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The BBC's John Murray
"Newcastle survived the odd late scare"
 real 28k

Bobby Robson
"We showed some toughness and resilience"
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Sunday, 20 February, 2000, 16:48 GMT
Magpies dash Rovers' double dreams

Speed Speed sent Newcastle on the way to the semis

Tranmere 2-3 Newcastle

Newcastle booked their place in the last four of the FA Cup with a thrilling win over Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.

The First Division club, who were aiming for a second appearance at Wembley after reaching the Worthington Cup final, saw their dreams of a notable knock-out double dashed by Bobby Robson's in-form visitors.

Goals from midfielder Gary Speed, Didier Domi and striker Duncan Ferguson kept the Premiership side in the lead throughout the match.

Match facts
27: Speed opens the scoring for Newcastle
36: Domi doubles the lead
45: Allison's goal sets up a frantic second half
58: Ferguson re-establishes United's two-goal advantage
76: Jones' strike is not enough for Tranmere
But Tranmere forward Wayne Allison replied on the stroke of half-time and a late effort from Gary Jones kept the tie alive until the final whistle.

An entertaining match started in traditional, high-tempo FA Cup fashion.

With just five minutes gone, John Aldridge's side could have taken a surprise lead, but Shay Given did magnificently to parry Gary Jones' looping header from a Tranmere free-kick.

Almost immediately it was Newcastle's turn to threaten the home goal, when Speed blasted his shot straight at keeper Joe Murphy, after he was put through by Domi.

Challinor Challinor's super-throws were always a threat
Both teams appeared to be wearing near identical striped kits, making it difficult to recognise the respective sides' players in the glaring sun.

But it was the Premiership side who were quicker to adapt to the situation and the muddy conditions.

Challinor throw

Newcastle who went ahead on 26 minutes after some great work down the right by Kevin Gallacher and Kieron Dyer.

Scottish international Gallacher sent in a curling cross to the far post and the arriving Speed sent his low header under the body of Tranmere keeper Murphy.

We knew it was going to be one hell of a battle
Newcastle striker Alan Shearer
Just 10 minutes later, Gallacher was on hand again to supply another fantastic cross into the penalty box.

This time it was Domi who showed no hesitation in side-footing his shot into the Tranmere net, to give the travelling Toon Army some extra cheer.

Tranmere were dealt a major blow after 32 minutes when influential midfielder Andy Parkinson came off with an injury and was replaced by youngster Scott Taylor.

But the power of Dave Challinor's infamous long throws came to the Merseysiders rescue.

Just before the break the Prenton Park cult hero launched a huge throw into the Newcastle six-yard area.

Striker Allison was first to the ball and powered his header away from the despairing reach of Given, to reduce the deficit.

Fierce drive

Newcastle started the second half with the same attacking intentions as in the opening 45 minutes.

They were solid, workmanlike and with a lot of quality
Tranmere manager John Aldridge
Alan Shearer should have added to his tally for the season, but his fierce drive from inside the area rebounded off the post and to safety.

Minutes later, Dyer dispossessed Phil Babb on the right and sent in a low ball into the penalty area.

Ferguson arrived just before Ruben Hazell and the big Scot slotted the ball past Achterberg from four yards out to give the Magpies a two goal lead.

It seemed to be plain sailing for Robson's men, but Tranmere had other ideas.

Given Given was helpless in stopping Allison's header
A free kick from the right found Allison unmarked at the far post, his shot deflected off former Magpies striker David Kelly and fell into the path of Gary Jones.

The central midfielder had the simple task of nudging his short-range effort away from the clutches of Given, to give the Prenton Park faithful a ray of hope.

Unlucky Tranmere were dealt with a further injury blow, when Gareth Roberts was stretchered off with a suspected broken leg after a horrific collision with Dyer.

But with the clock ticking down, that was the last piece of action in a memorable match.


Tranmere: Murphy, Hazell, Challinor, Babb, Roberts, Parkinson, Henry, Jones, Mahon, Allison, Kelly. Subs: Achterberg, Taylor, Morgan, Thompson, Black.

Newcastle: Given, Barton, Dabizas, Helder, Hughes, Dyer, Speed, Gallacher, Domi, Shearer, Ferguson. Subs: Karelse, Howey, Ketsbaia, Glass, Antunes.

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol)

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See also:
19 Feb 00 |  FA Cup
Bolton heroics burst Charlton bubble
18 Feb 00 |  FA Cup
Shaky defence in duo's sights
31 Jan 00 |  FA Cup
Shearer returns to haunt Rovers
29 Jan 00 |  FA Cup
Tranmere on target for Wembley double
Links to other FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.