Charlton 0 Newcastle 2

Last updated : 15 March 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Newcastle kept up their impressive challenge for the Premiership title with a deserved 2-0 victory over Charlton at the Valley, showing no signs of fatigue after their midweek trip to Italy.

The result was a significant one in view of Arsenal's defeat at Blackburn and leaves the Magpies in third place just five points behind the Gunners.

Craig Bellamy's speed was a constant threat to the Charlton defence and the Welsh international striker gained a controversial penalty for the visitors after 33 minutes when he went down under a challenge from Jason Euell.

Alan Shearer making his 200th Premiership appearance for Newcastle stepped up to score from the spot with his 24th goal of the season, becoming Newcastle's third highest goalscorer in history.

Earlier Bellamy had missed a good chance when he shot across the face of the goal when clear of the home defence.

Charlton, who failed to get a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, felt they should have had a penalty when Jonatan Johansson appeared to have his legs clipped by Titus Bramble but referee Steve Dunn turned down the appeals.

Three minutes after the break Charlton went close to an equaliser when Claus Jensen fired a good chance wide.

It was to prove a costly miss because a minute later Newcastle increased their lead with a simple goal.

Shearer's flick found Bellamy in space and his left-wing cross found Nolberto Solano who tapped the ball in from close range.

Shearer could have further embarrassed Charlton when he broke clear but keeper Dean Kiely made a fine save.

At the other end, Shay Given did well to tip over Johansson's header, virtually the first save he had had to make with just five minutes left.

After a great run which saw them lose only once in 15 Premiership matches, Charlton have now lost back-to-back matches and their outside chance of a UEFA Cup place have been virtually snuffed out.

Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson was no doubt delighted that his team had proved deserved winners, coming off the back of their European experience in midweek.