STAND-in skipper Shola Ameobi left the Estadio dos Barreiros pleased with Newcastle United’s result – but wondering just how he hadn’t added to his 12 European goals.
The striker twice hit the woodwork in last night’s goalless draw against Maritimo.
Dan Gosling also hit the post in a closely-contested game in Madeiran capital Funchal.
After a slow start in punishing heat and humidity, Newcastle got themselves into the game and created the better chances.
And Ameobi, the senior player in an inexperienced line-up, was frustrated that Alan Pardew’s side couldn’t take all three points.
“It was a game that as we went along, we created more and more chances,” Ameobi told the Gazette.
“It was just one of those days that the ball didn’t want to go in the back of the net – we had a few chances.
“They were tough conditions because of the weather. I thought we coped really well.
“The lads who came in proved their worth. We were unfortunate not to get the win in the end.
“The end result for us is fantastic. We really picked up after the first half performance, and it’s great to see the fighting qualities.
“On another day, we could have snatched victory.”
Ameobi also made history when he was joined on the pitch by his younger brother Sammy, the pair becoming the first siblings to play for the club in a UEFA game.
Previously, Matty and Richie Appleby had played together in an Anglo-Italian Cup tie in 1992.
Ameobi was handed the captain’s armband by Pardew, and that was another source of pride for the long-serving player.
“I would never have dreamt of captaining Newcastle United all those years ago,” he said.
“But every time I play for the team, it’s a huge honour, anyway. To lead the team out meant the world to me.
“Being a homegrown lad, it’s something that you dream about, and I’m delighted to have the chance to help these young lads develop and try to push on.
“In European games the young lads will get their chance and it is great to be able to help them.”