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Season 2017-18
Darlington (a) Friendly


Date: Monday July 17th 2017, 7pm 

 Northern Echo Arena

Conditions: Sun-drenched


(no programme)


Newcastle U23s

  1 - 2





8mins Sean Longstaff shot home at the north end of the ground 1-0

11mins Striker Ivan Toney doubled the lead with a neat feint and shot 2-0

mins Trialist Scott Fenwick beat Nathan Harker with a low angled effort 2-1

Half time: Quakers 1 Magpies 2

Full time: Quakers 1 Magpies 2

We Said

Peter Beardsley told the official website:

"We started brilliantly, scored two goals and could have had a third. We created some chances, and played some lovely football. The result is almost irrelevant really Ė itís all about fitness at this stage. But weíd rather win than lose Ė thatís common sense Ė so itíll bring a bit of confidence.

"I thought the first half team were really good, and could have been more ahead. Itís not easy, as I said to them at half time, when you change the whole team, which was obviously the plan we had. But a winís a win, and the most important thing is that everyone got 45 minutes.

"To be fair, Darlington are amazing to us, but the pitch isnít perfect Ėitís a rugby pitch, so itís not a football pitch as such. But they looked after us last year, theyíve looked after us this year, so itís always nice to come.

"Callum Smith gave a great pass for the first goal, and then Ivan did a great bit of skill for the second. Ivan looked really sharp, and I can understand, watching that, why people keep taking him on loan. Heís got great ability, heís a great kid with great attitude and loves training, and it shows in the way he plays.

"I thought Stefan
(O'Connor) was really good in the first half, and that was probably when we were at our best and to be fair to Josef (Yarney), he was very solid, very powerful and probably what we thought he would be.

"We had 20 outfield players that played tonight, and two keepers. Weíve got another eight to come, and then Callum Roberts and Victor
(Fernandez) who are with the first team in Ireland.

"Itís brilliant for them. Rafaís done this before
(taken players from the U23s), and continues to do it, and itís great for them to have a week with them. Itíll be good for them to get to know a few of them.

"Callum went out to Kilmarnock
(on loan last season) probably at the wrong time for him, as he might have got a chance in the first team earlier, but heís away with them now, and hopefully itíll go well.

"Itíll be great for him and Victor to be around that group. Itíll be a brilliant experience for them.Ē


Magpies @ Northern Echo Arena:

This was our fourth Arena visit since debuting here for a reserve fixture in 2004 and losing 1-4.

First team kickabouts were then staged here in 2009 - when United won 7-2 - and two years later in 2011, when our 2-0 victory was overshadowed by a ridiculous pitch invasion.

And 12 months ago in 2016, Peter Beardsley's U23 side ran out 5-1 winners here in pre-season.

Pre-season pitch time (in minutes):

Dan Barlaser 45=45
Kyle Cameron 45=45
Luke Charman 45=45
Juan Cumbrera (aka Juanito) 45=45
Yasin Ben El-Mhanni 45=45
Stuart Findlay 45=45
Owen Gallacher 45=45
Macaulay Gillesphey 45=45
Curtis Good 45=45
Nathan Harker 45=45
Jack Hunter 45=45
Otto Huuhtanen 45=45
Ben Kitchen 45=45
Sean Longstaff 45=45
Michael Newberry 45=45
Stefan O'Connor 45=45
Callum Smith 45=45
Liam Smith 45=45
Ivan Toney 45=45
Dan Ward 45=45
Callum Williams 45=45
Yosef Yarney 45=45


12 months after a 5-1 victory here, United's reserve side returned to the Northern Echo Arena on Monday night - but proved not to be quite so prolific in front of goal second time round.

Debuting their blue away kit and with recent arrival Stefan O'Connor in the starting lineup, the Magpies quickly got into their stride, Sean Longstaff and Ivan Toney both reprising their 2016 scoring exploits at this venue.

Back after a loan spell at Kilmarnock, Longstaff shot United ahead on eight minutes after receiving a low centre from Callum Smith on the left, and taking a touch before finishing from 14 yards.

On a glorious night that lead was doubled just three minutes later, as O'Connor's ball into the box from the left was taken by Toney with his back to goal. The striker's dummy shook off marker Chris Hunter and gave him the space to turn and convert a rising shot for what was a carbon copy of an effort while out on loan at Scunthorpe United last season.

Returning to their former home for one night only, Darlo should have been three down on 24 minutes when Peter Jameson's mishit clearance fell straight to Toney and the goalkeeper took his legs away.

However the visiting number 9 lined up awkwardly and his sent his poorly-struck spot kick straight at the 'keeper, who was able to block with ease.

A third goal did follow soon after but it was the Quakers who got it, Nathan Cartman's strong forward run ending with a ball across the box for trialist striker Scott Fenwick to shoot home.

The lively Toney then rolled a shot against the base of the post after making space in the box on 41 minutes, before Darlington's trialist scorer had the ball in the net again just on half-time - but was flagged offside.

A different Magpies XI took to the field for the second period, with new acquisition Josef Yarney appearing in a back four that lined up in front of 17 year-old Finnish goalkeeper, Otto Huuhtanen. 

The Quakers also made multiple changes as the game progressed and became increasingly dominate, although United created a handful of chances without scoring again - Liam Smith and Owen Gallacher both finding Jameson with shots after bearing down on goal. 

Darlington thought they'd equalised with 13 minutes left when Jordan Richards curled in a free-kick from the left that eluded everyone including Huuhtanen - only for a raised flag to rightly curtail celebrations again.

And an ill-advised backpass on 79 minutes almost cost United dear, Huuhtanen surrendering possession as a substitute chased him down, but recovered enough to disrupt the shot before Yarney cleared off the line.

However there was no more scoring in what was a decent enough contest for a kickabout on what is a rugby pitch that meant some variable bounce and a crater where the centre spot should be.

Despite losing, narrowing the margin of defeat from 12 months ago and generally looking more competitive left home fans optimistic of improving on last season - when a playoff place was denied them due to issues with their Blackwell Meadows home. 

Mowden Park rugby club - and their Geordie Chairman - made what is now their home available so that tonight's game could be staged, while work on the pitch and spectator facilities at Blackwell Meadows continues.

Peter Beardsley's side now move on to face National League neighbours Gateshead at the International Stadium on Saturday afternoon (3pm).


Page last updated 26 July, 2017