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Palace out of Toon

January 5 2002

Aki was unlucky not to score on two occasions

Aki was unlucky not to score on two occasions

Crystal Palace's FA Cup dreams were ended by a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle at St James Park for the second time in three years.

The Eagles lost 2-1 at St James Park at the same stage of the competition in January 1999, with Lee Bradbury geting the Palace goal at the time.

This time, Alan Shearer scored his sixth goal in six games in the 40th minute to give the home side the lead going into the break.

Substitute Clarence Acuna made sure of victory when he added a second in the 76th minute.

But Palace were by no means disgraced at St James Park. They made Newcastle work hard for the victory and had chances of their own to score.

Shay Given made two exceptional saves from Aki Riihilahti and Clinton Morrison had a fine goal disallowed for offside. Television replays later showed the goal was perfectly legitimate.

Riihilahti's first chance came as early as the third minute. Julian Gray's cross from the right was cleared by Nikos Dabizas only as far as Riihilahti who saw his shot saved.

The Eagles took the game to the hosts early on, but Newcastle showed their quality and got back into it.

Alex Kolinko tipped away a Craig Bellamy shot and was called into action again, on the 23rd minute.

Bellamy was put through on the right with acres of space and the Latvian keeper rushed off his line to hold him off by the corner flag.

But Bellamy managed to go round him and put a cross in for Olivier Bernard, whose shot looked a certain goal, only for Kolinko to appear from nowhere and push away for a corner.

The home side kept the pressure on Palace and could have been awarded a penalty when David Hopkin appeared to trip Bernard.

Then five minutes before the break, after Tony Popovic conceded a free-kick at the edge of the box, up stepped Shearer who drove through the wall after a lay-off from Nolberto Solano to make it 1-0.

In the 54th minute, Morrison saw his goal disallowed by the linesman while the Toon pressed for another goal.

Dabizas had a header saved by Kolinko and Bellamy's return shot hit was blocked on the line. In the 63rd and 75th minutes, Newcastle too were victims of the linesman's flag when Shearer and Bernard respectively had goals disallowed.

Riihilahti then had a fierce header, which was destined for the back of the net, saved by Given. Down the other end with 14 minutes to go, sub Acuna lifted his shot over Kolinko which went in off the crossbar and was enough to put Newcastle's name in the hat for the fourth round.


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