EVERTON 0 NEWCASTLE 2
By Patrick Goss. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
ALL OF THE pre-match hype involved two Hughes, Mark and Stephen, making home debuts for Everton, but it was Newcastle United`s Aaron Hughes that got the vital breakthrough in a scrappy match to help his side to a 2-0 victory.
A goals from Hughes, industry personified, and a quite breathtaking finish from Kieran Dyer, gave Bobby Robson all three points as Everton succumbed to their first home defeat of the season.
Manchester United showed, in their midweek fixture against Fiorentina, all of the skill and finesse that has blessed the Premiership of late, but this match showed that the battling qualities of English football are not in recession.
With two sides, as evenly matched as Everton and Newcastle deadlocked at 0-0 until the last 11minutes, the game looked destined to be a goal-less draw. But the arrival of Didier Domi and Dyer was enough to change the course of the game.
Indeed it was Domi`s hard work in the 79th minute that forced the ball into the penalty area where Dyer struggled to keep the ball under the pressure of the commanding presence of Richard Gough. As the ball rolled free of the melee, Hughes arrived from the left full back position and his momentum forced the ball through the challenge and into the six yard box - allowing the young defender to flick the ball past a helpless Gerrard and into the back of the net.
There can be few matches this season that were in more dire need of a flash of footballing poetry. And it was a Dyer moment indeed when England international prodigy Kieran added Newcastle`s second goal with breathtaking pace, control and composure.
Breaking with the ball in the 87th minute, Dyer ran half way down the pitch before brilliantly flicking the ball beyond the flailing leg of Everton`s last man to leave him one-on-one with Steven Gerrard - who had raced out to narrow the angles. With a steadiness beyond his years Dyer calmly lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper into the untended goal before claiming the adulation of the travelling Newcastle fans.
The first half, and indeed the first hour, of the match, were strongly contested but lacking in the kind of quality passing that was needed to break down two increasingly assured defences.
Ferguson, returning to a club that holds special memories for the Scot, got involved in silly altercations with first Richard Gough and then David Weir that resulted in a booking - but was indicative of the frustration that both attacks must have felt.
In fact the best chance of the half fell to a defender, with Nikos Dabizas blazing over after a corner had fallen kindly for him.
As the match progressed it became apparent that an injection of fresh players would be needed if either side wanted to claim a win. Everton brought on the blistering pace of Danny Cadamarteri, but Robson immediately countered with the introduction of Dyer and Domi, a decision that ensured Newcastle moved up to 11th in the tale.
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