Newcastle denied crucial EPL win thanks to Watford’s late equalizer

NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Joao Pedro snatched a win for Newcastle with an 88th-minute goal to earn Watford a 1-1 draw in an English Premier League game between relegation rivals on Saturday.

The Portuguese striker’s header stunned the hosts among a crowd of 52,223 at St James’ Park and kept Watford above the relegation zone.

Newcastle, who had new signing Chris Wood in the squad for the first time following his move from Burnley this week, looked to have won it thanks to Allan Saint-Maximin’s superb 49th-minute strike but fell back in second period.

Newcastle remained second to last and above only Burnley, who fell to the bottom due to Norwich’s 2-1 win over Everton on Saturday.

Newcastle started with real pace and were denied by the crossbar after Joelinton deflected Ryan Fraser’s cross in the 11th minute towards goal. The hosts were spared four minutes later, however, when, after Saint-Maximin squandered the ball halfway, Josh King fired into the side netting from Pedro’s through ball.

Joelinton flew wide at the far post after Fraser and Longstaff worked a short corner, and Wood sent a looping header past another cross from Fraser, with the home side putting on the most consistent pressure.

The New Zealand international was unable to hit the target once more after Jamaal Lascelles headed Kieran Trippier’s 24th-minute corner towards the goal and Fabian Schar failed to recall goalkeeper Ben Foster when he headed Trippier’s inviting free-kick seven minutes later.

Longstaff lifted a left-footed shot over the bar after Saint-Maximin, who had endured a frustrating afternoon so far, progressed down the left and pulled the ball away.

The first goal came in the 49th and, perhaps fittingly for a game that has grown increasingly scrappy, it arrived through an error.

Full-back Jeremy Ngakia was robbed by Saint-Maximin as he chased Shelvey’s hopeful ball but what followed was of much better quality as the Frenchman cut inside before kicking in a vicious shot past Foster.

Watford responded and Martin Dubravka had to grab Pedro’s shot under his crossbar before denying King as he ran on goal seconds later.

And, with the Hornets taking a more adventurous approach to finding an equalizer, the game began to open up.

Former Newcastle player Moussa Sissoko should have leveled Dennis’ pass in the 67th minute, but stabbed his shot unnecessarily wide, and it was up to Pedro to snatch a point three minutes from time with a fine header from the center of substitute Kiko Femenia.

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