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Saturday, September 25, 1999 Published at 18:06 GMT 19:06 UK


Shearer double can't save Magpies

Dyer: Set up Shearer's second but Bridges hit back for Leeds

Leeds 3-2 Newcastle

Two goals from captain Alan Shearer were not enough to save battling Newcastle from defeat at the hands of title-challengers Leeds.


The BBC's Ian Brown: "In the first half should have had a hat-trick"
David O' Leary's men were leading 2-0 when two strikes from Shearer sparked a furious second-half Newcastle comeback at Elland Road.

But young England talent Michael Bridges eclipsed the veteran's performance with a late winner which puts Leeds just two points behind Premiership leaders Manchester United.

It was an impressive display from Leeds' young guns, who ran Newcastle ragged and could have scored half a dozen in the opening half alone.

Bridges, Harry Kewell and Alan Smith terrorised the Geordies' lumbering defence which new saviour Bobby Robson.will clearly need a great deal more time to repair.

Missed opportunity

Bridges could have had a first half hat-trick as he hit the crossbar, had a one-on-one strike saved by keeper Steve Harper and then fluffed a shot wide when he was sent clean through by an impertinent flick by Smith.

But it was in-form midfielder Lee Bowyer, whose goals against Partizan Belgrade have put Leeds on course to progress in Europe, who struck after just ten minutes to give Leeds the lead.

Eirik Bakke slid a simple ball into a huge hole that opened up in the Newcastle defence which Bowyer hit first time with a curling right-foot shot.

Leeds spurned a hatful of chances to go two ahead until six minutes before the break when Newcastle allowed a harmless David Batty cross to bounce in the box and Kewell arrived at pace to power home the header unchallenged.

But with the clock ticking down the seconds to the interval, Magpie skipper Shearer forced his side back into the game.

Muscling in

He muscled his way in front of Lucas Radebe to head home a Nolberto Solano free-kick from the right side of the box.

Any critics not convinced by that goal or Shearer's five strikes against Sheffield Wednesday last week, could not fail to be impressed by the clinical finish he applied to level the match on 58 minutes.

Kieron Dyer, who set up Shearer's goals on his England debut, slid across a simple pass which Shearer rifled home from 12 yards.

David O' Leary - in his 50th game in charge of Leeds - brought on new signing Darren Huckerby in a bid to find the winner. And it worked.

With 13 minutes to go, Bakke played another simple ball to Huckerby who dragged a perfect cross back to Bridges who this time side-footed home.

Teams:
Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Woodgate, Radebe, Harte, Bakke, Batty, Bowyer, Kewell, Smith, Bridges.
Subs: Haaland, Huckerby, Mills, Jones, Robinson.
Newcastle: Harper, Barton, Marcelino, Goma, Domi, Solano, McClen, Speed, Dyer, Shearer, Ketsbaia.
Subs: Charvet, Glass, Hughes, Robinson, Wright.
Referee: B Knight (Orpington)




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