Andy Carroll and Nile Ranger both looked good in last night’s Newcastle Reserves 2-1 over Manchester City at St. James’ Park.
Andy Carroll – two excellent goals last night
We half expect Alan Shearer to try to bring more Geordie pride into the side in an effort to save the first team from relegation.
And he would have been impressed last night with the forward play of youngsters 20 year-old Andy Carroll and 17 year old Nile Ranger, as a strong Reserves side beat Manchester City 2-1, in front of watching interim manager, Alan Shearer.
In fact a good crowd of 1,457 also included coaches Iain Dowie, Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood as well as players Habib Beye, Sebastien Bassong, Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan and Fabricio Coloccini. That’s always good to see and excellent for team spirit at the club.
And it was Andy Carroll in particular, with a couple of goals, that had to greatly impress the watching Shearer.
England Under-20 International Andy Carroll scored twice with the first being a left-foot shot that rocketed high into the right corner of the net from 25 yards out, after only 15 minutes. It was a tremendous goal from young Andy.
And the Gateshead born striker linked up well with England Under-19 striker Nile Ranger to form an effective front-line partnership from two lads way over 6’ tall. That’s a big contrast to Michael Owen and Oba Martins currently playing at forward for the first team.
Alan Smith got through the full game but Danny Guthrie hurt his knee in a 39th-minute foul by former Newcastle midfielder Dietmar Hamann, who is returning from an Achilles injury. The Guthrie injury is not thought to be serious and Danny is expected to be OK for this Saturday.
Tin Krul was in Newcastle’s goal and he dived to his right to brilliantly punch away a goal-bound free-kick from Martin Petrov early in the game but the Dutch keeper had no chance in the 32nd minute when Vladimir Weiss put in a cross from the left wing that Benjani easily headed home.
Xisco missed a good opportunity from a chance created by right-back James Tavernier a minute before the break, but it was Andy Carroll who showed the Spaniard how it was done 17 minutes into the second period.
On 62 minutes Carroll glided into the box to stroke a right-foot shot low past goalkeeper Richard Martin to give the Magpies the lead and extend their unbeaten run to eight games and move them into second place behind Sunderland.
Carroll needs to be played in the first team in the run-in, maybe as a sub because his aerial ability and physical play is what the side needs, and we just don’t get it by playing Martins and Owen together.
If only our first team was anywhere near as good as the Reserves and Under-18 side, we’d be just fine.
Newcastle United Reserves: Krul, Tavernier, Lough, Smith, Morris, Edgar, Doninger (sub Godsmark 59), Guthrie (sub Vuckic 39), Ranger, Carroll, Xisco (sub Danquah 49). Subs (not used): Ferguson, J Taylor.
Manchester City Reserves: Martin, Daly, Morris, Ramsey, Mee, Hamann (sub Kay 45), Weiss, Clayton, Ball, Benjani (sub Hartley 76), Petrov (sub Moore 45).
Ref: Geoff Eltringham (Sunderland). Att: 1,547.