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Ron Jones reports for the BBC
"Newcastle missed a hatful of chances before running out winners"
 real 28k

Saturday, 11 March, 2000, 17:55 GMT
Magpies deepen Watford gloom

Shearer: Uncharacteristically squandered chances
Newcastle 1-0 Watford

Newcastle turned in a none-too-convincing performance to scrape past bottom of the table Watford at St James's Park.

Kevin Gallacher returned from injury to slam home the 59th-minute strike that was the difference between the sides on a day typified by first-rate goalkeeping and below-par shooting.

Match facts
21 mins: Helguson goes close
52 mins: Smart denied by keeper
59 mins: Gallacher scores the winer
At the Watford end, Alec Chamberlain was kept busy producing some outstanding saves to deny Gary Speed, Nikos Dabizas and Duncan Ferguson.

Meanwhile, Shay Given did not have a quiet afternoon either, as Heidar Helguson and Allan Smart successively troubled the Magpies goaltender.

Uncharacteristically, Alan Shearer was guilty of squandering two one-on-one chances to improve on Newcastle's margin of victory.

It was justice that the home side took away the points that they so vitally need, but it also seems as if lowly Watford - almost certainly destined for the drop - are unlikey to ever find any reward for their hard work

The Magpies dominated in patches, although central defenders Steve Palmer and Robert Page did much to limit Shearer and Ferguson's potency.

Helguson went close with a header for the visitors on 21 minutes, while the England captain and Nolberto Solano frittered away a goalscoring chance by each leaving the ball for the other in the Watford area.

Watford's best chance came just after the restart when Peter Kennedy headed down Wooter's deep cross and Smart was again denied by Given.

Gallacher eventually settled it with a goal after 59 minutes, slipping in to convert Didier Domi's cross.

Teams

Newcastle: Given, Barton, Howey, Dabizas, Hughes, Solano, Lee, Speed, Gallacher, Shearer, Ferguson. Subs: Domi, Ketsbaia, Gavilan, Fumaca, Harper.

Watford: Chamberlain, Cox, Page, Robinson, Palmer, Hyde, R. Johnson, Kennedy, Smart, Helguson, Wooter. Subs: Ngonge, Smith, Bonnot, Williams, Day.

Referee: A Wiley (Walsall)
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