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THE SAME OLD TOON!; Two-goal lead chucked away - but Terry Mac vows 'We'll win title'.

Aston Villa 2

Newcastle 2

Terry McDermott told a hushed Newcastle dressing-room: "Go out and win for Kevin Keegan, he'll be out there with you."

The Toon Army couldn't quite achieve the win but Keegan, who quit on Wednesday, would have been proud of the draw.

Acting boss McDermott said: "I still believe we can win the Premiership this season.

"I'll be telling Kevin about it tonight. He would have wanted us to play as we did. That result was for him.

"I'd like to think Kevin watched the game live on TV somewhere. If he did, I know he would have been proud of us.

"That's how I felt about our lads. There were some grey faces when I told them Kevin was going. They were very low.

"I was anxious about how they would react. To play as they did does them great credit.

"Mark Bosnich reckons he was obstructed before we scored our second goal. Perhaps it was Kevin out there tripping him up!

"Me as manager? I'm grey enough already. No, Newcastle have got to find someone to take charge and they should do it sooner rather than later. We just want to entertain. Obviously winning trophies is the important thing. That was Newcastle all over, we score, they score. Hopefully we can stop conceding as many."

Midfielder David Batty revealed that Keegan made no attempt to contact the players before the match.

But the England midfielder said the players were determined to put on a good performance. Batty said: "To come away from Aston Villa with a draw at any time is a good result but considering what's gone on this week, all the more so."

"There's not that much difference really - it's the same set of lads, the same set of football principles but of course it's hard to forget what's happened.

"But we're professional enough for no one to need to tell us how special this game was. We all knew what had to be done.""

Newcastle were given an emotional welcome by their fans, who sang the praises of Keegan throughout the game.

Striker Les Ferdinand said: "It will take more than one game to get over the departure of Kevin. But we are pros and we have to get on with it."

Belgian ace Philippe Albert added: "Terry asked us to play for Kevin and we did our best."

But Newcastle conceded a two-goal lead and needed a penalty save by Shaka Hislop to save a point. Villa's Dwight Yorke scored a hat-trick at St James's Park and still lost. This time he missed a hat-trick and drew!

United took a two-goal lead inside 21 minutes and lost it within six minutes of the break.

Alan Shearer, cold-eyed in the thick of such swirling emotion, soon applied the surest scoring touch in the country.

He eluded an offside trap, brushed aside Steve Staunton, and finished like an assassin.

United's second was a catastrophe for Bosnich, whose feet slipped beneath him as he attempted to kick from his hands.

The ball went to Lee Clark, who deposited it in the unattended net from 30 yards.

Villa hit back when Darren Peacock fouled Yorke outside the box in the 39th minute.

Alan Wright drove the ball low into the area and Yorke scored from close range.

Then Hislop presented Savo Milosevic with the equaliser when he could only parry a Staunton cross-shot to his feet.

Hislop atoned when Milosevic was cut down by Albert. He plunged sharply to his right to save - and dived at Yorke's boots to smother the loose ball.

ASTON VILLA.- Bosnich 5; Nelson 5 (Scimeca 6), Wright 7, Ehiogu 7, Staunton 6, Southgate 7, Townsend 6, Tiler 6, Milosevic 6, Yorke 7 (Joachim 6), Johnson 7.

NEWCASTLE.- Hislop 7; Watson 6, Beresford 6, Batty 7, Peacock 7, Albert 6, Elliott 6, Gillespie 7, Beardsley 7, SHEARER 8, Clark 6.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Barnes, David
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 12, 1997
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