MATCH REPORTS

Magpies Crash At Goodison

Everton 2: Weir 42; Cahill 58
Newcastle Utd 0: Ameobi s/o 56

United: Given, Carr (Ramage 46), Boumsong, Bramble, Babayaro, Jenas, Ambrose, N'Zogbia, Milner (Shearer 82), Ameobi, Kluivert  Subs (not used): Harper, Robert, O'Brien

Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Weir, Yobo, Watson, Carsley, Bent (McFadden 74), Cahill (Stubbs 89), Arteta, Kilbane, Ferguson (Beattie 64) Subs (not used): Wright, Pistone  

UNITED boss Graeme Souness made two enforced changes to the side that won at Fulham in midweek, though Alan Shearer had to settle for a place on the bench.

Injuries to Steven Taylor and Amdy Faye saw fit-again Celestine Babayaro and Jermaine Jenas return to the side.

Everton, hoping to cement fourth spot with a win, included ex-Magpies Steve Watson and Duncan Ferguson in their side, with Allesandro Pistone on the substitutes bench.

The referee for the afternoon was Barry Knight, who red carded three United players against Aston Villa earlier in the season.

Newcastle got the game underway with a tremendous atmosphere around the ground, though the first real opportuinity didn't come until the seventh minute.

Jenas' foul on Cahill gave the home side a free kick 25 yards out, and when Arteta stepped up to swerve the ball around the wall, Given pulled off a superb save to tip the ball away when it looked destined for the top corner.

Ameobi then just failed to get on the end of a clever flick from strike partner Kluivert after the two exchanged passes inside the Everton box, then in Everton's next attack Bramble headed away a dangerous cross from Arteta.

The best chance of the game so far came on 17 minutes when N'Zogbia sent Ambrose through on goal, but his first touch was poor and as the ball spun away from him Martyn raced off his line to smother the ball at his feet.

Cahill then headed straight at Given, then Kluivert scuffed a shot wide after Ameobi found him with a neat pass.

Bent shot weakly at Given on 24 minutes, and at this stage United were starting to turn the screw in a bid to break the deadlock.

Milner saw a low shot saved by Martyn after a shot from Ameobi deflected off Weir, then Kluivert headed wide from Milner's free kick after Carsley was booked for a foul on Ameobi.

Watson got in the way of a 20 yard effort from Ambrose after more good work from N'Zogbia, then on 39 minutes a neat move involving Ambrose and Kluivert saw the ball threaded through to Milner but his angled strike was blocked by Martyn.

Three minutes before the break Boumsong was adjudged to have fouled Bent near the left hand corner flag. The skipper disputed the decision, but appeals fell on deaf ears and when Arteta swung the ball in, Weir lost his marker to send a header into the bottom corner and give Everton the lead. 

Ameobi had a shot cleared as United tried to level things before the break, and when the half time whsitle sounded Boumsong was still arguing with the match official as he left the pitch.

Souness made a change at half time, with Peter Ramage replacing Stephen Carr at right back after the full back failed to shake off the effects of a heavy challenge from republic of Ireland team-mate Kevin Kilabane in the first half.

Two corners in quick succession for the Toffeemen were both headed to safety, then Boumsong needed treatment after a clash of heads with ferguson in the centre circle.

Any hopes of a comeback were thwarted on 56 minutes when Ameobi was sent off. He won a free kick off Cahill, but the pair became involved in a tussle and when the striker raised his hands the referee needed no encouragement to whip out the red card.

Two minutes later it got worse for Newcastle. Arteta had time and space to find Cahill, and he took a touch before clipping the ball past an exposed Shay Given.

Bent and Ambrose traded chances before Everton started to take their foot off the gas with a spell of keep ball against the 10 men.

Kluivert and Arteta were both booked after a scuffle in midfield which saw players from both sides wade in on 82 minutes.

A couple of Everton corners came to nothing, and even the introduction of Shearer in the closing stages - in place of Milner - couldn't save Newcastle from a disappointing defeat.

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