FT: Doncaster 1 Newcastle 0 – Full Report


Newcastle got the game underway defending the end where the Toon Army was gathered, and the game started slowly with the temperature around 76 degrees F.

Newcastle’s French Trialist Sebastien Bassong made two good clearances in the first few minutes, and gets his game off to a good start.

Smith then passed the ball wide to Geremi out on the right wing with stacks of space and the Newcastle captain controlled well with his chest, before delivering one of his excellent crosses which Smith just didn’t get close enough to.

The game is evenly matched, much like the game last week at Hartlepool in the first half, and after 25 minutes Bassong again does well, and even gets a pat on the back from goalkeeper Steve Harper, for his beautifully timed clearance inside the six-yard area from a testing Woods’ ball.

The young Frenchman had started very well, and is certainly looking the part in the early stages of the game.

Well it doesn’t surprise us as the Toon Army, who were providing most of the entertainment with their songs, started chanting “46, give us a wave” and that echoes around the Keepmoat Stadium.

They had obviously taken an immediate liking to Bassong, the French defender playing at center-back, and was wearing number 46.

On 35 minutes Doncaster came close to scoring, following a good corner from Woods. It was met by the head of Gareth Taylor, who looked to have scored but Harper clawed the ball away brilliantly from his top corner, and somehow stopped the ball from entering the net.

The ball was still loose and fell to the unmarked Guy on the corner of the six-yard area, but he badly sliced his shot into the Newcastle crowd behind the goal, much to their delight.

But it was a good chance for Doncaster, and Guy should have done a lot better with the opportunity.

The game seemed to be following the pattern of last week’s game at Hartlepool, and Newcastle were starting to get on top in the sweltering heat.

As half time approached, Newcastle almost scored when Geremi’s beautiful delivery was turned on to his own crossbar by a Doncaster defender from inside the six-yard box.

Luckily for Doncaster it bounced behind for a corner, which Geremi took but former Wimbledon and Scottish International goalkeeper, Neil Sullivan, who is now 38, dashed from his line to collect the ball nicely.

Most of the entertainment has been the singing of the Toon Army, and their latest chant before half time was “If 46 scores we’re on the pitch” and they are obviously impressed with the young Frenchman, on trial at Newcastle, who  looked impressive in the first 45 minutes.

The half time whistle finally blew, and the best entertainment had come from the Toon Army – and Sebastien Bassong, who has done himself a lot of good, at least in the first 45 minutes.

Impressive for Newcastle had also been Danny Guthrie, who has hardly wasted a ball in the first half, and looks more than good in the middle of the park. This boy looks like a winner.

We look for Newcastle to increase the tempo of the game in the second half.

Shola Ameobi’s brother Tomi, started the second half for Doncaster.

After 51 minutes N’Zogbia went on one of his mazy runs from inside his own half, and went past at least 3 Doncaster players, but once inside the penalty area, he badly miscued on his final shot, which went well wide.

But it was a good run from the young Frenchman.

On 57 minutes Dutchman Tim Krul was brought on for goalkeeper Steve Harper.

And Krul was immediately brought into action as he dived full-stretch across his goal to divert Stuart Elliott’s 25-yard effort around the upright. It was a great save from the flying Dutchman, so soon after coming on.

On 64 minutes Claudio Cacapa made way for David Edgar.

A minute later Krul had to be on his toes again as he rushed out from his line to get to the ball before the onrushing Tomi Ameobi, after the young striker had been played in by John Spicer’s nice chip.

On 66 minutes Geremi put in another good cross and ball seemed to bounce off Ameobi and onto the post, with Neil Sullivan beaten.

But the Rovers’ keeper was able to collect the ball directly off the post, and it was a lucky escape by Doncaster.

Ameobi should have put Newcastle in the lead after 73 minutes when he cut inside a Rover’s defender, and had just Sullivan to beat.

But Shola elected to shoot too early, and couldn’t direct his effort around the former Wimbledon goalkeeper. That was a good chance for Shola and he should really have done better.

N’Zogbia was doing his best to get Newcastle a goal, and he made two good runs into the box, but couldn’t direct the ball into the net.

Charles on 76 minutes drifted easily by two Rovers players, midway inside the opposition half, but his 20-yard effort was wild and spun away for a goal-kick.

