JAMES Ward-Prowse struck a late, late penalty as Saints sealed a dramatic point after a crazy finale against Newcastle.

The game looked set to end 1-1 with Moi Elyounoussi cancelling out a Callum Wilson header.

However, Newcastle appeared to have grabbed a winner when Allan Saint-Maximin fired home just as the second half ticked into stoppage time.

But there was to be more drama as from their final attack, Saints were awarded a penalty after Adam Armstrong was tripped by Jamaal Lascelles. Up stepped Ward-Prowse, making no mistake to secure a deserved share of the spoils with a 2-2 draw.

Ralph Hasenhuttl reverted largely back to the side which drew with Manchester United last weekend. There were two changes from the XI that day, with Kyle Walker-Peters and Elyounoussi rewarded for their goalscoring performances against Newport in the Carabao Cup in midweek with starts. It was Elyounoussi’s first Premier League outing since May 2019. Romain Perraud and Theo Walcott dropped to the bench.

After a cagey start, Saints created the first opening of any note, with Che Adams comfortably denied by goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.

The visitors were on top, with Newcastle’s only real hope looking like coming through lively Saint-Maximin on the counter.

Home fans were growing increasingly frustrated, aiming their ire at boss Steve Bruce, although their side did stay level in the game after an incredible miss by Moussa Djenepo.

After a loose ball broke to Tino Livramento in space in the box, the teenager squared for Djenepo, who inexplicably turned over the bar from inside the six-yard box.

The Malian saw another big chance wasted moments later. After initially failing to get the ball out of his feet, Djenepo’s shot was blocked and the danger was gone.

Elyounoussi and Djenepo swapped flanks for the final 10 minutes of the first half in search of an opener and it almost paid instant dividends, the former seeing a shot stopped by Woodman.

A Ward-Prowse free-kick then caused problems, with Woodman shovelling the ball as far as Jack Stephens, who nodded into the path of Armstrong. But the former Newcastle frontman’s shot was well blocked.

After seeing off the Saints threat, Newcastle ended the half strongly and were only denied an opening goal by a superb Alex McCarthy save. Just after Wilson had fired a shot over the crossbar, the striker connected with a Miguel Almiron corner, but his header was expertly tipped away by the Saints stopper.

Newcastle looked to come flying out of the traps after restart with a Saint-Maximin effort from out wide crashing into the side netting.

At the other end, Djenepo curled narrowly wide from the edge of the box, before the deadlock was soon broken.

A ball worked out to Jacob Murphy on the right was nodded back across goal, where Wilson arrived with a diving header to open the scoring.

Hasenhuttl instantly responded, replacing Djenepo with Nathan Redmond before both managers switched up their frontlines with 20 minutes to play. Scorer Wilson came off for Joelinton, while Armando Broja replaced Adams for the visitors.

And with around 15 minutes to play, Saints levelled. Substitute Redmond stood up a cross from the left flank for Elyounoussi to slide in at the back post and notch his fourth goal of the week.

Back came Newcastle with Murphy’s deflected strike parried away by a diving McCarthy, but they did find time to grab a second goal.

After substitute Ryan Fraser’s shot was hacked off the line by Ward-Prowse, Saint-Maximin was on hand to slam home and send the home fans wild.

But there was further late drama still to come as Armstrong went down under a sliding challenge from Lascelles. After consulting the pitchside monitor, referee Paul Tierney pointed to the penalty spot, allowing Ward-Prowse the chance to ensure the game did indeed finish level after all.

Saints: McCarthy; Livramento, Stephens, Salisu, Walker-Peters; Ward-Prowse, Romeu (Diallo, 88); Elyounoussi, Djenepo (Redmond, 58); Adams (Broja, 71), A Armstrong.

Unused subs: Valery, Bednarek, Perraud, Walcott, Tella, Forster (g/k).

Booked: Walker-Peters, Djenepo, Ward-Prowse.

Newcastle: Woodman; Fernandez, Lascelles, Schar; Murphy, Longstaff, Almiron, Ritchie; Willock (Fraser, 84), Saint-Maximin; Wilson (Joelinton, 69).

Unused subs: Manquillo, Clark, Lewis, Krafth, Hendrick, Gayle, Gillespie (g/k).

Booked: Schar, Saint-Maximin, Lascelles.

Referee: Paul Tierney.

VAR: Mike Dean.