Joselu levelled the scores midway through the second half after tucking the ball away from a crowded and tight angle

Newcastle 1-1 Swansea: Joselu salvages point for Benitez

The last time Newcastle United went seven home matches without victory they were relegated. These are troubling times on Tyneside, so it is just as well their away form is keeping them out of the bottom three.

Here, at St James’ Park, they continue to find new ways not to win. Rafa Benitez’s side had enough chances to win two matches but only salvaged a point when substitute Joselu scored their first home goal in nearly six hours.

Swansea took the lead on the hour through Jordan Ayew and may argue they should have gone on to claim maximum points, especially as that opener killed the atmosphere inside the stadium.

Joselu levelled the scores midway through the second half after tucking the ball away from a crowded and tight angle

Joselu levelled the scores midway through the second half after tucking the ball away from a crowded and tight angle

The second-half substitute had been on the pitch for just four minute before scoring Newcastle's equaliser

The second-half substitute had been on the pitch for just four minute before scoring Newcastle’s equaliser

Jordan Ayew headed the visitors in front on second time of asking following Karl Darlow's fantastic point-blank save

Jordan Ayew headed the visitors in front on second time of asking following Karl Darlow’s fantastic point-blank save

Ayew scored one of Swansea's first real chances after Mike van der Hoorn whipped in the cross for the Ghanaian to score

Ayew scored one of Swansea’s first real chances after Mike van der Hoorn whipped in the cross for the Ghanaian to score

MATCH FACTS, LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE

NEWCASTLE: (4-4-1-1) Darlow 5; Yedlin 7, Lascelles 6, Clark 6, Dummett 7.5; Shelvey 6 (Merino 81), Diame 7, Atsu 6.5, Ritchie 6; Perez 6; Gayle 5 (Joselu 64 7)

SUBS NOT USED: Elliot (GK); Haidara, Hayden, Manquillo, Murphy

GOALS: Joselu (68)

BOOKINGS: None

COACH: Rafa Bentiez 6

SWANSEA: (4-1-4-1) Fabianski 6; van der Hoorn 5 (Roberts 65 5), Mawson 6, Bartley 6, Olsson 6; Carroll 6, Clucas 6, Ki 6.5, Dyer 5 (Narsingh 85), Ayew 6.5; McBurnie 5 (Bony 70 5)

SUBS NOT USED: Nordfeldt (GK); Fer, Fernandez, Mesa

GOALS: Ayew (61)

BOOKINGS: Bartley (10); Mawson (83); Narsingh (90)

COACH: Carlos Carvahal 6

REFEREE: Graham Scott 6

MAN OF THE MATCH: Paul Dummett

VENUE: St James’ Park

ATTENDANCE: 51,444

Season at a glance

Second-half substitute Joselu equalised just four minutes after coming on following Jonjo Shelvey's fantastic long-range pass from his own half. For more stats and facts, visit our exclusive MATCH ZONE service by clicking here.

Second-half substitute Joselu equalised just four minutes after coming on following Jonjo Shelvey’s fantastic long-range pass from his own half. For more stats and facts, visit our exclusive MATCH ZONE service by clicking here.

But the league’s bottom team had been poor to that point and it is Newcastle who should reflect on this as an opportunity missed.

They were on top from the off. On four minutes Paul Dummett broke down the left and centred but Dwight Gayle’s header landed comfortably in the grasp of Lukasz Fabianski.

Perhaps that was in the striker’s mind when a similar chance came his way moments later. This time Gayle attempted to steer his nod wide of the keeper but he also directed it clear of goal. It was, on reflection, a poor effort from a good position.

Dwight Gayle put the ball in the back of the net from a corner shortly before the break but it was correctly ruled out for offside

Dwight Gayle put the ball in the back of the net from a corner shortly before the break but it was correctly ruled out for offside

Ayoze Perez had a fair share of opportunities in the first half but failed to convert any of his first-half chances

Ayoze Perez had a fair share of opportunities in the first half but failed to convert any of his first-half chances

The Spanish forward went through one-on-one with Lukasz Fabianski but his shot was well saved by the Polish goalkeeper

The Spanish forward went through one-on-one with Lukasz Fabianski but his shot was well saved by the Polish goalkeeper

Rafa Bentiez's side came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first 45 minutes but couldn't find a way through

Rafa Bentiez’s side came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first 45 minutes but couldn’t find a way through

Newcastle continued to press and a home opener looked inevitable. Their errant finishing, however, was at odds with incisive approach play.

There was no finer example that a one-touch move which saw Matt Ritchie spring Ayoze Perez clear. Perez’s first touch was deft – taking the ball perfectly in his stride – but his second was daft, poking straight at Fabianski rather than the exposed target either side of him.

Dummett then lashed a first-time shot over the crossbar and Jonjo Shelvey found the same row of seats in the Leazes End with a free-kick from the fringe of the area.

But the biggest talking point of the first half came at the other end of the pitch when Newcastle midfielder Mo Diame clearly used his arm to block Mike Van der Hoorn’s flick on goal. Had they been using this game to trial VAR technology then Swansea would have had a penalty and Newcastle 10 men.

Jonjo Shelvey can't hide his disappointed after blasting a close-range free kick over the bar against his former club

Jonjo Shelvey can’t hide his disappointed after blasting a close-range free kick over the bar against his former club

Christian Atsu attempts to win a header against Nathan Dyer but the Newcastle winger feels he was fouled in the process

Christian Atsu attempts to win a header against Nathan Dyer but the Newcastle winger feels he was fouled in the process

Swans attacker Dyer takes on Magpies right back Paul Dummett as both sides used the wings to break each other down

Swans attacker Dyer takes on Magpies right back Paul Dummett as both sides used the wings to break each other down

The visitors had their opener on the hour. Van der Hoorn swung over a lofted cross from the right and Ayew peeled off Ciaran Clark to head on goal. Karl Darlow saved but could only push back into the six-yard area and Ayew reacted quickest to head home at the second attempt.

Benitez responded by replacing Gayle with Joselu and, while the withdrawn man had misfired, supporters still met the substitution with a slight groan given his tendency to nick a goal from nowhere.

That, though, is exactly what his replacement did just four minutes later, retrieving a loose ball on the angle of the six-yard area before spinning and rolling a low shot into the far corner.

But the hosts needed DeAndre Yedlin to preserve their point when, in stoppage-time, he cleared from the line after Wilfried Bony had seized on a mistake by Darlow to fire on target from 18 yards.

Jordan Ayew was kept relatively quiet in the first half and found it difficult to get past Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles

Jordan Ayew was kept relatively quiet in the first half and found it difficult to get past Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles

Swans skipper Kyle Bartley gives orders to his team-mates as the visitors kept it goalless during the first 45 minutes

Swans skipper Kyle Bartley gives orders to his team-mates as the visitors kept it goalless during the first 45 minutes

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