Doncaster Rovers (a) Friendly
19 mins Matz Sels came off his line, chipped up the ball and lost control before clumsily barging into John Marquis. Andy Williams easily converting the penalty beyond the dive of Sels. 0-1
45+2 mins Williams was again on target with a soft back post header after a corner was missed and nodded back by Butler. 0-2
Rovers 2 Magpies 0
90 mins Eight goals in pre-season for United and eight different scorers, as Ayoze Perez provided a neat finish, beating a man and cutting inside before finding the net via a defender. 2-2
Full time: Rovers 2 Magpies 2
“Normally you say you have two halves, and in this game it was very clear.
“In the first half, we didn’t play at
the level I was expecting, and we made two mistakes and conceded two goals.
“It was a big difference. We had a lot of chances and their keeper was making some great saves.”
“It was a massive mistake for both goals - the good thing is that we can analyse these things now and try to find the reason why, and then the solutions.
“It is a friendly, but the feeling from the second half was much better and that is what we have to do.
“The first half is something that we have to improve for sure.”
"I can’t really say anything other
than that we will have to wait to see what happens.
"But until something changes, we will
continue training and working with him, and we will continue playing him in
"Three of them are very bad (injuries). Young Joey (Wright) has dislocated his shoulder and gone to hospital. He’s only just come back from dislocating his other shoulder so he’s understandably upset.
“Harry Middleton will have a scan. It looks like he’s done his knee ligaments and possibly more and Craig Alcock will have a scan as well. He’s done his ankle ligaments.
“Out of the four, Joe Wright is probably
the one we think will be fine. It’s a recurring injury that he’s had with
his toe, but certainly the three in the second half look like quite bad
“It wasn’t played like a pre-season friendly which I was pleased about. It was a competitive game.
“Performance-wise I was very pleased with the first half. In the second half it was disappointing to lose a goal to a set piece but we had to dig in because they came on strong.
“Obviously the one thing we don’t want is injuries but we’ve picked up three tonight. We just have to get on with it. It’s part and parcel of the game."
An added time strike from Ayoze Perez at the Keepmoat Stadium on Wednesday ensured that United avoided defeat - but their League Two hosts proved to be rather more competitive thanIrish side Bohemian had been the previous weekend.
In a temperature of over 20 degrees at kick-off, there was a minor surprise when Georginio Wijnaldum and Florian Thauvin both appeared on the bench, despite being omitted from the original team lineups - which prompted speculation that the pair had both left.
Rafa selected Adam Armstrong for the first time as Newcastle manager in a front pairing with Aleksander Mitrovic and the Tyneside-born striker almost opened the scoring with a volleyed effort on the quarter hour.
However Rovers struck first when Matz Sels came off his line and clumsily barged into John Marquis, Andy Williams easily converting the resultant penalty.
Going behind failed to rouse United from the slumbers though, with Mitrovic particularly immobile and what attacking threat we showed coming down the right - left winger Rolando Aarons seeing little of the ball.
Mitrovic's lumbering turn and low shot almost on the half time whistle summed up a pedestrian half for the white and purple clad visitors, but there was time for Rovers to double their lead - Williams again on target with a soft back post header after a corner was missed.
Seven half time changes for United saw them instantly looking quicker and more dangerous, Isaac Hayden bringing a decent stop out of substitute Rovers 'keeper Marko Marosi after 50 minutes.
The former Arsenal player occupied a central midfield role and reduced the arrears seconds later, scooping home a deflected shot for his first goal in Newcastle colours and almost getting another soon after.
Attention was then diverted to the touchline as Gini warmed up, pointedly ignoring shouts of "we want you to stay" from the away end - although there were as many boos as cheers when he eventually came on (the same chant repeated for the absent Moussa Sissoko was a unanimous verdict of "we want you to go"....)
With injuries to home players and the inevitable round of substitutions becoming a distraction - two Rovers players left on stretchers and two more hobbled off - our attempts at getting back into the game weren't wholly convincing, despite dominating possession.
Some decent interplay from Jesus Gamez and fellow countryman Perez down the left was encouraging, with the latter striking the base of the post on 74 minutes, after the referee ignored penalty claims for handball.
What looked like a golden chance to level near the end was missed by Yoan Gouffran, who somehow managed to put a first time shot over the bar from four yards after Gamez had centred to him from the left flank.
However Ayoze Perez was on hand to provide a neat finish in front of an upbeat away following of 2,500 just as seven minutes of added time began. It ended honours even.