Here is a detailed report of Newcastle’s 4-1 win over Hartlepool United this afternoon, in which Irishman Damien Duff was the star with 3 well taken goals.
In a lively first half that had both teams playing attacking football, the first half ended with the teams level at 1-1.
Both sides started well with Hartlepool having more of the play in the first 5 minutes but then Newcastle started to get into their stride.
But then, after just 16 minutes Hartlepool took the lead, when Joel Porter sprung Matty Robson clear with a ball that went behind the Newcastle back four, and the winger shot nicely past the oncoming Shay Given.
It looked to be some poor positional play by Newcastle, and no doubt they will go thro-1ugh this goal next week with the coaching staff.
The game was to and fro and both sides could have scored as Newcastle looked to come back in the game, and on 40 minutes Newcastle finally drew level.
They broke quickly out of defense with James Milner with the ball and Damien Duff in support of the 22 year-old.
Milner then waited and then put the ball through to Duff, and the Irishman placed the ball nicely past the goalkeeper into the far corner of the net, from just inside the penalty area. A nice goal from the Irishman – and maybe Damien can start to score more goals for us.
But it’s a nicely worked goal from the Magpies and very well put away by Duff. This will be a big confidence booster for the Irishman, who hasn’t scored many goals in his two years on Tyneside.
A minute later and Newcastle were almost ahead after Oba Martins rounded goalkeeper Lee-Barrett – and had tried to tap the ball home, but he missed but it was a difficult chance for the Nigerian, and he was alert enough to almost get the ball in the net.
Just before half time Charles N’Zogbia hit a terrific shot from distance and the goalkeeper could only parry the ball, and it was cleared for a corner – a great effort from the Frenchman.
The half time whistle came, and we would expect some changes to be made for the second half, with presumably 21 year-old Danny Guthrie coming in for his Newcastle United debut.
When the team came back out for the second period, Danny Guthrie and Shola Ameobi replaced Oba Martins and Jose Enrique, with Charles N’Zogbia moving back to play in the left-back spot, with Guthrie playing in midfield.
Shola is a straight swap for Oba Martins.
After 51 minutes Duff is away down the left and he puts in a tantalizing cross, but nobody is there to tap the ball into the net.
Then after 52 minutes Newcastle go ahead, when young Danny Guthrie picks out the run of Damien Duff, who is having a sparkling game, and finds the winger with a great through ball. Yje Irishman has has two defenders in close attendance, but he still puts a right-footed shot past Lee-Barrett for his second goal of the game.
Who said we want to sell Duff? 😀
And this must be a Kevin Keegan coached side because a minute later Newcastle have gone 3- 1 up and it’s Danny Guthrie who scores just 7 minutes into his debut, as he adds to his assist with a goal>
His low drive form just outside of the penalty area took a slight deflection before curling past the dive of goalkeeper Lee-Barret and into the bottom corner. What a great start in his first game for the former Liverpool midfielder.
A couple of minutes later and Shola Ameobi should have made it four with the goalkeeper Lee-Barrett on the ground, the striker had the whole goal to aim at but then gets his feet all in a tangle and misses an excellent chance.
This will not help his move away from Newcastle, that’s for sure, and it was a simple chance the striker should have taken easily.
After 62 minutes 18 year-old Ben Tozer, so highly regarded at the club, came on for his debut, replacing David Edgar at right back.
Then on 66 minutes 20 year-old Hexham born goalkeeper Fraser Forster gets his first taste of first team action as he replaces Shay Given in goal.
Keegan is giving some playing time to some of his top youngsters, who may be able to do a job for him next season.
On 70 minutes Fraser Forster deals with a good James Brown strike, which he handles with no problems, and then just two minutes later the giant goalkeeper this time denies Foley, after the winger had got himself free in the penalty area to unleash a shot. Confident goalkeeping from the youngster.
And the next youngster to get an appearance for the Magpies, was Callum Morris who replaces Claudio Cacapa on 71 minutes.
Damien Duff played impressively, particularly in the second-half and again he raced away from Boland on the left after 78 minutes, and covered all of 40 yards before he put in a nice low cross across the goal, but again nobody is there to put the ball home, and Smith was unable to get to the fast paced ball.
Looks like Duff is out to prove he can be a player for Kevin Keegan, and the Irishman seems to be giving the game all he has, which is really nice to see.
Then on 80 minutes it’s Damien Duff again and his cross shot just skimmed the cross bar, and he’s a little unlucky not to get his hat trick.
But on 87 minutes Damien gets his reward as he shot home from 6 yards out, after being nicely set up by Shola Ameobi – a great display from the Dublin born player, which hopefully will lift the spirits of not only himself, but also the Newcastle fans.
Hartlepool: Arran Lee-Barrett, Jamie McCunnie, Ritchie Humphreys, Antony Sweeney, Ben Clark, Sam Collins (c), Gary Liddle, Ritchie Jones, James Brown, Joel Porter, Matty Robson
Subs: Andy Monkhouse, Jonny Rowell, Michael Mackay, Richard Barker, Alan Power, Michael Nelson, Willie Boland, Jan Budtz, David Foley
Newcastle United: Shay Given, David Edgar, Jose Enrique, Steven Taylor, Claudio Cacapa, Damien Duff, James Milner, Nicky Butt (c), Charles N’Zogbia, Oba Martins, Alan Smith
Subs: Fraser Forster, Danny Guthrie, Shola Ameobi, Frank Wiafe Danquah, BenTozer, Callum Morris, Mark Doninger, Jonny Godsmark, Darren Lough
Referee: Graham Laws