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Newcastle United 1 vs Middlesbrough 0

FA Premiership – St. James’ Park, Wednesday August 30, 1995.

A packed of St. James’ Crowd saw United play to their attacking strengths and Frenchman David Ginola, in particular, displayed his flamboyant skills to the full.

Ginola, nicknamed Le Magnifique or “the Magnificent one” in his home country, quickly become a favourite of the Toon Army. Middlesbrough couldn’t handle his twists and turns, his pace along the left flank, not to mention moments of sheer brilliance on the ball.

One magnificent jink and drag back of the ball deep in the defence sent Boro players sprawling and was worth the price of admission alone.

With the visitors packing their defence, Newcastle dominated the game. They should have won the match by more than single goal that settled the fixture. We were went closed through Ferdinand, Keith Gillespie, Ginola and Robert Lee, while visiting goalkeeper Alan Miller pulled off some tremendous saves.

But Newcastle’s pressure eventually paid off midway through the second half – and it was a quality strike too.

Goal celebration

Ginola was displaying a level of skill on the ball rarely seen in this land, and the Frenchman opened up Boro’s rearguard with a dazzling run close to the touchline. He swivelled and curled in a tantalizing cross. In stormed Les Ferdinand to power a stunning header into the Boro’s net to picture the goal.

Middlesbrough now had to attack to save the game, and a more open contest developed. Newcastle found more space and almost hit them on the break on more than one occasion. Gillespie and Warren Barton caused havoc, as did Ginola, who set up Ferdinand with another scintillating run and cross.

However, Boro almost claimed an equalizer in the dying minutes when Jamie Pollock went down in the penalty area after a challenge from Darren Peacock. Despite vociferous appeals, the referee refused Boro’s claim for a penalty and Newcastle secured the points.

Hislop, Barton, Beresford, Peacock, Howey, Lee, Beardsley, Ferdinand, Clark, Ginola, Gillespie.
Subs: Srnicek, Ruel Fox, Mark Hottiger.
Goal: Ferdinand (72)

Miller, Cox, Morris, Vickers, Pearson, Whyte, Barmby, Pollock, Fjortoft, Mustoe, Hignett (Moreno).
Subs: Whelan, Kavanagh.