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Alan Green reports for the BBC
"Alan Shearer took revenge for the taunts with his skill"
 real 28k

Monday, 31 January, 2000, 22:41 GMT
Shearer returns to haunt Rovers

Double trouble: Shearer laps up the applause

Blackburn 1-2 Newcastle

Alan Shearer made a glorious return to Blackburn with two goals to send Newcastle into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Match facts
20: Shearer converts from Ferguson's flick-on
25: Jansen equalises with another break-away strike
79: With a replay looming, Shearer snatches his second
The England captain may have led Rovers to the Premiership in 1995, but he was given a hostile reception by the Ewood Park crowd at the start of the fifth round tie.

Shearer had the perfect answer, though, with his first goal against his former club in the 20th minute.

Lee Carsley stumbles past Robert Lee's challenge
And then when Matt Jansen had equalised and Blackburn were pressing for the winner, Shearer swooped to finish the tie 11 minutes from time and take Bobby Robson's team through to a last-eight clash against another First Division team - Tranmere Rovers.

Blackburn played their part in an excellent cup clash - but they will be cursing their former idol.

While Blackburn will now have to concentrate on pushing for a place in the play-offs, Newcastle can set their sights on a third successive FA Cup final.

Blake fires blanks

The contest got off to an edgy start, Shearer heading straight at keeper Alan Kelly, while at the other end Nathan Blake could not trouble Steve Harper from a similar chance.

It was another milestone for Alan and it was a mark of the man. His general play was outstanding - he worked so hard and scored two great goals. He's a wonderful role model for everyone at the club.
Bobby Robson praises Alan Shearer
Robson's Newcastle have often opted for a direct approach - and the route-one tactic paid off in the 20th minute with Shearer's first goal.

Harper launched a huge kick upfield, Duncan Ferguson produced one of his trademark headers into the path of Shearer and the England captain strode forward before stroking the ball past Kelly.

Newcastle almost scored a second four minutes later when Simon Grayson nearly deflected Shearer's cross into his own net, but the Rovers defender recovered to hook the ball off the line.

But Blackburn were not behind for long as they hit back in similarly direct fashion to United's goal.

Nathan Blake beats Nicos Dabizas to the ball
Per Frandsen caught the Magpies defence flat-footed with a neat long ball to Jansen. Still the threat should have been cleared by Newcastle - but keeper Harper rashly sprinted out of his area and Jansen was able to prod the ball past him into an open net.

Blake should have given Blackburn the lead when, for the second time in the half, he found himself unmarked with only Harper to beat - but again he headed into the keeper's hands.

At the other end, Newcastle thought they should have had a penalty when Kieron Dyer tumbled under Callum Davidson's challenge - but referee Paul Durkin waved play on.

Harper holds out

Newcastle may have shaded the first half, but Blackburn took control of the match after the break.

We're disappointed - we thought we'd done enough. We played well in the second half and they hardly had a chance. But Premier League teams have that bit extra and make the most of their chances.
Blackburn boss Tony Parkes
Jason McAteer so nearly scored a sensational 40-yard strike, but the back-pedalling Harper somehow clawed the ball out from under the bar.

If Harper was at fault for Blackburn's opening goal, he looked determined to make amends in the second half and was again at full stretch to brilliantly keep out a sharp strike from Jansen.

Damien Johnson turned and shot past the post as Rovers looked the more likely team to claim a winner.

Shearer tries his luck with an overhead strike
But just when the tie looked destined to be the only fifth round match to go to a replay, Shearer claimed the decisive goal.

Didier Domi embarked on a long, loping run down the left flank and played a superb low cross into the six yard box, where Shearer sprinted in to slam the ball high into the net.

It was Shearer's 250th career goal and was a fitting way to take Newcastle two steps away from another Wembley final.


Blackburn: Kelly, Grayson, Peacock, Dailly, Davidson, McAteer, Carsley, Frandsen, Duff, Blake, Jansen.
Subs: Ostenstad, Gillespie, Johnson, Harkness, Fettis.

Newcastle: Harper, Barton, Dabizas, Pistone, Helder, Dyer, Speed, Lee, Gallacher, Shearer, Ferguson.
Subs: Domi, Maric, Hughes, Fumaca, Given.

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset)

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Links to other FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.