28th July 2pm (a few minutes after in reality, as the toon team
bus turned up just before 2pm.)
Admission: £5, 20p programme
24 mins After Solano's solo
special in Munich earlier in the week, it was the turn of Olivier Bernard
to submit his entry for goal of the season. The Frenchman took the ball from keeper
Brain, ran down the left flank, turned inside his marker and then beat
four more defenders before putting the ball past the keeper from inside
the box. Shades of Mark McGhee against Bradford at St. James' in 1990. 1-0
47 mins Having been on the pitch barely two minutes Coppinger went
down in the box under a heavy challenge from Jim Thomson and the referee
correctly pointed to the penalty spot. Midfielder Stuart Green
blasted home without difficulty. 2-0
Half time: Queen of the
South 0 Newcastle Reserves 2
61 mins With Marcelino seemingly rooted to the spot, Steve Caldwell
lunged at O'Neill in the area in a desperate attempt to get the ball. He
caught the Queens player and another penalty was rightly awarded. Brain
made things easier for O'Neill to score, as he dived out of the way
only to see the ball hit straight and true down the centre and into the
middle of the goal. 1-2
67 mins Toon fan Peter Weatherson evaded the attempted tackle of
Bernard out on the right and swept over an inviting cross for Hogg to
bullet home a close-range header. 2-2
Full time: Queen of the South 2
Newcastle Reserves 2
A naturally contented John Connolly was
justifiably pleased that his side had completed their pre-season programme
without losing a game, and dismissed suggestions that his side had come up
against a weakened Newcastle outfit.
He said, "that's a team with a Spanish international in it, and a
few others who came in for big fees. Our boys fought them well and didn't
deserve to lose."
Queens begin their Scottish Division Two
campaign at Hamilton Accies next week in good heart, following this
deserved draw against a United side who cost in excess of £12m to
After beginning well, Newcastle looked to be coasting to victory shortly
after the break when Stuart Green struck his first goal of the season from
the penalty spot. However, they were then guilty of some slipshod defending, especially
from the Spanish contingent and allowed Queens to draw level.
Further upfield things weren't altogether marvellous, and against a
sprinkling of players who had been playing non-league football in the
North East only a season or so ago, one or two of our star names failed to
make any impression.
LuaLua certainly had his football switch set to the "off"
position, and scarcely found a man all afternoon, while failing to mesmerize
the Queens defence with his individual attempts to pressurise the home
goal. Similarly Diego Gavilan seemed to have no desire to get involved in
the game at all, and drifted around to no great effect. When he did decide
to play, his service to the front men was of variable quality and nothing
he did was remotely comparable to the cross from Weatherson that brought
about a Queens leveller. Perhaps Diego thought the absence of regular
reserve watcher Bobby Robson from the stands meant he could take it
Up front, the prolific McMenamin seemed to have used up his goal quota for
the week at Alnwick. He hovered dangerously on 8 minutes as the Queens
'keeper threatened to drop a Boyd effort, and screwed a shot wide on 19
minutes. However, he was subbed at the interval and replaced by Jamie
Coppinger who had a quiet 45 minutes aside from winning the penalty.
With the scores at 2-2, Newcastle looked intent on throwing the game away
totally, but the inevitable rash of substitutions robbed the home side of
their impetus and the game drifted towards stalemate.
So, the unbeaten pre-season record slipped away, and on a forgettable day
for most of the players, only the wonder goal from Bernard will live in
the memory. Shame that uncle Bobby wasn't there to see his stand-in left
winger hit the target, preferring to spend the day convincing Laurent
Robert to join us and fill the vacancy on that flank.
PS - Thanks must go to the friendly and hospitable staff that were
on hand at Palmerston, especially the foul-mouthed old woman who kindly
provided the thirsty Toon contingent outside the social club with a steady
flow of sandwiches and pies. We're still waiting for the sweet trolley
PPS - My carnivorous travelling companions were well impressed by said
pies, of the scotch variety, "succulent" being one description.
Possibly from the same source as those at nearby Annan, the advantage of
Dumfries was that when a second round was agreed upon, the "sold
out" signs hadn't been posted.
Do we finally have a rival to the West Midlands balti concoction in the
coveted NUFC.com pie of the year competition?