Ferguson shot. 0-1
Half time: Baggies 1 Magpies 0
Full time: Baggies 1 Magpies 1
the shortest pre-season fixture programme we can recall (one public friendly
and another couple of obscure and low-key kickabouts), United's U23s returned
to competitive action on Monday.
Ben Dawson's side faced their Albion counterparts behind closed
doors at the Baggies Palm training ground on the outskirts of Walsall and
given that the two sides occupied the bottom two places in last season's
competition (with the Baggies bottom), then a point was probably inevitable.
Falling behind to an eighth minute effort from Nathan Ferguson (although the
WBA reporter gave it as an own goal by defender Stefan O'Connor), Newcastle trailed 0-1 at the interval.
Introducing new signing Rosaire Longelo for the second half, the winger took
just four minutes to make an impact - feeding the ball to Owen Bailey, whose
pass was turned in by Callum Roberts.
No less than 23 players who featured
at this level last season have now
left the club but the starting XI still has a familiar look to it:
Freddie Woodman, Sean Longstaff, Victor Fernandez, Callum Roberts and Jamie
Sterry all featuring for the senior side in pre-season.
Liam Gibson meanwhile made his first competitive appearance since May 2017, having
endured more treatment for colitis and there was a first start at this level for
Kelland Watts, whose last pitch action was for England U19s in
July. Also featuring for the first time in the U23 Premier League (although he
has played in cup competitions) was Lewis Cass.
Winger Rosaire Longelo debuted following his recent signing but fellow new arrival Yannick Toure
wasn't included and neither were first team discards Rolando Aarons or Achraf