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Report: Newcastle 2-1 Spurs

Posted on 31 December 2002  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

A late revival wasn't enough to turn around a two-goal deficit for the second time in three days as our six-match unbeaten run came to an end at St James Park.

Nikos Dabizas's amazing own goal gave us hope with 20 minutes left but Newcastle's bright starts to both the first and second half reaped the rewards.

For our part, we managed to get into many promising positions but as Glenn Hoddle would later point out, the final ball was missing.

We gave as good as we got in the first half and would have gone in level at the break but for Shay Given.

The Irish keeper denied Mauricio Taricco from distance and, more impressively, Gus Poyet with a point-blank reaction save.

But Kasey Keller also had to be at his best to tip Aaron Hughes' volley aside and Taricco cleared off the line from Alan Shearer as the home side enjoyed the better of the early exchanges.

Robbie Keane had the first clear chance of the game when Given blocked from a tight angle but Craig Bellamy should have done better when he raced onto King's poor back header only to shoot inches wide.

Newcastle's goal arrived after 17 minutes. It wasn't the best defensively as Goran Bunjevcevic failed to get any distance on his clearing header under pressure from Shearer and Gary Speed found the space to lash the loose ball home unmarked from 10 yards.

Keller stood firm to tip Hughes' volley aside two minutes later and Taricco blocked Shearer's low shot on the line from the ensuing corner.

But play then switched to the other end as we pushed for an equaliser. Bunjevcevic and Poyet had efforts blocked in a goalmouth scramble, Taricco's 20-yarder was tipped over by Given and then the chance of the half, Poyet nipping inside Olivier Bernard to volley from close range only for Given to stand tall an parry the ball away.

The start of the second half wasn't so good though as the home side, forced to bring on Dabizas and Lomana Lua Lua at the break, took the initiative.

Shearer headed just wide just a minute into the half before netting the second goal just before the hour.

There was a hint of controversy as Chris Perry appeared fouled before giving away a throw, Newcastle took it quickly and Bellamy raced away into the area. He was held up but at the second attempt, chipped the ball to the far post where Shearer gleefully nodded home.

Lua Lua hit the post from 18 yards four minutes later and Bunjevcevic did enough to put off Shearer from close range.

Glenn Hoddle threw Teddy Sheringham and Les Ferdinand into the fray with 22 minutes left and switched to three up front in a bid to salvage something.

But we reduced the deficit via the most unlikely of avenues after 78 minutes as Sheringham's cross was spectacularly headed into his own net by Dabizas.

Shearer could have wrapped it up but amazingly missed the target from 12 yards and it was one-way traffic after that as we pushed forward in search of the equaliser.

We ended up with almost five up front with Carr and Davies pushing on but chances were few and far between as Newcastle's defence stood firm to take the points.


4mins: First half-chance as Poyet volleys tricky ball into Gallowgate end.

5mins: Bellamy break from left touchline into box but weak shot straight at Keller.

7mins: Keane onto Poyet pass, jinked past O'Brien, shot from tight angle blocked by Given.

11mins: CHANCE. Bellamy onto poor King back header intended for Keller, shot inches wide.

16mins: Attempted curler from Robert deflected wide.

17mins: GOAL. Robert long throw only headed down by Bunjevcevic under pressure from Shearer and smashed home by unmarked Speed from 10 yards. 0-1.

19mins: SAVE. Fine reaction save by Keller to his left to turn aside Hughes volley.

19mins: OFF LINE. From corner, Shearer onto loose ball but Taricco cleared off line.

20mins: CHANCE. Carr slipped past Bernard, low cross found players queuing up to shoot but efforts from Bunjevevic and Poyet blocked.

21mins: SAVE. Taricco burst forward and unleashed shot from 20 yards tipped over by Given.

22mins: SUB. Jenas on for Speed.

28mins: SAVE. Superb reactions from Given to deny Poyet from eight yards after pinpoint cross from Taricco.

Half-time: Newcastle 1-0 Spurs

Half-time: SUBS: Dabizas and Lua Lua for Solano and Dyer.

46mins: Shearer glanced header just wide.

58mins: GOAL. Perry appeared fouled before giving away a throw. Bellamy quickly onto throw left side of box, held up but eventually dinked cross to far post where Shearer nodded home from five yards. 0-2.

58mins: YELLOW. Freund.

60mins: YELLOW. Dabizas for foul on Poyet.

62mins: WOODWORK. Lua Lua one-two with Shearer, raced into box, shot hit right post.

66mins: Bunjevcevic did just enough to distract Shearer as he closed in on Robert free-kick.

68mins: SUBS. Sheringham and Ferdinand for Poyet and Iversen.

73mins: OWN GOAL. Sheringham's cross headed into own net by Dabizas. 1-2.

76mins: CHANCE. Shearer, 16 yards out, fired wide from Lua Lua's cross.

78mins: SUB. Acimovic for Keane.

Injury time: YELLOW. Perry for foul on Hughes.

Line-ups: Newcastle: Given, Solano (Dabizas, 45), O'Brien, Dyer (Lua Lua, 45), Shearer, Bellamy, Speed (Jenas, 22), Hughes, Caldwell, Robert, Bernard. Unused subs: Harper, Ameobi.

Spurs: Keller, Carr, Taricco, Freund, Bunjevcevic, Freund, Perry, Poyet (Sheringham, 67), Iversen (Ferdinand, 67), Keane (Acimovic, 78), King, Davies. Unused subs: Sullivan, Thatcher.

Attendance: 52,145.