SHEARER SETTLES MAGPIES NERVES
By Nic Evans
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Stefano Eranio put the ball through his own net, the 19th own goal of the season so far and Alan Shearer scored his 11th Premiership goal to dump the Rams into deeper trouble.
The Derby wing-back stretched to try to divert a Nolberto Solano cross out for a corner, but with Shearer breathing down his neck he only managed to slide the ball into the net.
It was a vastly different Magpie team that took the field after the impressive midweek win over FC Zurich. Shay Given was again preferred to Steve Harper in goal, Didier Domi couldn`t shake off his ankle injury and Alessandro Pistone made his first start in 15 months.
Marcelino partnered Dabizas in the centre of defense, a duo that made the cornerstone of the Newcastle defense look more solid than it had been in months. Upfront, Kevin Gallacher was preferred to Silvio Maric.
The game started amidst a peaceful protest by the Save Our Seats group. Fans were asked to stand for the first 10 minutes, most did for the first half. The ground also looked devoid of the usual thousands of replica shirts and the club shops and bars were almost empty.
Bobby Robson`s men dominated the first half but the final ball so often disappointed. Rob Lee, making his 300th appearance for the club, was the driving force behind Newcastle`s best moves.
After 10 minutes Lee`s ball to the on rushing Warren Barton resulted in Kieron Dyer heading straight into Russell Hoult`s arms from a Shearer knock back.
Four minutes later Shearer`s cross was headed over the bar by Dyer. Sadly the England starlet suffered a recurrence of his calf injury and was substituted after only 37 minutes, Silvio Maric replaced him.
Almost immediately Nolberto Solano was played through by Maric and blasted a shot that Hoult did well to keep out, Alan Shearer, following up should have done better but blazed his shot over the bar.
Newcastle went 2-0 up seven minutes into the second half.
Dabizas won the ball just outside the Newcastle box, his outlet pass put Solano in the clear and with the magical Peruvian bearing down on goal he crossed for Shearer to finish a fantastic sweeping move.
In the final 30 minutes Newcastle should have put the issue beyond doubt, Speed should have scored but Schnoor brilliantly cleared off the line. Shearer, Gallacher and Maric all had chances to give Bobby Robson another healthy victory.