On-loan Joe Willock scored a late equalizer as lowly Newcastle United held Tottenham Hotspur to a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park on Sunday – two days after his older brother Chris helped lift Queens Park Rangers (QPR) to their biggest Championship win of the season.
The draw earned Newcastle a vital point in their fight for Premier League survival thanks to 21-year-old Willock, on loan from Arsenal, who reacted quickest, after Miguel Almiron’s effort was cleared off the line, to fire into the roof of the net and deny Spurs a place in the top four.
The Willock brothers, who both qualify to represent Montserrat, also have another sibling plying his trade in England – Matty, 24, a midfielder with League One outfit Gillingham.
Caribbean nations, which compete in the CONCACAF zone, have intensified their search for eligible United Kingdom-based players to strengthen their national sides for international duty.
Chris, 23, headed QPR into the lead inside two minutes against Coventry City on Friday before the hosts went on to win 3-0.
In an entertaining game on Sunday, Newcastle took the lead on 28 minutes when Joelinton slotted home a pass from Sean Longstaff, but a quick-fire brace from Harry Kane put the visitors ahead before the break.
But Willock, whose another goal for Newcastle came in a 3-2 home win over Southampton on February 6, five days after going out on loan, had the final word in the 85th minute to thrill manager Steve Bruce.
“I was delighted with the performance. We needed that. We needed to show what we’re about,” said Bruce.
“We had an awful five minutes where we gave an awful goal; then they produced a good bit of quality to open us up.
“The way the players responded and played throughout … I thought we were the better team and had an edge and energy about us.”
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said: “I am frustrated. We needed to win the match, and we came to win. We were not far from winning it, but, at the same time, we created some instability in the game with so many individual defensive mistakes that we made. We always gave Newcastle a chance to be in the game.”
Newcastle, who have now only won two of their past 19 Premier League games, remain 17th but have a three-point cushion over Fulham, who occupy the final relegation spot after the Cottagers lost 3-1 at Aston Villa.
Tottenham, who conceded a 97th-minute equalizer against Newcastle earlier in the season, moves up to fifth – above Liverpool and West Ham – but remains two points behind Chelsea, who are in the final Champions League spot.