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Sad Al left groan alone!; pounds 15m man stranded after Geordies are blitzed by Rhinomite.

Everton 2, Newcastle 0

Alan Shearer discovered to his disgust that there was no easy escape from his Debut Day dismay.

For 90 minutes, David Unsworth - the man they call Rhino - almost made him look a pounds 15million white elephant by sticking so close he was almost inside his black and white shirt.

Neville Southall piled on the misery with two breathtaking saves from strikes that would have normally given Shearer a brace.

And then when it was all over Shearer was left STRANDED at Goodison - much to the delight of the laughing Everton hordes.

The world's most expensive footballer had bid farewell to his downhearted Newcastle pals aboard the team bus and collected his bag for home.

But his driver thought he was heading back to Tyneside - and had driven away earlier without his precious cargo.

That left Shearer hailing a taxi and forking out pounds 20 from his pounds 30,000 a week wages to pay for the trip back to the family home in Formby, Merseyside

An embarrassing, undignified getaway with witty Scousers singing "Shearer's Going Home" as the battered black cab drove past the inappropriately named Lucky Fish and Chip Bar.

The exit just about summed up his day. From the moment the Z-Cars theme tune had greeted Everton's arrival, his limelight was well and truly nicked by Unsworth.

The self-confessed Manchester United fan did a Fancy Smith by arresting Shearer on sight. He read him his rights that he must not pass, and shackled the most expensive legs in the game.

The pounds 15million man was upstaged by the defender who cost Everton not one penny and who can count his England appearances on a solitary finger.

Shearer did threaten briefly but every time he did, Southall, making his 700th appearance, kept him at bay.

A Shearer header destined for the top corner was brilliantly flipped away by the orange- shirted keeper who was more than delighted to Tango Europe's top striker.

And just when you thought he might catch Southall off guard with 60 seconds left, the golden oldie took flight to punch away his free kick.

Even when Shearer managed to beat the Welsh rare-bit of excellence, referee Mike Reed spotted an infringement before he looped a header into the top corner.

Boss Kevin Keegan gagged his players from making after-match comments. Not that they would have said much anyway. They were silenced by goals from Unsworth and Gary Speed on his debut.

A lack of passion from the Newcastle players saw Keegan racing from the bench. And his touchline tantrums told their own frustrating story.

His defensive strategy is in tatters as he persists with a back four as dependable as Shearer's chauffeur.

I watched in disbelief on Newcastle's Far East tour as little Japanese side Osaka comfortably broke down their flimsy defensive barriers.

At Goodison, giant Duncan Ferguson gave them an even bigger fright.

"The big fella was terrific," said Everton boss Joe Royle. "He didn't need any motivation with all the hype involved with the other two strikers on the pitch."

It's true. Shearer and Les Ferdinand played second fiddle while big Dunc orchestrated Everton's sweet music.

Perhaps Keegan should have taken notice of the tee-shirts being sold to Evertonians in neighbouring Stanley Park.

The slogan screamed: "Just when you thought it was safe to cross Stanley Park, you get DUNKED!"

Man of the Match: Duncan Ferguson.

VERDICT

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Everton's second goal. Stuart's long ball picks out Ferguson and his knock down put Speed in for a simple strike.

MOAN OF THE MATCH

Ginola's dire display. The only surprise was why Keegan left him on for so long when he was so obviously out of sorts.

SHEARER

CLOCKWATCH

3 mins: First chance. Chips it tamely into Southall's arms.

24 mins: Headed "goal" disallowed. Ref Mike Reed says Albert guilty of pushing.

28 mins: Watches helplessly as Unsworth puts Everton ahead.

40 mins: Speed slides in Everton's second.

42 mins: Shearer header goalbound until Southall saves superbly

44 mins: Denied goal by Watson's desperate intervention.

57 mins: Lays the ball off to Gillespie after waiting a long time after the break for a touch of the ball. Then drifts right out of it for a long spell

84 mins: Rare shooting chance but Southall saves comfortably.

88 mins: Hits a 25-yard free-kick but Southall makes a flying save.

RICHARD TANNER
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Millar, Steve
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 19, 1996
Words:732
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