Away Draw Good Enough
This was an excellent draw for Newcastle, as Rangers were by far the better team on the night. Certainly they had the much better chances, and many more of them, than Newcastle. However, a resolute defence in the shape Moncur and McNamee, coupled with some outstanding saves from McFaul, including a penatly, means that Rangers have to try and get a result at St James's Park in the return leg.
The game started off brightly for Newcastle, with both Davies and Robson missing excellent chances in the first five minutes. Robson was actually through one-on-one with the keeper and from six-yards he blasted his shot over the crossbar! Henderson, for Rangers, then began to create all sorts of problems and at least three times he almost got through, on one occassion it was only a fantastic diving save from McFaul that stopped him. In the 34th minute McFaul brought down down Persson on the edge of the box and a penalty was awarded. Penman took the spot-kick and McFaul saved brilliantly - diving high to his right to push the ball out for a corner. Just before the half-time whistle McFaul again brought off an acrobatic save from a Penman shot.
The second half was like a seige on Newcastle's goal - Rangers threw everything they could into attack but the Newcastle defence once again held firm and when Rangers did get through McFaul was there to prevent any scoring. As Newcastle's defending got "tougher", and sometimes more desperate, there were a string of free-kicks awarded to Rangers but still they could not make them count. Funnily enough though the only booking of the game was received by Greig of Rangers for a foul on Arentoft. In another incident Davies was injured in a challenge for a high ball and it was revealed later that he actually broke his nose! He had his nose reset in the dressing room and later a Newcastle spokesman said that he "would probably be fit to play in the League against Liverpool on Saturday"!