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Season 2021-22
Harrogate Town (a) Friendly


Sunday July 18th 2021, 2.00pm

 The EnviroVent Stadium aka Wetherby Road

Admission: 10

Programme: None


Harrogate Town

Newcastle U23s

  2 - 1





43 mins Hall header. 0-1

Half time: Sulphurites 1 Magpies 0

mins Crossley shot 1-1

mins Martin shot. 1-2

Full time: Sulphurites 2 Magpies 1


Pre-season pitch time (in minutes):

Allan 45=45
Barrett 45=45
Bondswell 45=45
Brown 45=45
Cross 45=45
Crossley 45=45 (1 goal)
de Bolle 50=50
Ferguson 45=45
Flaherty 45=45
Longelo 45=45
McEntee 45=45
Miley 45=45
Savage 45=45
Scott 45=45
Stephenson 45=45
Stewart 45=45
Thomson 40=40
Turner 45=45
White 45=45
Wiggett 45=45
Wilson 45=45
Young 45=45

There was a first sighting of recently-arrived defenders Charlie Wiggett and Remi Savage while fellow new signing Cameron Ferguson also made his bow at this level.

(Ferguson wasn't the only participant in the game with SJP related parentage - namely old boy Big Dunc - with Harrogate forward Luke Armstrong the son of ex-Magpie reserve and current Darlington boss, Alun.

Missing were Rodrigo Vilca, Elias Sorensen or Niall Brookwell - reason tbc. Mo Sangare remains out injured while Lewis Cass has joined Port Vale on a season-long loan.

United's only previous visit to this venue was in July 2002, when a reserve side including Coach Peter Beardsley lost 1-3. Since then, Town have laid and ripped up an artificial playing surface and are now back on the grass.


Photo: Matt Kirkham/@TownPix


At the same time as Newcastle's first team were in action at York City, another Magpies XI took to the field some 23 miles away in Harrogate.

However plans to split the first team squad in order to fulfil both games simultaneously were derailed 48 hours before kick-off, when Magpies goalkeeper Karl Darlow returned a positive COVID-19 test.

With Mark Gillespie and Freddie Woodman also required to self-isolate after being in close proximity to Darlow during United's training camp at
Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate, that created both a goalkeeping shortage (Martin Dubravka being out injured) and a risk of cross-contamination.

Rather than cancel one of the games, a resolution was reached by Newcastle fulfilling the Harrogate fixture with their U23 side, preparing on Tyneside for their first scheduled pre-season game the following weekend.

That matched Chris Hogg's second string with a Town side
who finished seventeenth in their maiden League Two season - Steve Bruce and the first team heading to National League North side York City, who are managed by former SJP favourite Steve Watson.

Given that Newcastle played with two different sides and included several new faces, the black and whites gave a decent account of themselves and were slightly unfortunate to lose by the odd goal in three. 

On a baking afternoon when temperatures reached 28 degrees and water breaks were required, the hosts went in front just before the interval. A corner from George Thomson was met by substitute defender Connor Hall and he headed it past Jake Turner.

United hit back six minutes after the interval when one of their replacements found the net; 16 year-old forward Kyle Crossley breaking into the left side of the box before tucking a low effort into the far side of the Town goal.

Harrogate hit the post in the 72nd minute before claiming the winner with seven minutes remaining - striker Aaron Martin meeting a low centre from trialist Jordan Stevens and beating Will Brown from close range.

PS: For anyone who hoping to knock the ground off their 92 list but unable to gain access today, Newcastle U21s are due here for a Papa John's Trophy tie in early October.


Page last updated 25 July, 2021