Harper admits Newcastle got lucky after controversial clash at Everton

CONTROVERSY ... Victor Anichebe's header appears to cross the line before being scrambled clear by the Newcastle defence.
CONTROVERSY ... Victor Anichebe's header appears to cross the line before being scrambled clear by the Newcastle defence.

STEVE Harper conceded Newcastle United rode their luck at Goodison Park.

Everton’s Victor Anichebe had a goal ruled out in last night’s 2-2 draw.

With the score level at 1-1, Harper got a hand to a late shot from Anichebe, only for the ball to bounce up and strike the crossbar before dropping over the goalline.

United defender Mike Williamson cleared the ball and linesman Ceri Richards waved play on to the fury of the Everton players and supporters.

Anichebe went on to put David Moyes’s side in front, only for Demba Ba – who had earlier cancelled out Leighton Baines’s first-half opener – to net a dramatic 90th-minute equaliser.

“It was behind me, but from what I know it was over the line,” said Harper of Anichebe’s ruled out effort.

“It was point-blank – I reacted as quick as I could and pushed it on to the bar.

“Then I got a bit of luck, and you need a bit of luck.

“We didn’t have much luck – a couple of deflections for their goals – so what goes round, comes round.

“That’s a fantastic point to come from behind twice.”

Everton dominated the first half, and Harper admitted United manager Alan Pardew had some strong words at the break.

“The manager was not happy at half-time, and rightly so,” added the 37-year-old, making his first Premier League start in 17 months.

“He made a very attacking substitution in Demba, and the goalline decision kept us in the game.

“Then again we went 2-1 down, but the spirit in the camp is fantastic.

“We kept going to the end, and tried to put the ball behind them.”