Half time: Newcastle 0 Sampdoria 0
56 mins Alan Smith headed home Geremi's corner at the Gallowgate End 1-0
Full time: Newcastle 1 Sampdoria 0
New boy Alan Smith marked the start of his
third United career with a goal on his debut, as Sam Allardyce's side ended their
pre-season on a high note.
However on a day when Newcastle welcomed back Shola Ameobi, Steven Taylor and
Nicky Butt following their fitness issues, there was more bother in the fitness department.
With goalkeeper Tim Krul having only departed for Falkirk 48 hours previously, Shay Given was
forced to leave the field in the first half with a recurrence of his groin
A scan will dictate the extent of his injury but Steve Harper looks like being
between the posts when we open up our Premiership campaign at the Reebok next
Saturday - and with Krul apparently not-recallable, the untried Fraser Forster
could find himself on the bench.
After a bright opening from the Italians which saw Given pull off a noteworthy
save in the opening stages, debut duo Mark Viduka and Smith both came close to
breaking the deadlock.
For the visitors meanwhile, former Fulham striker Montella rattled the top of
The second period saw Smith remain on the field while his former Leeds
colleagues Milner and Viduka were replaced.
A debatable linesman's flag halted celebrations in the 51st minute after Smith
netted from close range - but there was no disputing his
firm header eight minutes later from Geremi's corner.
Genuine goal chances were lacking after that point, but Harper tipped over a
late effort while Martins was spared the embarrassment of a point-blank miss by
another linesman's flag.
Aside from the players used against Samp, new boy Cacapa was spotted warming up
on the field at the interval, while impending signing Jose Enrique watched
the game from the Directors Box.
Injured duo Emre and Damien Duff were also seen at SJP on Sunday - the
former having returned to England after treatment on his ankle injury in