maximin volleys second-half equaliser while new boss watches fro home after Covid positive
- Brentford travelled to face Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday
- Jamaal Lascelles’ opener was quickly cancelled-out by Ivan Toney
- Rico Henry then put Brentford ahead before Joelinton made it level at the break
- Lascelles then scored in his own goal, before Allan-Saint Maximin levelled
If Eddie Howe did drink, he would have raided his hotel mini-bar by the end of this six-goal frenzy.
The Newcastle boss was watching on a stream from his riverside suite having tested positive for Covid-19 on the eve of his first match in charge.
They say that one of the symptoms of the virus is brain fog. Trying to make sense of this match will only add to any confusion.
Allan Saint-Maximin hit the equaliser as Newcastle twice came from behind to hold Brentford
The forward volleyed Newcastle’s third goal to begin the Eddie Howe era with a dramatic draw
Howe has been appointed new Magpies boss but watched from home after a Covid positive
It was bad, brilliant and bonkers, depending on the angle of your argument. In the end, a draw was just about fair. The result, however, leaves Newcastle winless after 12 games and bottom of the Premier League.
Howe will be alarmed by some of what he saw, yet cheered by the manner in which his side twice recovered to restore parity.
The goal that salvaged their point was the best of the lot, a cross from substitute Ryan Fraser slammed home at the Gallowgate End on the volley by Allan Saint-Maximin 15 minutes from time.
Newcastle should have then won it when Saint-Maximin played in Joelinton, only for the Brazilian to delay his shot with a clever chop inside before slipping over in front of goal. It was that kind of afternoon.
Jamaal Lascelles rose above the rest to head in the first goal under the new management
Ivan Toney equalised with an emotional goal, returning to face former club Newcastle United
The forward stretched to poke home the equaliser just one minute after Newcastle went ahead
Howe revealed during his unveiling two weeks ago that he grew up watching Newcastle’s Entertainers team of the mid-Nineties. He has vowed to recreate that excitement under his watch. This was entertaining, in a Scary Movie sort of way.
Indeed, Howe might well have been watching from behind the sofa every time Brentford went on the attack. The only logical conclusion after four goals were shared in the first half was that both defences aren’t very good.
Newcastle led on 10 minutes when Jamaal Lascelles rose to meet a Matt Ritchie corner and headed in via the inside of the post. It was just reward for an enterprising start played out to the backdrop of ‘Eddie Howe’s black and white army’.
But Howe’s troops were soon on the retreat and, within 75 seconds, Brentford were level. Newcastle failed to win the first ball from the restart. They got nowhere near the second and third, either. The upshot was a chance for former Newcastle striker Ivan Toney, escaping the attention of Ritchie just inside the area.
His strike was low and hard but straight at Karl Darlow, who knelt to gather. It all looked so routine until the ball squirmed through his grasp and into the far corner.
Newcastle’s new ownership enjoyed the sight of three goals going in at St James’ Park
Spirits were dampened around St James’ when Rico Henry headed in from close-range
Joelinton scored amid a superb display from the forward, who struggled under Steve Bruce
Toney would have had a second but for the face of Fabian Schar blocking his blast on the goal-line on 26 minutes.
So when Brentford took the lead shortly after the half hour, there was more than an air of inevitability. Sergi Canos was given space to measure a cross from the right and team-mate Rico Henry was afforded just as much room to apply a headed finish at the far post.
Newcastle’s equaliser on 39 minutes was against the run of play, yet not at all surprising. Saint-Maximin’s shot was blocked and, when Brentford were docile in reacting to the loose ball, Joelinton pounced to swipe into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
There was still time before the break for Toney to clear from the line from Callum Wilson’s close-range hook.
Brentford were back in front just after the hour when Frank Onyeka’s shot deflected in off Lascelles.
Howe phoned in a substitute and it was from the boot of his former Bournemouth winger Fraser that Saint-Maximin swept in from 10 yards.
It felt like an uplifting finish as Newcastle pressed for a winner. Yet they remain the only team in the top four divisions not to win a game. There is much work for Howe to do.
Frank Onyeka celebrated Brentford’s third but it was cruelly ruled as a Lascelles own-goal
The Magpies will be keen to kick on under their new management after battling to a draw