Two dismissed for Everton

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Newcastle United 2 Everton 0 Joe Royle's assertion that his team are "no longer a soft touch" rebounded on the Everton manager with a vengeance last night when two of his players - Earl Barrett and Barry Horne - were sent off and five others were booked. The School of Science currently has an image of which a Borstal would be ashamed.

It was a totally ignominous night for the visitors, whose vigorous tactics always held them hostage to the referee's leniency. David Elleray's patience finally ran out just after the hour, when he dismissed Barrett, Everton's £1.7m signing from Aston Villa this week, after he kicked the ball away at a corner. Horne was also shown the red card for two bookable offences, following Barrett a minute later for fouling Keith Gillespie.

"After 30 years in football, that was the most insensitive display of refereeing I have ever seen," Royle said. "I had a word with him at half-time because I felt the home crowd were making the decisions at times, but my worst fears came true.

"He is supposed to be one of our best officials - other people's opinion not mine - and I can't believe what I've just seen. We only had a small number of fans with us but on a more volatile occasion, a display like that could cause a riot."

Last night's match followed a robust Everton performance in the Merseyside derby last week which angered the normally placid Liverpool manager, Roy Evans, and again the opposition saw Royle's team in a less favourable light. "Joe is a friend and I don't want to be too critical," the Newcastle manager, Kevin Keegan, said, "but I thought they were undisciplined. Some of them were asking to be booked. I told my lads at half-time that if we kept running at them, the way Everton were going they'd be down to eight or nine players. I had no idea how true that would prove to be but it could have been worse. Apart from the result, I got no satisfaction at all from the match."

It would be difficult for anyone to draw much from this occasion, which was scrappy even before collective madness grabbed hold of the Everton players. Both teams had alibis in that flu and injuries had removed key players but, even so, there was a dwindling prospect of a goal until Newcastle were handed the numerical advantage.

The first goal was as untidy as the match, which included 12 bookings in all. Robert Lee's 74th-minute shot ballooned into the air and when Alex Mathie aimed a kick and missed, the confusion allowed Ruel Fox to scoop the ball in from two yards.

The next followed six minutes later when Gillespie was brought down by David Unsworth in the area. Peter Beardsley, who had been the target for many of Everton's mistimed lunges, scored from the penalty spot, sending Neville Southall the wrong way.

The Everton goalkeeper was lucky to be deceived in this manner because he could have completed Everton's miserable evening by becoming the third player to be dismissed. As Beardsley turned away to walk back for the penalty, Southall came off his line andshowed his annoyance by kicking the ball away. Elleray flourished a yellow card but it could easily have been red. "The goalkeeper should have gone," Keegan said. "That was a sending-off offence not a booking."

Everton, who are deeper in the relegation mire, will not be counting their blessings.

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Hooper; Hottiger, Venison, Neilson, Elliott (Clark, 73); Fox, Lee, Bracewell, Gillespie; Mathie, Beardsley. Substitutes not used: S Watson, Harper (gk).

Everton (4-5-1): Southall; Jackson, D Watson, Unsworth, Barrett; Limpar (Grant, 64), Parkinson, Thorne, Ebbrell, Burrows (Samways, 50); Stuart. Substitute not used: Reeves (gk).

Referee: D Elleray (Harrow).