Passionate Blackburn send Shearer on his way

Football: Blackburn Rovers 1 Newcastle United 0

They came to bury Shearer, not to praise him, and Blackburn fans who once worshipped at the great man's feet revelled in his misery.

Three points that did not even lift Rovers from the relegation zone were greeted with great fervour at Ewood Park as Alan Shearer and friends were sent home with their title hopes dented and a pounds 15m price tag never looking more inflated.

Shearer was met with initial warmth, but after kick-off the chants became personal and unprintable. The collective feeling of hurt among supporters and players charged Tony Parkes' side into one of their most passionate displays of the season.

As for England's No. 1 striker, he had one of the quietest games these parts have witnessed. His contribution amounted to a booking, for a foul on Jeff Kenna, and an elbow in Colin Hendry's face as his frustration was hard to contain. Given the captain's armband, he failed to lead by example and Kevin Keegan's face at the post-match interview spoke volumes for the size of disappointment suffered by his star player and his colleagues, who once more appear to be fading from the Championship race.

Keegan grunted: "I'm disappointed that we did not get anything out of it. We did not deserve to win but we still had two or three very good chances. We are not playing well, we can't kid anyone about that."

Shearer apart, Newcastle were short of the type of cold-eyed finisher needed for such fixtures. The pleasing service of Keith Gillespie only found Hendry and his able Rovers sidekick, Henning Berg, at their best.

Newcastle's shooting came from long range, with David Batty, whose edge was sharpened against his old club, and Robbie Elliott, spurned by Rovers last summer, troubling Tim Flowers with strong drives. But Blackburn were always the more likely winners, though Chris Sutton has yet to find the monotonous regularity of scoring that was Shearer's trademark. On the day, the new Blackburn No. 9 was far more prominent but suffered twice in front of goal.

First Sutton strode between the two centre-halves to collect a Jason Wilcox pass only to blaze over, and then a Lars Bohinen through ball found him alone only for Pavel Srnicek to make a saving tackle outside his area.

It fell to Kevin Gallacher, reduced by injury to a Shearer spectator during some frustrating years, to deliver the telling blow at the end of the game's most fluid attack. Kenna's cross was flapped out by Srnicek to Bohinen, whose low shot was knocked off the line by Elliott. Sutton pounced to put the ball into the danger zone and Gallacher obliged with a hooked shot in the 76th minute.

The only scare to that advantage came from a back heel by Les Ferdinand with two minutes left but justice was ensured as the ball trickled past the post.

Blackburn Rovers (4-3-3): Flowers; Kenna, Berg, Hendry, Le Saux; Sherwood, McKinlay, Bohinen; Gallacher, Sutton, Wilcox. Substitutes not used: Marker, Fenton, Gudmunsson, Donis, Given (gk).

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Srnicek; Watson, Peacock, Albert, Elliott; Gilllespie, Lee, Batty, Beardsley; Shearer, Ferdinand. Substitutes not used: Crawford, Clark, Brayson, Kitson, Hislop (gk).

Referee: M Reed (Birmingham).

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own