And then after 78 minutes his run and shot saw his bullet left-footer crash into the side-netting from a narrow angle. It was nevertheless a good effort by the youngster, who was looking menacing again.

On 79 minutes 18 year-old Ben Tozer replaced captain-for-the-day Geremi, who had a good work out and put in some excellent crosses.

Guthrie was playing well for Newcastle and after 84 minutes he put in a great cross but Ameobi’s header went well wide of the Doncaster goal.

And then it happened, and it was a poor mistake from Spaniard Jose Enrique that gave Doncaster the victory.

It was a hopeful punt forward that should have been easily cleared by Enrique but he hesitated, as he seems to do on occasion, and Stuart Elliott was able to steal the ball before curling it around goalkeeper Tim Krul, giving the goalkeeper no chance.

To give away a poor goal late in the game is almost always fateful.

And so it was, when after 2 minutes of added time, the referee blew the whistle and Newcastle tasted their first defeat in pre-season.

Newcastle were nowhere near as good as last week, but Kevin Keegan will have leaned more about his players after this performance.


Doncaster Rovers: Neil Sullivan; Robbie Hall, Trialist, Trialist, Gareth Roberts; James Coppinger, Richie Wellens, James Hayter, Martin Woods; Gareth Taylor, Lewis Guy,
Subs: James O’Connor, Adam Lockwood, Mark Wilson, Stuart Elliott, Paul Heffernan, Craig Nelthorpe,John Spicer;

Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Claudio Cacapa, Sebastien Bassong, Jose Enrique, Damien Duff, Danny Guthrie, Geremi (c), Charles N’Zogbia, Shola Ameobi, Alan Smith
Subs: David Edgar, Frank Wiafe Danquah, Ben Tozer, Callum Morris, Tim Krul, Mark Doninger, Ryan Donaldson, Jonny Godsmark

38 comments so far

  • Ever seen a mackem in Milan?

    Jul 26, 2008 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #1

    These are the kind of errors that will hopefully be ironed out before the start of the season. Better now than at Old Trafford or the Erimates thats for sure.

  • Andrew

    Jul 26, 2008 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #2

    Honestly, when will the idiots in charge wake up and actually put their money on the table and sign some decent players. Our squad is so small at the moment and the majority of fit players just are not good enough. Centre-Half, LB, CM and Striker NOW.

  • SwedeEric

    Jul 26, 2008 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #3

    How could there ever be any goals with Smith and Ameobi on top?

  • sirjasontoon

    Jul 26, 2008 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #4

    Ah don’t worry it is only a friendly..everything is fine and we will give manchester a run for their money come the new season.

    Should be ashamed of themselves Doncaster…who are they?

    I am really worried.


    Jul 26, 2008 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #5

    Why no Milner today – injured?

  • sirjasontoon

    Jul 26, 2008 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #6

    I think it is shocking that we are down to smith and ameobi this early when a proper ball has not been kicked.

    Few knocks here and there we will be fielding the reserve team a few weeks in and they look terrible too.

    On a positive note at least we are dept free now and we are being run like a proper business(sarcasm).

  • neozero

    Jul 26, 2008 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #7

    hopefully this send MA the message that the squad would be struggling without major strengthing

  • dan_from_france

    Jul 26, 2008 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #8

    hopefully ashley was watching so now he now knows he needs to spend the cash. i know we had some injuries but come on just championp side just promotedand we lose. ameobi and smith should be better thsn tem and still no goal
    i reall hope we can do better !!

  • Ginkoh

    Jul 26, 2008 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #9

    May I put bet that Smith will not score this season 🙂

    I don’t know why, Smith lose his striker instinct. Even Beye can score goal why smith cannot. Instead of he play on forward. Maybe we will relegate if use Smith and Ameobi up front.

    Seriously. Do you think how many goals they can score all season if they are starting line-up for full season?

  • beye the great

    Jul 26, 2008 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #10

    agree with comments already posted and for the people who are about to slag of ma for being cheap give him time he cant be that cheap if he was willing to spend 20 mil on modric

  • Graham

    Jul 26, 2008 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #11

    SirJasonToon – why the supposed sarcasm – that IS the way NUFC is being run now. A successfull business starts with a proffessional approach – something we have been lacking for 50 years!

