Gillespie dominant : FOOTBALL

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The Independent Online
Newcastle United 2

Wimbledon 1

A breathtaking display of high-speed football by 19-year-old Keith Gillespie was the highlight of Newcastle United's first Premiership win since 10 December.

But the match ended on a sour note with Wimbledon's manager, Joe Kinnear, incensed at the referee, Mike Reed, disallowing what would have been an equaliser in injury time.

"I asked him why the goal by Jon Goodman was disallowed but he just told me to go away," Kinnear said. "There was no physical contact but I just called him a cheat. And I meant it. I am fully aware that I may well get into trouble for this and may face some sort of rap, but I don't care. I just hope it is the last we see of that referee."

Newcastle should have had the game comfortably won by then. An early onslaught, inspired by Keith Gillespie, the £1m "makeweight" in the Andy Cole transfer, resulted in Hans Segers making three spectacular saves, from Gillespie, Darren Peacock and Ruel Fox. However, the Wimbledon's Dutch goalkeeper was finally beaten in the 35th minute, Fox turned Ken Cunningham twice before hitting a right-foot shot into the top left-hand corner of the net.

Segers again had to be at his best to tip over a stunning Gillespie shot from 18 yards just before half-time. All Wimbledon had managed was a Vinny Jones header straight at Pavel Srnicek.

Any hopes of an early Wimbledon revival in the second half were snuffed out after just 51 minutes with a second goal for Newcastle. Wimbledon's defence, which had done so much sterling work earlier, was caught in disarray as Barry Venison fed the ball through for Paul Kitson to score.

Gillespie had the crowd out of their seats with his astonishing runs and as Newacstle dominated, Wimbledon were forced to battle to cling on, with Barton, Thorn and Jones all booked.

Their determination was rewarded in the 78th minute when Efan Ekoku headed in Warren Barton's free-kick to spark the lively finale.

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Srnicek; Hottiger, Peacock, Howey, Elliott; Gillespie, Venison, Bracewell, Fox; Kitson, Beardsley. Substitutes not used: Watson, Clark, Hooper (gk).

Wimbledon (4-4-2): Segers; Cunningham, Thorn, Perry, Kimble (Elkins, h-t); Barton, Jones, Earle, Clarke (Blissett, 77); Ekoku, Goodman. Substitute not used: Sullivan (gk).

Referee: M Reed (Birmingham).

n A transfer tribunal yesterday ordered Arsenal to pay Ipswich Town £1.25m for Chris Kiwomya, with the fee rising to £1.55m if the 25-year-old striker makes 60 first-team appearances.

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