West Ham 0-0 Newcastle

Mohamed Diame

Newcastle's Premier League status remains in the balance after they shared a goalless draw with West Ham.

The Hammers put Alan Pardew's side under pressure in the second half but Papiss Cisse came closest to scoring when his first-half shot was cleared off the line by Winston Reid.

Replays were inconclusive but Rob Elliot made a double save to deny Kevin Nolan, while Andy Carroll headed wide.

Newcastle are three points above third-bottom Wigan after they beat West Brom.

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Their position is made more worrying because the Latics have a game in hand and a better goal difference, but the clean sheet was a vast improvement on last weekend's 6-0 loss to Liverpool.

It was clear that the visitors arrived at Upton Park aiming to be more solid after that shattering defeat and the return of Fabricio Coloccini in the heart of their defence after injury was a welcome boost.

Now they must turn their attentions to their next match against relegated QPR, but the fact that their hopes are not entirely in their control underline the side's worrying loss of form.

Newcastle are also one point clear of arch rivals Sunderland, who also have a game extra, and in some senses this was an opportunity missed as West Ham, promoted from the Championship last season, are relatively comfortable in mid-table and remain 10th in the Premier League.

But after an improvement from Sam Allardyce's side in the second half, Newcastle will be satisfied with a point as they held on, particularly after a testing week where Pardew denied a reported player rift in the camp.

Before the break, Hatem Ben Arfa was at the centre of West Ham's problems as his powerful running cut through the hosts's midfield on several occasions.

The French forward, back in the side instead of Moussa Sissoko, twice tested Jussi Jaaskelainen, but the first period came alive when Cisse's attempts to open the scoring were denied by Reid.

Yohan Cabaye slipped the ball through to the Senegalese forward and as his scuffed effort looked to be dribbling into the goal, Reid slid in to clear.

Assistant referee Matthew Wilkes decided the ball did not cross the line and replays suggested it might have been the right call.

Wilkes was also the official who ruled Wigan's Callum McManaman did not foul Newcastle's Massado Haidara despite a crude challenge earlier in the season.

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West Ham did not impose themselves on the game until after the break and as has often been the case this season, Matt Jarvis was the source.

His inviting cross after 48 minutes was headed wide by Carroll at the back post. Ricardo Vaz Te then failed to connect with another centre minutes later after being pushed by Coloccini.

That instigated a better spell for Allardyce's side, who almost went in front again, but Elliot's superb double save denied Nolan, while Carroll had another penalty appeal turned away by referee Phil Dowd.

Ben Arfa was replaced by Shola Ameobi and the substitute centre-forward fired wide after Yoan Gouffran went close with another effort, but as West Ham grew in confidence, the draw was well-earned and it might yet be an important point for Newcastle.

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