Everton 2 Newcastle 1

Last updated : 06 April 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Wayne Rooney made yet another show-stopping performance to help Everton clinch a 2-1 victory over Newcastle and with the Toffees still in contention for a Champions League place three points were desperately needed.

Goals from Rooney and David Unsworth were enough to see off the visitors despite a spirited fightback.

Rooney's goal may not have been a 30-yard screamer, but he was more than thrilled with his effort which came from a Thomas Gravesen cross via the head of David Weir.

Just six yards out Rooney got his head to the ball and knocked it into the back of the net.

With just 18 minutes on the clock Everton looked set to dominate the match but as the whistle approached for half time Newcastle began to get back in the game.

And with a fantastic goal from Laurent Robert they drew level. The Frenchman pulled the ball down from a long Jonathan Woodgate pass, teed it up and smashed it in from the edge of the box.

But after the break the home side were firmly in control and went ahead with a clinical Unsworth penalty.

Woodgate fouled Kevin Campbell on the edge of the box and Unsworth calmly stepped up and fired in a lethal shot past Shay Given.

Rooney had gone close to adding to his tally in the 46th minute with a stunning long-range effort saved by Given.

But Newcastle were not without threat as they chased an equaliser and they had Everton fans holding their breath in the dying moments of the game as Jermaine Jenas and Titus Bramble both went close.

Jenas fired from ten yards and forced Everton's Richard Wright into making a fine save.

Then Bramble went close with a header that nearly grabbed his team a share of the points, but Everton hung on to clinch a well-deserved victory.