Newcastle Utd 0 West Ham Utd 0

MY BALL ... West Ham's Mohamed Diame (left) is the fall guy in his duel with Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa

MY BALL ... West Ham's Mohamed Diame (left) is the fall guy in his duel with Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa

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NEWCASTLE United claimed their first point of the campaign this afternoon.

Alan Pardew’s side played out a goalless draw with West Ham United at a sodden St James’s Park.

Newcastle’s best chance fell to Yoan Gouffran in injury time.

The forward missed an own goal after a cross-cum-shot from fellow substitute Sammy Ameobi struck the right-hand post.

Midfielder Yohan Cabaye - who Pardew said had had his “head turned” by Arsenal’s bid earlier this week - was left out for the second game in a row.

Pardew made four changes to the team beaten 4-0 by Manchester City on Monday night, three of them enforced. Davide Santon, Sylvain Marveaux, Vurnon Anita and Shola Ameobi came into the side.

There were few chances before the break, and West Ham’s Winston Reid came the closest to scoring for Newcastle in the 13th minute.

Anita intercepted an attempted clearance, and his ball into the box - meant for Papiss Demba Cisse - was prodded towards Jussi Jaaskelainen’s goal by Reid.

Unfortunately for Newcastle, it rolled narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

Midfielder Moussa Sissoko had earlier won a free kick after a powerful run forward. Hatem Ben Arfa directed the resulting set piece well over Jaaskelainen’s goal.

At the other end, West Ham striker Modibo Maiga - who came close to joining Newcastle earlier in his career - headed a right-wing cross wide of Tim Krul’s goal.

Ben Arfa directed a shot from open play over the visiting goal before the half-time break.

The only other talking point from the first half was brief the unfurling of a banner mocking controversial director of football Joe Kinnear. It labelled him as the “clown of the Premier League”.

Stewards intervened amid a chant of “where’s the signings, Joe Kinnear”.

The game opened up a little after the break as the heavens opened above St James’s Park.

But Newcastle couldn’t test Jaaskelainen’s goal, and Kevin Nolan - who scored the only goal of last season’s meeting between the two sides on Tyneside - put a header over Krul’s crossbar.

Ball after ball was delivered into West Ham box, but they didn’t reach the intended recipient, Cisse.

There was a late scare for Newcastle when Maiga put the ball in the net, but his strike was ruled to be offside.

There was more drama when Gouffran, stood a yard from the goalline, put an injury-time effort over the crossbar.

And the final whistle was greeted by boos.

Twitter: @milesstarforth

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Debuch y, Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon; Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita, Marveaux (Sammy Ameobi, 66); Shola Ameobi, Cisse (Gouffran, 72). Subs not used: Elliot, Bigirimana, Dummett, Gosling, Vuckic.

WEST HAM UNITED: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O’Brien, Collins, Reid, Noble, Diame (Morrison, 75), Nolan, Downing (Cole, 64), Jarvis, Maiga. Subs not used: Adrian, Rat, Tomkins, Diarra, Vaz Te.

Bookings: O’Brien 44

Referee: Phil Dowd (Stoke-on-Trent)

Attendance: 49,622 (2,200 West Ham)