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Season 2001-02
 Ashington (a) Pre-season reserve friendly
Date: Tuesday 17th July 

Venue: Portland Park 

Conditions: Fine, clear and mild.

3 entrance, 50p programme.



1 - 4 Newcastle United
Wore their greenish blue second kit Teams


5 mins The reserves went in front after just five minutes when Stuey Green linked up with McClen and Colin McMenamin side-footed home from 12 yards. 1-0 

21 McMenamin
again doubled the lead from close range, the ball breaking to the Scot after Olivier Bernard had found himself with space in the penalty area and tried unsuccessfully to round the keeper. 2-0

31 mins It should have been 3-0 when McGuffie was fouled in the box, but James Coppinger put the penalty wide of the post.

Half time:
Ashington 0 Newcastle Reserves 2

73 mins Reserve team debutant Richard Offiong anticipated the impending through ball from Mark Boyd, running unopposed from the halfway line to beat 
the keeper in a one-on-one. 3-0

78 mins
His latest strike partner Jamie Coppinger completed the scoring for United with glancing header from a deep Boyd cross. 4-0

88 mins Greg Peary
got a consolation for the home side after confusion in the United box allowed him the chance to score from six yards.

Full time: Ashington 1 Newcastle Reserves 4

We Said

Tommy Craig agreed with when he singled out Olivier Bernard for praise:

"I don't normally pick out individuals but I thought Olivier Bernard had a superb game.

"It looked as though he benefited from a really good pre-season schedule, he looked strong, powerful and quick. He got into good areas and defended well.

"He's come back from Belgium with the first team and looked very lively."


A good first game for the second team at the familiar and welcoming location of Portland Park, Ashington (even if their manager is a mackem.)

Tommy Craig brought a youthful side for the game, with comparative old hands Karelse, McClen and Beharall outnumbered by the new breed of Academy hopefuls. 

As a measure of the passage of players through the reserve side, exactly a year ago the team that took the field at Ashington included Ameobi and Steve Caldwell (who both featured at in senior action at Lokeren the previous Saturday), and the now-discarded McMahon Hamilton, Brady and Ketsbaia. Marcelino also played here last year....

Expected to step up this season are Steve's brother Gary and central midfielder Stuart Green while the likes of Mark Boyd and David Beharall will face competition for their reserve places from the likes of Bradley Orr and David Cowan.

Just behind them in turn are the Academy starlets who tonight were given an opportunity at this level for the first time. Goalkeeper Phil Pringle, central defender Peter Ramage and the prolific Richard Offiong will all have benefited from the experience of playing against local lads, some of whom dreamt of professional football careers only a short time ago.

As a measure of the competitive nature of the match Cowan left the field on the hour with a bump the size of an egg over his eye after tussling with a home player, while Olivier Bernard was singled out for a bit of rough treatment. However, the
Frenchman was probably the best performer on view, stylish in both defence and attack down the left flank. 

The game was generally played in good spirit, although the Ashington no.16 was substituted on the advice of the referee after a second stiff challenge on Bernard, rather than face formal punishment.

The crowd enjoyed a fine night and appreciated some good positive play from United, with the early season pitch allowing the midfield to move the ball and the defence to step upfield in the attractive style that Tommy Craig preaches. The Magpies managed one less goal than last year and failed to keep a clean sheet, but created enough chances to have doubled their total. 

Watching from the main stand were old-timers Bobby Robson and side-kick Charlie Woods and Robson brought the house down when they arrived just in time for kick-off and proclaimed, "We've found it!!". He was probably looking for the long-gone pit to remind him where the ground was.....    


Page last updated 14 July, 2016