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The BBC's Peter Slater
"Just as well Newcastle did score early"
 real 28k

Saturday, 1 April, 2000, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK
Bantams fail to frustrate Magpies
Speed heading strength was proven again to Bradford's dismay
Newcastle 2-0 Bradford

Goals from Gary Speed and a second-half spectacular from Alan Shearer were enough for the home side.

Welshman Speed pounced to head in a Kieron Dyer corner after seven minutes and Shearer added to his tally for the season in the dying seconds of the game.

Paul Jewell's Bradford rarely looked threatening, but Bobby Robson's men made it hard work for themselves and were guilty of missing several chances.

Match facts
7 mins: Speed heads Newcastle into the lead
28 mins: Robert Lee has his shot blocked by Wetherall
30 mins: Lee misses again
44 mins: Windass' effort brilliantly saved by Harper
48 mins: Shearer header cleared off the line
89 mins: Shearer grabs his reward
Newcastle fielded a rarely-used central defensive partnership of Alain Goma and Helder.

On paper it seemed to give Bradford hope of claiming an unlikely double win over the Magpies.

But the relegation-threatened team were brought back to reality after the seventh minute when Speed arrived unmarked in the penalty area to nod home.

Bradford were finding the home side in high spirits a week before thier semi-final FA Cup date with Chelsea and many of the Magpies stars were out to impress ahead of next Sunday's match.

The West Yorkshire team were exposed on the flanks, by Frenchman Didier Domi and England international Dyer.

Early break

Newcastle's Robert Lee, who has been touted as the unsung hero of their revival, should have put the Magpies further into the lead.

But the midfielder had his shot well blocked by Bradford's David Wetherall as he was ready to shoot from inside the 18-yard-box.

After 30 minutes, Newcastle's Lee saw another effort, this time from 30-yards, just miss keeper Matt Clarke's right-hand post.

Newcastle lacked a cutting edge despite winning most of the possession, and could have been made to pay just before the interval break.

But Dean Windass's snapshot was brilliantly saved by Steve Harper in the home goal.

Bradford were eager to frustrate Newcastle and prevent them from getting an early break in the second-half.


Their plans were almost scuppered after just three minutes when Shearer's firm header was nodded off the line by the covering Wayne Jacobs.

Bradford always looked as if they were capable of grabbing an equaliser, but with two minutes remaining Newcastle's captain destroyed their hopes.

A patient Magpies build-up saw substitute Temuri Ketsbaia lay the ball square to the Geordie striker.

Shearer took one look up at goal and smashed a 25-yard screamer past Clarke.

It left Bradford rueing the defensive tactics which they employed at St James Park.


Newcastle: Harper, Barton, Helder, Goma, Hughes, Lee, Dyer, Speed, Domi, Shearer, Ferguson. Subs: Given, Marcelino, Maric, Ketsbaia, Antunes.

Bradford: Clarke, Halle, Wetherall, O'Brien, Jacobs, Beagrie, Windass, McCall, Dreyer, Sharpe, Saunders. Subs: Davison, Westwood, Blake, Todd, Cadete.

Referee: A D'Urso (Billericay)

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