    It will take time, but the future is bright

  • ToonEskimo

    Jul 26, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #12

    I can thoroughly recommend Iceland’s chicken curry pies, they are excellent…

  • craig chisholm

    Jul 26, 2008 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #13

    not really bothered too much about the result, it does show that we are painfully thin. the team sheet was striped of loads of stars. owen, viduka, martins, barton, given, milner and so on. with the squad this small, i think this will have made MA take notice that we really do need good quality, not just kids. guthrie again seems great though. i am worried though. the season hasnt started yet and we are down to the bare bones. still time though.

  • dan

    Jul 26, 2008 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #14

    Ameobi and Smith couldn’t score in a brothel………so is anyone really suprised that we lost.
    It is a game that dosent mean anything and aslong as the new players are getting good practice thats all I care about.

    Mike Ashley…. Get Smith and Ameobi out. Sign a RELIABLE target man and give him their fee and wages.

  • Tom_Toon

    Jul 26, 2008 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #15

    Who was playing RB and apparently Bassong was really good.

  • JonGoodwyn

    Jul 26, 2008 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #16

    Taylor was at RB, Tom

    Smith and Ameobi should never ever ever be played in the same match – neither can finish, the service appeared to be there but the finishing was terrible, but not just from those 2, Zog and the others appeared to struggle in the finishing department. But I guess with more training and preseason that should sort itself out to an extent

    Not good.

  • kev

    Jul 26, 2008 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #17

    how old is bassong? does any one think keegan wil sign him

  • Peter

    Jul 26, 2008 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #18

    To comment 5 – we have a stronger squad for this coming season than at the start of last season (minus Barton) as we have Gutierrez and Guthrie and have only lost Emre as damage done. And we didn’t resort to playing our reserve team last season did we? Preseason matches are there to blood youngsters and test them out, so I wouldn’t worry too much.
    We’ll have Owen, Beye, Milner, Gutierrez, hopefully Martins, Butt, Faye, Viduka, sometime soon Barton back in the new season. And that’s almost a full team!
    Plus we’re sure to buy 3/4 new players like Coloccini before the window closes.

  • Flan

    Jul 26, 2008 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #19

    i just bought the new away jersey from the offical site and when it arrived there was a ticket for the valencia game included. i’m from ireland and i’ll not be able to get across to the match. i know the tickets aint hard come by for a friendly but if anyone wants it i’ll post over to you f.o.c
    it’d be a shame to see it go to waste..
    give me a shout if any of ye want it..

    oh its for the south stand middle tier

  • Alex

    Jul 26, 2008 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #20

    I would not mind hearing from someone that was at the game about bassong .How was his overall performance for the full game . From what i have read he sounds promising.

  • The Second Coming

    Jul 26, 2008 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #21

    So it seems that KK doesn’t see a striker as a priority. From the official site:
    “We’ve got plenty in midfield and up front, James Milner, Gutierrez will be fantastic then we’ve got Owen and Viduka to come back and so on because we’ve got as many not here today as were here so you’ve got to bear that in mind.”

    It also looks like we’re going for a left back as a priority:
    “Left-back is a specialised position, so is right-back, we went from Christmas to the end of the season with one left-back and we will get another one definitely.”

    So, there’s not much there to get excited about.

  • Mad_Magpie

    Jul 26, 2008 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #22

    Some people are overreacting. Results don’t matter in friendlies, its all about gelling new players and reaching match fitness. However, it is clear to everyone how much improvement our squad needs, and it was apparent before today, so there is no point in getting worked up.
    With all players available we are mid-table at best, and I pray we will not have to resort to putting Ameobi and Smith up front during the course of this season. They couldn’t hit water from a boat.

  • ToonRich

    Jul 26, 2008 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #23


    Correct me here if I’m wrong, but Bassong is only 18/19.
    I was at the game, and he was solid in the first half. Read the game very well for a youngster, dare a say better that Taylor at that age. As I commented in the other thread, it looked like he was instructing Cacapa and not the old man taking lead!! Very bright player IMO, and I hope we sign him before Everton jump in (as they were after him too, supposedly)

  • Tom_Toon

    Jul 26, 2008 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #24

    Hes 22.

