20mins Carroll shot 1-0
Half time: Gateshead 0 Newcastle 1
55mins Critchlow raker 2-0
83 mins Carroll shot 3-0
Andy is the 'Head
Newcastle's reserve side returned to their
former home of the International Stadium for one night only to register victory
against their Unibond Premier League hosts.
And it was teenage striker Andy Carroll who led the way for United, netting in
each half against his hometown club - although only he will know how he failed
to leave having bagged a hat trick.
With former Magpies Craig Baxter and Paul Talbot in their starting XI, the home
side were first to show when Talbot forced a routine save from Fraser Forster
after 8 minutes.
The opening goal then arrived 12 minutes later from our first serious attack, as
Kazenga LuaLua found space down the left to send over a low cross for Carroll to
swivel and volley home stylishly.
Goalscorer then turned provided just after the half hour, as Carroll found
LuaLua, who sent a 20 yard effort fizzing narrowly over the 'Head crossbar.
Carroll's strike partner Carl Finnigan then tried to get in on the act on 38
minutes, latching on to Huntington's long ball and squeezing past a defender,
only to shoot against the goalpost from close range.
And it was Finnigan again a minute before the break, striding into the box to
loft his shot over the advancing 'keeper, only for it to drop just wide of the
With no changes at the interval the visitors doubled their lead on 55 minutes
with a scorching 25 yard effort from midfielder Dean Critchlow.
Before the resumption Gateshead were forced into a change as the injured Jamie
Curtis limped off to be replaced by 38 year-old Ian Bogie - former Magpie
midfielder and currently assistant to Manager Tony Lee at the International
It should have been 3-0 on 71 minutes, but Carroll somehow managed to steer
LuaLua's low centre from the left wide from inside the six yard box.
Finnigan also failed to direct his shot wide of the target with quarter of an
hour remaining, before making way for in-form Academy youngster Ryan Donaldson,
who had netted three goals in as many starts for our U18s.
He almost connected with a loose ball in the box on 83 minutes, but within
seconds Carroll had bagged his second and our third as he turned to shoot home
via a post.
PS - from this once being a venue that was despised for reserve fixtures,
the improved (though still bobbly) playing surface and covered seating for
supporters now represents an improvement on current conditions at Stalag
Kingston Park. Time for another rethink?