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Tue 21 Oct 2008 02:01 AM

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Man City scrape draw with ailing Newcastle

Early penalty decision in City's favour puts renewed spotlight on referee Rob Styles' judgement.

Referee Rob Styles found himself embroiled in another controversial penalty decision as 10-man Newcastle drew 2-2 with Manchester City at St James Park on Monday night.Styles, who late last month apologised to Bolton for the penalty decision that condemned them to a 2-0 defeat against Manchester United, showed red to Habib Beye in what appeared a harsh decision.

Beye tackled Robinho on the edge of the box and looked to have taken the ball in a fair challenge but Styles dismissed Beye to change the complexion of the game. Robinho easily put the spot kick past Shay Given in Newcastle's goal.

Newcastle's Nicky Butt told Setanta Sports television on the incident: "I think everyone knows it was not a penalty and everyone makes mistakes and the referee made one there."

Newcastle's stand-in manager Joe Kinnear said of the penalty decision while watching the video playback: "I would just question the referee's position as you look back there are two players in front of him and I do not know how he could make that decision that quickly.

"If he looks at that [video playback] and then puts his hands up in the air it would be fair enough."

Kinnear added he would like the Newcastle job on a permanent basis. When asked if he would be offered the post for good, he continued: "I don't really know for honest. Of course I want the job. It's a fantastic club and I think it's the best club I have ever worked at and they are a great bunch of players to work with.

"It's a chance to get back into football and I would make the most of it."

Early on Newcastle were in turmoil as City passed repeatedly the ball through them, although they were at least able to hold firm in the final third.

At one point Richard Dunne needed treatment after being caught by his own keeper Joe Hart as the pair tried to prevent Shola Ameobi from reaching Geremi's cross.

Dunne left the field bleeding from his nose to temporarily leave the game at 10 aside, and the Magpies almost took full advantage 10 minutes before the break.

Dunne eventually returned, and played a part in the equaliser when his clearance cannoned off Damian Duff and ran into the path of Shola Ameobi, who controlled before stabbing the ball home.

A 63rd minute Dunne own goal put Newcastle amazingly back ahead although they had played so much time with 10 men.

Geremi swung over a corner but City skipper Dunne only succeeded in poking the ball into the top corner of his own net.

When Stephen Ireland was denied by a superb one-handed, diving save from Given with just six minutes remaining it looked as if the home side would pick up three much-needed points, but the Irish midfielder was to have the final say, finding the net in the 86th minute.

Manchester City were left in 10th spot in the Premiership table while Newcastle remained second from bottom.

Kinnear added: "It was a fantastic performance from 10 men and you could not ask for more. They were totally committed, they played decent football and created clear cut chances and could have won the game with 10 men but there was a lot of tired legs out there. It was a hell of a game."

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