An under-strength Newcastle side claimed a valuable 1-1 draw away to Atromitos in the first leg of their Europa League play-off round tie.

Denis Epstein put the hosts ahead before Ryan Taylor equalised with a trademark free-kick before half-time.

Boss Alan Pardew made nine changes from the side that beat Tottenham 2-1 on Saturday, with a league match against Chelsea less than 48 hours away.

The winners of the tie will go into the competition's group stage draw.

Newcastle's last European game

Newcastle lost to AZ

Result: AZ Akmaar 2-0 Newcastle (agg 4-4)

Date: 15 March, 2007

Newcastle blew a 4-2 lead from the first leg to drop out in the last-16 stage of the Uefa Cup. A team featuring Scott Parker, Kieron Dyer and Obafemi Martins could not keep out their rampant Dutch opponents.

Pardew delved into his second-string and gave first competitive starts to summer signings Vurnon Anita and Gael Bigirimana in the absence of established players such as Fabricio Coloccini, Cheick Tiote and Demba Ba who were all left at home, and Hatem Ben Arfa who missed out through suspension.

As Yohan Cabaye, Steven Taylor and Jonas Gutierrez sweltered on the bench in a baking Athens, Atromitos took advantage of full-back James Tavernier's inexperience to open the scoring on 24 minutes as Epstein shot past onrushing goalkeeper Steve Harper.

Newcastle refused to panic and went into the interval on level terms after Taylor curled a free-kick into the bottom corner of former Liverpool goalkeeper Charles Itandje's net with the last kick of the half.

As the heat took its toll, the second period was played at walking pace. With just under 15 minutes left, Pardew brought on 17-year-old striker Adam Campbell to break Andy Carroll's record as the club's youngest ever European debutant.

Atromitos - who were playing their first competitive game of their season after finishing fourth in the Greek Super League last term - wasted the best chance of the half shortly after as Konstantinos Giannoulis shot horribly wide when through on goal after he burst past Tavernier on the left.

The result ensured Newcastle travelled back to the north east with an away goal as they ventured into European competition for the first time in five years.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew:

"I should think in the Premier League, there are not too many players at dead balls who have the accuracy of Ryan Taylor.

"He is desperate to play in the first team, but he has got some good performances from Saturday's game against Tottenham in front of him, so he has got to be patient."

He added: "Our pre-season prep, you could argue, served us well [against Atromitos] because they let us have possession for long periods of the game, and we moved the ball and made them work really hard and took the sting out of the game a little bit.

"In the second half, I was a little bit disappointed we didn't get the win - I thought there were good opportunities - but overall, I was very, very pleased with the performance."

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (6)

Atromitos

  • 01 Itandje
  • 02 Skondras
  • 03 Giannoulis (Karagounis - 86' )
  • 06 Fitanidis
  • 11 Beljic (Chumbinho - 61' )
  • 24 Lazaridis
  • 07 Brito
  • 17 Iglesias
  • 21 Dimoutsos
  • 08 Epstein
  • 09 Kuqi (Karamanos - 60' )

Substitutes

  • 30 Radman
  • 04 Tavlaridis
  • 13 Nastos
  • 10 Karagounis
  • 20 Karamanos
  • 26 Garcia
  • 86 Chumbinho

Newcastle

  • 37 Harper
  • 06 Williamson
  • 14 Perch
  • 16 R Taylor
  • 34 Tavernier
  • 08 Anita
  • 15 Gosling (Amalfitano - 64' )
  • 20 Bigirimana
  • 22 Marveaux (Gutierrez - 70' )
  • 25 Obertan
  • 09 Cisse (Campbell - 77' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Krul
  • 03 Santon
  • 27 S Taylor
  • 04 Cabaye
  • 17 Amalfitano
  • 18 Gutierrez
  • 49 Campbell
Ref: Yefet
Att: 4,872

Match Stats

Shots

9 11

On target

3 6

Corners

1 7

Fouls

9 12

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:09 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +0:55

Corner taken by Ryan Taylor, Foul by Mike Williamson on Sokratis Fitanidis, free kick awarded. Charles Itandje restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +0:05

Corner taken by Ryan Taylor from the left by-line.

87:51

Adam Campbell takes a shot. Save made by Charles Itandje.

86:42

Corner taken by Ryan Taylor, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Anastasios Karamanos by Mike Williamson. Direct free kick taken by Charles Itandje.

85:32

James Tavernier takes the direct free kick.

85:32 Substitution

Substitution Thanassis Karagounis comes on in place of Konstantinos Giannoulis.

85:32

Eduardo Brito gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Vurnon Anita.

80:11

The ball is swung over by Gabriel Obertan, Giannis Skondras manages to make a clearance.

79:44

Romain Amalfitano crosses the ball, Nikos Lazaridis manages to make a clearance.

78:48

Konstantinos Giannoulis produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.

77:35

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sokratis Fitanidis by Mike Williamson. Free kick taken by Charles Itandje.

76:11

Steve Harper restarts play with the free kick.

76:11 Substitution

Substitution Papiss Cisse goes off and Adam Campbell comes on.

76:11

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Romain Amalfitano by Eduardo Brito.

