Alan Smith came through 65 minutes of his first competitive outing this season as he captained Newcastle Reserves as they were beaten tonight 3-0 by a strong Manchester City Reserves side at Hyde.
Alan Smith – played 65 minutes tonight in Reserves defeat
It’s good news that Alan came through the game OK because more than likely he will now be included in the squad for the Sunderland game on Sunday.
With both Sunderland and Tottenham winning tonight there will be pressure on Newcastle to get all 3 points on Sunday, not to mention tomorrow night at Eastlands.
Smith partnered in-form 17 year old striker Nile Ranger in attack during the opening period, but the two of them were given restricted opportunities with City well on top early in the game.
Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul did well to push clear Ryan McGivern’s cross, only moments before City went ahead.
Midfielder Paul Marshall was allowed to carry the ball forward and went unchallenged, and so the 19-year-old Irishman fired a beautiful low 20-yard drive into the bottom corner that gave Krul no chance in the visiting goal.
Then 6ft 5ins center-back Clayton McDonald hit a terrific shot that Krul managed to block and then Jonny Godsmark had a great chance to level the scores.
Dutch forward Frank Wiafe Danquah put Godsmark clean through, but for once Godsmark could not put the ball away, and goalkeeper Tobias Johansen blocked the shot after 38 minutes.
But only minutes later City doubled their lead, as Marshall’s free kick was headed home easily from close-range by Irishman Ian Daly.
But Richard Money’s young side have lots of fight in them and they emerged in the second half with a renewed determination with Smith, now operating in central midfield, and Alan tested Norwegian goalkeeper Johansen with a beautiful curling free-kick.
Maybe midfield is where Joe can use Smith most effectively in the first team, although he gives lots of fouls away, but we cannot see him being used up front much, unless he starts to score some goals.
The Newcastle youngsters fought hard in the second period, but could get little reward and then after 80 minutes Slovakian winger Weiss made sure of all 3 points with a low drive from just 12 yards out.
Newcastle United Reserves: Tim Krul, James Taylor, Darren Lough (Michael McCrudden, 77m) Matthew Grieve (James Marwood, 13m), James Tavernier, Mark Doninger, Brad Inman, Jonny Godsmark, Frank Wiafe Danquah, Nile Ranger, Alan Smith (Shane Ferguson, 65m)
Subs not used: Greg McDermott, Paul Dummett