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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 November 2005, 15:28 GMT
Everton 1-0 Newcastle
Joseph Yobo's second-half header gave struggling Everton a vital victory.

Yobo rose to meet Mikel Arteta's corner seconds after the re-start as Everton battled to earn a deserved victory.

Newcastle struggled to pose any serious threat, but were furious when referee Howard Webb missed James McFadden handling Shola Ameobi's shot on goal.

James Beattie also cleared Alan Shearer's shot off the line, and was then guilty of an awful late miss as Everton dominated after the break.

Newcastle were still without Michael Owen because of a groin injury, but captain Shearer was fit to return after hernia surgery.

The game was preceded by one minute's applause in memory of George Best, with both sets of fans paying a fitting tribute to the Manchester United legend.

The first half was short on quality, but high on incident and left Newcastle cursing the officials when McFadden clearly handled Ameobi's shot off the line, only to see their appeals waved away.

Ameobi had a chance to put Newcastle ahead after 20 minutes, but shot straight at Nigel Martyn.

Martyn came to Everton's rescue again when Shearer raced clear. The veteran keeper dived to save the first effort, and was then grateful to see the unlikely figure of striker Beattie clear the rebound off the line.

Everton had opportunities of their own, with Arteta sending a flick just wide before Titus Bramble almost headed the Spanish midfield man's free-kick into his own goal.

Andy van der Meyde wasted Everton's best chance on the stroke of half-time, when his shot from inside the area was well saved by Shay Given and McFadden hammered the rebound wastefully over the top.

Everton did not have long to wait to take the lead, Yobo heading them in front just 54 seconds after the re-start.

McFadden's shot was turned to safety by Given, but Yobo rose to power home Arteta's resulting corner.

It was the signal for Newcastle boss Graeme Souness to make a bold switch, sending on fit-again Albert Luque for defender Celestine Babayaro.

Newcastle were struggling to make any impression on Everton's resolute rearguard, but Scott Parker should have done better than slice an effort wide from 12 yards after arriving unmarked in the penalty area.

Beattie missed in horrendous fashion with 12 minutes left, blazing a wild effort over the top with the goal at his mercy from Simon Davies' pass.

Everton ended the game in total control, with Given saving brilliantly from McFadden.

McFadden then saw another effort blocked in injury time, with Given recovering miraculously to block two efforts from Tim Cahill.

  • Everton manager David Moyes:
    "This was a complete contrast to how we played last week. You saw a lot of determined players out there.

    "We should have conceded a penalty when James McFadden handled Shola Amoebi's shot - no doubt. But I've been there myself because we had one given against us that was a yard outside the area at West Brom.

    "Our fans saw a proper Everton side out there, not the one that turned up at West Brom. We've won three of our last four league games now, so we are on a decent run.

    "I always thought I had a squad that was up for a fight, although last week's defeat made me think twice, but they showed they are good lads who will battle for each other.

  • Newcastle assistant manager Alan Murray:
    "We should have had a penalty and we seem to be missing out on a few decisions, but we are disappointed with our overall performance.

    "We expect and demand better than that. We took our eye off the ball. We were below-par and have missed a good opportunity to get back into the top half of the table.

    "Michael Owen didn't play because he is still feeling his groin injury when he kicks the ball. We just want to be very cautious and make sure he is 100% fit before he plays again."

    Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Yobo, Weir, Neville, Arteta (Osman 79), Davies, Cahill, Van der Meyde (Kilbane 76), Beattie (Bent 85), McFadden.
    Subs Not Used: Wright, Kroldrup.

    Booked: Beattie.

    Goals: Yobo 46.

    Newcastle: Given, Ramage, Bramble, Boumsong, Babayaro (Luque 51), Solano (Bowyer 60), Parker, Emre, N'Zogbia, Shearer, Ameobi.
    Subs Not Used: Harper, Faye, Clark.

    Booked: Babayaro, N'Zogbia, Bramble, Parker, Ramage.

    Att: 36,207

    Ref: H Webb (S Yorkshire).

    Interview: Everton manager David Moyes

    Interview: Newcastle assistant manager Alan Murray

    Interview: Everton's James McFadden


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