72:07

Inswinging corner taken by Denis Epstein, clearance made by James Perch.

69:46

Steve Harper takes the indirect free kick.

69:46 Substitution

Substitution Sylvain Marveaux leaves the field to be replaced by Jonas Gutierrez.

69:46

Konstantinos Giannoulis is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

68:41

Unfair challenge on Eduardo Brito by Mike Williamson results in a free kick. Charles Itandje takes the direct free kick.

66:53

Gabriel Obertan crosses the ball.

64:38

Walter Iglesias produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty area and misses left.

64:18

A cross is delivered by Denis Epstein, James Perch manages to make a clearance.

63:20 Substitution

Substitution Romain Amalfitano is brought on as a substitute for Dan Gosling.

61:38

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mike Williamson on Charles Itandje. Charles Itandje takes the free kick.

61:07

Dan Gosling fouled by Eduardo Brito, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ryan Taylor.

60:03 Substitution

Substitution Da Silva Chumbinho joins the action as a substitute, replacing Nikola Beljic.

59:39 Substitution

Substitution Anastasios Karamanos replaces Njazi Kuqi.

58:23

Inswinging corner taken by Sylvain Marveaux, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Dan Gosling misses to the left of the goal.

57:17

Unfair challenge on Sylvain Marveaux by Nikola Beljic results in a free kick. Ryan Taylor sends in a cross, Gabriel Obertan takes a shot. Blocked by Nikos Lazaridis.

55:18

Vurnon Anita challenges Elini Dimoutsos unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Elini Dimoutsos. Effort on goal by Konstantinos Giannoulis from 25 yards. Save by Steve Harper.

53:30

Corner taken right-footed by Ryan Taylor from the left by-line, save made by Charles Itandje.

52:12

Vurnon Anita fouled by Eduardo Brito, the ref awards a free kick. James Tavernier takes the free kick.

51:09

Unfair challenge on Elini Dimoutsos by Gael Bigirimana results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Denis Epstein.

50:51

Unfair challenge on Giannis Skondras by Sylvain Marveaux results in a free kick. Giannis Skondras restarts play with the free kick.

50:04

Shot by Njazi Kuqi from just outside the area goes over the net.

46:20

James Tavernier sends in a cross, Dan Gosling takes a shot. Save made by Charles Itandje.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +2:47 Half time

Half Time The half-time whistle blows.

45:00 +1:50

Dan Gosling provided the assist for the goal.

45:00 +1:50 Goal scored

Goal! - Ryan Taylor - Atromitos 1 - 1 Newcastle Ryan Taylor hits the back of the net with a fantastic goal direct from the free kick from long range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Atromitos 1-1 Newcastle.

45:00 +0:59

Dan Gosling fouled by Walter Iglesias, the ref awards a free kick.

43:06

Dan Gosling produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the crossbar.

39:51

Njazi Kuqi is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Steve Harper takes the free kick.

39:03

Free kick awarded for a foul by James Tavernier on Eduardo Brito. Nikos Lazaridis takes the direct free kick.

37:40

Sylvain Marveaux fouled by Walter Iglesias, the ref awards a free kick. Mike Williamson takes the free kick.

37:19

Shot by Giannis Skondras. Save made by Steve Harper.

36:55

The ball is delivered by Gabriel Obertan, save made by Charles Itandje.

34:13

Giannis Skondras concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan Taylor. Ryan Taylor fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Charles Itandje makes a save. Gael Bigirimana produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.

33:40

Ryan Taylor crosses the ball, Charles Itandje makes a save.

31:25

Unfair challenge on Walter Iglesias by Mike Williamson results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Charles Itandje.

30:03

Corner taken left-footed by Sylvain Marveaux, clearance by Sokratis Fitanidis.

28:52

Mike Williamson takes a shot. Save made by Charles Itandje.

28:19

The ball is swung over by Gabriel Obertan, clearance by Nikos Lazaridis.

26:01

Gabriel Obertan concedes a free kick for a foul on Nikola Beljic. Direct free kick taken by Walter Iglesias.

23:07

The assist for the goal came from Nikola Beljic.

23:07 Goal scored

Goal! - Denis Epstein - Atromitos 1 - 0 Newcastle Denis Epstein finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Atromitos 1-0 Newcastle.

22:02

Sylvain Marveaux fouled by Nikola Beljic, the ref awards a free kick. Sylvain Marveaux restarts play with the free kick.

21:23

Elini Dimoutsos fouled by Vurnon Anita, the ref awards a free kick. Walter Iglesias takes the free kick.

20:14

Ryan Taylor takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Sokratis Fitanidis.

19:56

Denis Epstein takes a shot. Steve Harper makes a comfortable save.

16:38

Shot from outside the penalty box by Dan Gosling goes wide right of the goal.

16:15

A cross is delivered by Denis Epstein, clearance by James Perch.

15:20

Shot from inside the six-yard box by Papiss Cisse goes wide right of the target.

12:00

Effort on goal by Walter Iglesias from long range goes harmlessly over the bar.

7:59

Centre by Elini Dimoutsos, Effort on goal by Njazi Kuqi from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.

0:00

The match gets underway.

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