Exeter City (a) Friendly
14 mins Wayne Quinn's corner was nodded back across the six yard area by Steve Caldwell and Lomana LuaLua lashed home a close range effort in off the underside of the bar. 1-0
38 mins A Power free-kick found Christian Roberts in space and after racing into the box he dispatched a stunning cross-shot into Steve Harper's top left corner. 1-1
Half time: Exeter 1 Newcastle 1
48 mins Some
LuaLua trickery on the right edge of the box found Jamie McClen and the young
midfielder also showed some neat footwork before crossing.
Full time: Exeter 1 Newcastle 2
Uncle Bobby said about Cort's injury:
"Carl went over on his ankle and it looked like a heavy sprain. He's going to have to have an x-ray and it's not how any of us would have liked the season to have ended for him."
"Yes, there were a lot of good performances out there but what I am after is consistency, that's what really counts."
On trialist pair, Jay
Richardson and Ben Abbey:
On a pleasant sunlit evening in
Devon, Bobby fielded his strongest available side as City officially opened their new
Ivor Doble Stand - the Magpies boss having carried out a similar
ceremonial duty here when in charge of England.
The Grecians retaliated and pulled level after 34 minutes when Christian Roberts fired home a stunning cross-shot from the left side of the box that eluded Harper and found the top right-hand corner.
Not long before half-time Cort suffered his injury blow, recklessly caught from behind by Power. Immediately looking to be in serious trouble. After several minutes of treatment he limped off to be replaced by Colin McMenamin and as the players left the pitch, Cort was stretchered away down the tunnel.
After the break, John Karelse replaced Steve Harper, who also had a lengthy spell of treatment in the first half. United regained the lead early in the second half when some LuaLua trickery down our right found Jamie McClen in the box. He also performed some juggling before the ball was crossed to the far post for Wayne Quinn to finish with a firm half-volley that went just inside the left upright.
United brought on Olivier Bernard and Ryan McGuffie but an Exeter equaliser seemed the most likely addition to the scoreline. However, United stood firm with Karelse making one or two fine saves to hold out for the win.
The ghosts of 1981 were hardly banished but another win will have given some of our fringe players a late boost before the summer break.
This was how the Exeter Express & Echo reported the game:
touches as City check United
Despite being shorn of many superstars such as Alan Shearer and Kieron Dyer through injury, the Newcastle United XI which started the game last night was still, on paper, far stronger than that of Exeter City who by no means started at full strength, with trialist Jay Richardson joining first-team irregulars Jamie Mudge, Paul Read and Stuart Fraser in an unfamiliar-looking Grecians' line-up.
But as a wise man once said, football is played on grass not paper and after an opening period which saw the two teams taking time to size each other up, the game sparked into life with the first goal of the night on the quarter-hour.
It was the visitors who took the lead, Steve Caldwell diverting a Wayne Quinn corner from the Big Bank end into the path of Lomana Tresor Lua Lua, the improbably-named former Colchester man hooking it into the net with his right foot after Neil Whitworth failed to head clear.
But despite Lua Lua's goal engendering thoughts of a possible Newcastle whitewash, the Grecians kept their heads and played themselves back into the game.
Steve Harper twice denied Paul Read injuring himself in the process and after Stuart Fraser pulled off an excellent save from Caldwell's header on 30 minutes, a stunning Christian Roberts goal levelled the scores.
Latching on to a Graeme Power free-kick with just 10 minutes of the first half remaining, Roberts sent a terrific shot between Harper and the post for the goal of the night.
The final incident of the first half came in the 41st minute, when £7 million man Carl Cort hobbled off the field after damaging his ankle after a full-blooded encounter with Power.
Although the scores remained equal until the interval, the visitors took just three minutes of the second half to retake the lead.
LuaLua the star of the night for Newcastle started off the move, somehow playing the ball through the air between Power and Whitworth before feeding midfielder Diego Gavilan, whose pinpoint cross to the far post found Quinn, who headed in from the edge of the six-yard box.
Of the expected invasion of substitutes which followed, few matched the impact of Kwame Ampadu who made an instant difference in midfield when he came on for 21-year-old Richardson on 50 minutes.
With virtually his first touch of the game, Ampadu outwitted two Newcastle defenders before finding Jamie Mudge, whose snap shot flew back into the field of play via the post.
And if LuaLua was Newcastle's find of the night after a reportedly disappointing season, then Mudge was certainly Exeter's. Awarded a professional contract yesterday, he was a constant threat before his substitution on 65 minutes.
Another notable effort came from him two minutes short of the hour mark, when he beat Gavilan and forced Warren Barton on to the back foot before firing just over from 25 yards out.
Three minutes earlier, Roberts could have grabbed his second goal of the night and drawn City level after an inspired move.
Ampadu again began the move in the centre of midfield, finding Power on the wing who in turn provided Steve Flack. The big hitman fed Roberts who dallied with the ball for far too long before skying his shot way over the bar.
The last half-hour whizzed by in a blur of substitutions only Roberts, Campbell and Mark Burrows of the 11 who started were on the pitch at the final whistle and was notable chiefly for the appearance of Ben Abbey.
Mudge, the former Southend striker looked sharp and eager to please, just
missing out on a debut goal in the 69th minute when Newcastle replacement
goalkeeper Jon Karelse tipped his effort over the bar.