Newcastle's second string continued their pre-season against
National North side, Blyth Spartans on Tuesday and they had
a tough time at Croft Park.
First team calls-ups meant that Magpies U23 Coach Chris Hogg was without Tom Allan,
Joe White, and Jack Young and his side struggled to create a chance
worthy of the name throughout the 90 minutes.
Blyth went ahead on 14 minutes after referee Adam Herczeg dubiously
deemed that Dan Maguire was impeded inside the box - veteran
Robbie Dale netting from the penalty spot.
That lead looked to have been doubled in the 27th minute when JJ O'Donnell
headed a free-kick past Magpies 'keeper Dan Langley, only the linesman
to raise his flag
to indicate offside.
However the second goal did arrive a minute before the break, Dan Maguire
heading home a right wing cross from SJP old boy Nicky Deverdics.
Half time saw a trio of substitutes take to the field for Newcastle,
including a trialist identified as 17 year-old Yasin Arai from League
Two side Stevenage.
English-born of Moroccan parents, Arai occupied the left flank and
almost made a spectacular impact when his 54th minute shot grazed the
Other than that though, home custodian Alex Mitchell had virtually
nothing to do for the rest of the game.
With both sides making changes, ex-Magpie Lewis McNall added gloss
to the scoreline with a third goal on 70 minutes - steering the ball
home after an initial effort from a
Spartans trialist deflected off a defender.
United have one more warm-up game (at Liverpool on Sunday) ahead of
their season opener at home to Reading in just under a fortnight. It's fair to say that
much work remains to be done.