In their first pre-season game of the season Newcastle found themselves level with hosts Hartlepool United, after 45 minutes, with the scores at 1-1.
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 through 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.
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