  • A geordiedoonsooth

    Jul 26, 2008 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #25

    Why wasn’t Milner playing?

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 26, 2008 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #26

    ToonRich – Bassong turned 22 earlier this month.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 26, 2008 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #27

    Milner, Given and Butt were left back at Newcastle – rested.

  • ToonRich

    Jul 26, 2008 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #28

    Yep, sorry he’s 22, thanks for the correction Tom 😉

    I still find it funny how guys older than 21 are in the UNDER-21’s setup lol…although he may have only recently turned 22!

    Just read he’d be available for 2million or less as he only has 1yr left on his contract, get a cheeky bid in cAshley

  • Alex

    Jul 26, 2008 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #29

    Thanx ToonRich The lad sounds very promising .The fact that he is already here and has had a game puts us in a very good position to wrap the deal up . Maybe in the next couple of days.

  • number 46 for england

    Jul 26, 2008 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #30

    number 46 46 number 46 a legend in th making

  • Gareth

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:38 PM

    Comment #31

    Same old story – general reaction to 4-1 win over Hartlepool; over the top. General reaction to 1-0 loss to Doncaster; disproportionately downbeat…

  • domtoon

    Jul 27, 2008 at 1:03 AM

    Comment #32

    Whilst I appreciate the enthusiam and optimism on this blog from some no doubt fantastic supporters, all I can say is this:

    It was Donny – we should have won outright.

    Any other team in the premiership would have managed at least an exciting draw and from what i’ve read (see NUFC.com – bastion of honesty and down to earth reporting ((no offence Ed…), we are severely lacking on all fronts.

    Keegan keeps talking in ‘hopefuls’, our players seem knackered, and our squad is incredibly thin.

    We must start signing players starting this week. Failure to do so will show only one thing – lack of intent and frighteningly shallow recruitment.

    I’m all for stability and professionalism (which the club appears to be doing very well), but come start of the season, we NEED some quality signings.

    Anyone who disagrees with the above I think is disillusioned. We need further strength in depth. We take 3-4 injuries next season and I’m sorry but I see only one outcome – relegation battle.

    Ho-hum :o|

  • TooooooN

    Jul 27, 2008 at 1:58 AM

    Comment #33

    Ameobi and Smith upfront? why not go for caroll or any other young striker? i bet ameobi brother is better than him haha

  • neeraj

    Jul 27, 2008 at 5:40 AM

    Comment #34

    smith and ameobi

    not even good for championship sides

    beware roeder

  • Greg

    Jul 27, 2008 at 7:12 AM

    Comment #35

    Jeeeeesus losing 1-0 to doncaster….. Its gonna be a long season

  • Angryman the Angry Fan

    Jul 27, 2008 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #36

    This is not a happy blog at the minute.

    I have decided to tone down my rants, as there is no longer any need to eduacate the masses!!

    They are seeing what I have been seeing for months now. KK has reduced his “6-7” players at the end of last season, then his “4 players” after hartlepool to a left back and a right back!!

    I was there agian yesterday. We had no creation and no one up front!! yes it was early doors and it was “Only donny” but if the players left out actually do get injured?????????????????????

    So a left back and a right back are gonna do us wonders!! Fact of the matter is Cashley is “keeping his powder dry”!!

    He will not dig into those very full pockets of his because he feels he has invested enough in his “very expensive seat”!!

    And to all the people on here who keep throwing the ‘MODRIC BID’ at me………………….has the penny dropped yet!!

    The bloke is in it for the money, nothing else, he is a profit driven fella!! Not saying that is wrong……….But not happy with it at my football club!!!


    (I keep asking, but always seem to be right!!)

  • Angryman the Angry Fan

    Jul 27, 2008 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #37

    stop using long words on a sunday morning!!

    i was at Donnie by the way. It wasnt pretty, people will inevitably be peed off with yesterday seeing as the Fat man who owns our club is not interested in doing anything about it!!!

  • Angryman the Angry Fan

    Jul 27, 2008 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #38

    You couldnt judge Bassong on yesterdays showing!!
    Though he did have a ‘tidy’ game


You must log in to post a comment.