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BATTGLEE.

David Batty repeated David Beckham's wonder goal last night - against the same hapless keeper Neil Sullivan.

The tough-tackling midfielder may have been 35 yards out rather than 50.

But the third-minute breakthrough was otherwise a carbon-copy of the goal that made Manchester United's Beckham the talk of football.

Sullivan raced from his area to head a Robbie Elliott through ball clear under pressure from Alan Shearer.

It fell perfectly for Batty, who took one touch to bring it under control and another to send it floating back towards an empty net.

Sullivan scrambled back and stuck out a despairing arm but couldn't stop it bouncing over the line off the underside of the bar. The Wimbledon keeper was left in a heap, looking on in bewilderment as Batty wheeled away to take the acclaim of the fans.

Alan Shearer scored his first Premiership goal for Newcastle with a 20- yard free-kick inthe 88th minute.

Sullivan could have been forgiven for staying rooted to his line for the rest of the night after Batty's goal.

But he came charging out again a couple of minutes later to head a long through ball into touch.

With Faustino Asprilla making an early impact on his return from suspension, Newcastle soon warmed to their task.

There was none of the poor approach that ruined their Premiership opener at Everton as they tore into Wimbledon. Asprilla had strong penalty appeals waved away by referee Steve Lodge after being bundled over by Brian McAllister in the fifth minute.

And Shearer revved up a Gallowgate end that was already in full cry with a majestic header four minutes later.

David Ginola whipped in an early cross from the left and Shearer grazed the bar from 12 yards.

Batty tried his luck from distance again with a 20th minute drive that flew over.

Wimbledon had new signing Ben Thatcher booked for flattening Les Ferdinand with a foul from behind as Wimbledon tried to stem the tide of Newcastle attacks.

They were constantly stretched and had another penalty scare in the 28th minute.

Shearer was sandwiched between

two defenders as he challenged for Ginola's cross and angrily claimed he'd been fouled.

Lodge was still brushing aside the protests when Steve Watson picked up the loose ball and curled a shot wide.

Shearer thought he'd grabbed his first competitive goal for Newcastle after being sent clear by Asprilla in the 54th minute.

The England striker drove a shot past Sullivan but had his celebrations cut short by a linesman's flag.

Shearer opened his Newcastle account with a 20-yarder into the top corner three minurtes from time.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Edwards, John
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 22, 1996
Words:436
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