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Half-Time Report: James McCarthy gives Everton slim lead over Newcastle United

Everton are on course to pull six points clear of the Premier League's relegation zone as they lead Newcastle United 1-0 at the interval.

James McCarthy's first goal of the season has given Everton a slender advantage over Newcastle United at the halfway mark of this afternoon's Premier League match at Goodison Park.

James McCarthy of Everton celebrates scoring the opening goal with Romelu Lukaku of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on March 15, 2015© Getty Images

It was a fast start from visiting Newcastle and they could have gone in front after just two minutes as both Yoan Gouffran and Mike Williamson were denied from close range.

Everton responded well inside the opening 10 minutes, with Romelu Lukaku twice testing Tim Krul in the Magpies goal.

The Blues took the lead in the 20th minute when Lukaku teed the ball up for McCarthy, whose low shot from the edge of the area wrongfooted Krul and found its way into the net.

Newcastle came back into the game more and more as the half went on, but they were struggling to create any clear-cut chances.

The closest that they came to an equaliser was 10 minutes before the break when Sammy Ameobi burst into the box and had a shot blocked by Antolin Alcaraz.

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Leighton Baines in action for Everton on November 1, 2014
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