Gateshead (a) Friendly
12 mins Sean Longstaff was dispossessed in a central position outside his own box by Ed Francis, who moved it quickly on to nearby Greg Olley nearby. The former Newcastle reserve took a touch with his right foot and steered the ball forward with his left for Marcus Dinanga to fire low through Karl Darlow from eight yards out at the North End of the stadium. 0-1
45 mins A through ball from Regan Booty in his own half dropped between Dan Burn and Remi Savage outside the area, falling nicely for Stephen Wearne. The ball seemed to get trapped between his feet as Karl Darlow came off his line, but the home midfielder shrugged off the goalkeper's challenge and coolly picked his spot from just inside the area despite the presence of Burn on the line. 0-2
Half time: Gateshead 2 Newcastle 0
50 mins Under
slight pressure from Matt Targett, recently-arrived substitute Kenton
Richardson under hit his attempted pass back to Louis Storey. That was
intercepted by Allan Saint-Maximin who immediately
slipped a pass from the left hand edge of the box to the arriving
Lewis Miley cut out a pass intended
for Wearne and exchanged passes with Burn down United's left flank
and midway into the opposition half. The 17 year-old then drifted
infield before playing a sublime pass into the box, where 19 year-old Jay
Turner-Cooke had stolen in.
On meeting their neighbours:
"Today was great and low travelling distance, playing
against a team that play really good football. I think the game was
played in the right spirits.
"'Financial fair play' - words I don't really like the sound of but it's there in every conversation we have because it's relevant & impacting what we can & can't do.
"We have to be creative & sometimes think outside of the box because we have a budget we have to stick to.
"I don't want to lose anyone from the squad we currently have; I want to build, and add quality players. But, of course, you're not always in control of that, so we'll wait and see if a player could leave - but certainly it wouldn't be something I want to happen.
"We’re prepared to be patient & get the right players But we’re also aware we need to improve the squad — so there will come a time that we have to move things forward quicker.
"I’m very aware we do need more (players). The squad needs to be robust enough to deal with the challenges that we face this season.
"We’re not currently close (to more signings). We are in the process of talking & negotiating — but Sandro’s (Tonali) transfer demonstrates how long it can take to get over the line.
"I think at different times there has been frustrations (with trying to close deals). There have been difficult days, because obviously you want the end result, you want the best squad you can get.
"We know the challenges we face. I think the summer we have been through all the emotions. We were very pleased to get Sandro through but we know we need more.
"I think we have got good coverage in certain positions. Maybe not so much in others.
"I don't think it is right for me to speak about what they are out of respect for the players we currently have. I know absolutely where we need to improve. We might need two different XIs in the space of a week this season. We need to be able to compete at the highest level."
whether he wants to keep
began their pre-season programme
on Saturday afternoon with
a short hop
over the River Tyne to face their
National League neighbours,
coming from two goals down to run out 3-2 winners.
The first public meeting between the sides since 2015 almost got off to an explosive start, with Matt Ritchie dragging an effort just wide within 20 seconds.
Other early chances for the green-clad Magpies fell to Ritchie again, Sean Longstaff and Jamal Lewis, but it was the hosts who went ahead on 12 minutes when striker Marcus Dinanga fired home.
An unfamiliar line-up with Kieran Trippier in midfield, Lewis out on the left wing and Remi Savage partnering Dan Burn in central defence came close to levelling through Longstaff again and Allan Saint-Maximin.
However Mike Williamson's side went in two goals ahead after midfielder Stephen Wearne leaving Darlow stranded before coolly picking his spot despite the presence of Burn on the line.
Although a large number of players warmed up during the interval deluge, United restarted with nine of the original line-up in place; Karius replacing Darlow and Alex Murphy coming on for Savage.
The visitors soon reduced the arrears through Elliot Anderson on 50 minutes and the score was tied just before the hour as Anderson returned the favour and teed up Saint-Maximin. Anderson then saw another effort glance off the upright as the visitors looked to complete the comeback.
The home side brought on SJP old boy Tom Allan and recent signing Aidan Rutledge - the latter giving a hint of the striking appetite that brought him over 60 goals for Northern League Birtley Town last season by working a shooting chance that Karius was equal to.
Newcastle made a host of changes and two of those created an 81st minute winner; 17 year-old Lewis Miley's fine ball expertly finished by 19 year-old Jay Turner-Cooke.
The younger of the two Miley brothers ended the game on the field with elder brother Jamie - who took the captain's armband relinquished by the departing Dan Burn and passed it on to Lewis.
There was also a first senior sighting for 18 year-old forward Ben Parkinson, who recently signed his first professional contract after a successful introduction to the U21s earlier in 2023.
Parkinson & Co. may well be back on this pitch next Saturday, when Newcastle's U21 side occupy the home dressing room before playing a friendly against Carlisle United's first team.
And looking further ahead, rumours persist that the Magpies may use the International Stadium to host some U18 and/or U21 matches during the coming season - which would bring in further much-needed revenue for their Tyneside neighbours. As yet though, that's unconfirmed.