West Ham United extended their unbeaten Premier League record away from home to six matches with a deserved point at Newcastle United thanks in no small part to Craig Bellamy and Carlton Cole.
The home side had started brightly and Michael Owen gave them the lead on 19 minutes. West Ham United hit back and got level just before the half-hour mark when Bellamy finished off a slick team move. Cole continued his fine goalscoring form to put the visitors in front ten minutes into the second half with a rasping volley. Chances were to fall at both ends before Andy Carroll headed Newcastle level with 12 minutes remaining.
Gianfranco Zola made four changes that progressed to the third round of the FA Cup against Barnsley seven days before. Captain Lucas Neill returned after recovering from an ankle injury. He was joined in defence by Matthew Upson who was back after overcoming the virus that ruled him out against the Tykes. The two changes in the centre of the park saw Valon Behrami and Scott Parker start in place of Luis Boa Morte and Hayden Mullins. The 18-year-old goalkeeper Marek Stech was named on the bench due to Jan Lastuvka's slight knee injury.
The visitors started strongly and enjoyed plenty of the ball in the Magpies' half in the opening ten minutes and only a few close offside calls prevented Bellamy from racing clear against his former club. Then Owen nearly opened the scoring in the 13th minute when he found himself in space in the area. He rolled a shot across Robert Green but, agonisingly for him, the ball bounced off the post to safety.
The England international made no mistake six minutes later, though. After collecting the ball from Jose Enrique he shimmied past James Collins - whose footing seemed to give way at the crucial moment - and finished at the near post with Green only able to get a hand to the ball as it flew into the net.
Midway through the half, Danny Guthrie was booked for a late tackle on Parker and moments later the former Liverpool trainee crossed for Carroll to head wide when well placed as the hosts attempted to seize the initiative.
West Ham equalised as a superb passing move involving Mark Noble, Parker and Jack Collison led to Parker flicking a ball into the Newcastle area to send Bellamy free and he made no mistake with a deft left-footed chip over Shay Given to make it four goals in his last four league matches.
The half settled after that with chances harder to come by. Jonas Gutierrez's deflected shot flew narrowly wide, while at the other end Noble had a great chance to send the Hammers in ahead at the break. The England Under-21 international beat the offside trap to race clear, only to see his effort well saved by Given. The rebound fell to Bellamy but he could only find the side netting from a tight angle.
Within a minute of the restart, United could have had a penalty when Bellamy appeared to be wrestled to the ground by Sebastien Bassong. The visitors continued to press and after referee Alan Wiley's whistle had thwarted one attack just as Collison forced Given into a full-stretch save, Noble fired straight at the Irishman from inside the area.
After several more half chances, the pressure eventually told as Cole scored for the fourth consecutive game. The No12 got behind the Newcastle back line to collect a long ball from Herita Ilunga, turn and unleash an unstoppable left-footed drive into the top corner. The away support among the 47,571 - tucked away high behind Given's goal - exploded into a chorus of approval as the freezing temperature suddenly did not seem quite so chilly.
The hosts made the first change of the match when Geremi was replaced by Charles 'Zogbia just after the hour and moments later they thought they had drawn level when Neill's attempted clearance flew in, only for it to be chalked off for a foul on James Collins in the build up. Zola then made his first change by bringing on Boa Morte for Collison with 14 minutes to go.
Two minutes later it was all-square as Carroll - whose physical presence had been a threat all afternoon - headed in Damien Duff's centre to set up a grandstand finish. Then, with nine minutes to go, Bellamy was withdrawn after another all-action display as David Di Michele took his place in attack. United's final change saw Hayden Mullins come on for Noble as they searched for a late winner.
It was Newcastle who were to come closest, though, as Upson had to be at his very best to thwart Jonas with a last-ditch tackle at the death. The result means it is now six games unbeaten on the road for Zola's men - a run stretching back to 29 October 2008.
The Hammers are also unbeaten in four matches in all competitions and will be confident of recording a home win when Fulham visit the Boleyn Ground next Sunday afternoon.