Newcastle finally ended up with a decent 2-0 win tonight at Darlington in their first pre-season friendly.
The great Hatem Ben Arfa made his very first appearance since his double leg break at Manchester City last October.
Also included in the starting line=up were 6’7″ goalkeeper Fraser Forster, back from a loan spell at Celtic, and young Slovenian U21 International Haris Vuckic.
Joey Barton captained the side and Alan Smith and Danny Guthrie were also in the starting eleven.
Pardew also named 13 substitutes, including Frenchmen Yohan Cabaye and Mehdi Abeid, two of Newcastle’s new signings:
Joey Barton put Newcastle 1-0 up after only 3 minutes of the game, when he put home a good cross from striker Leon Best.
But then what we didn’t want to see happened, and in the 11th minute, young midfielder Danny Guthrie limped off injured.
Danny had lots of injury problems last season, so we hope it’s not too serious an injury.
Guthrie was replaced by new singing, French international Yohan Cabaye, and he got a good reception from the 7,000 Newcastle supporters.
And would you believe it, Yohan almost immediately put in a fantastic effort with a crisp 30-yard shot, that went just wide.
Ben Arfa was looking very good playing in an advanced role behind the Newcastle lone striker Best, and the Frenchman went on a good run and put the ball to Alan Smith, who then got the ball to Leon Best, who was just off target.
And then Haris Vuckic almost got Newcastle’s second goal, after the Slovenian cut in nicely from the left wing.
Newcastle were dominant at this stage, and then Leon Best put in another great effort that forced Darlington goalkeeper Sam Russell to make a good save to keep the shot out.
It was 1-0 at the half with Newcastle dominant.
Sammy Ameobi made it 2-0 after 10 minutes into the second half, and Newcastle fans invaded the pitch, and the match was held up.
The referee threatened to abandon the game and it took Newcastle manager Alan Pardew to make an announcement to get the Geordie fans to calm down, as violence ensued.
After the interruption manager Alan Pardew made eleven changes, and every sub other than Ole Soderberg and Conor Newton got a run-out.
Dan Gosling and Mehdi Abeid were brought into central midfield, and youngsters Paul Dummett and James Tavernier also got a runout in defense.
But with all the changes Newcastle lost their rhythm a little, which was hardly surprising, and the game tailed off.
But it didn’t stop Cabaye again impressing when his free-kick caused complete chaos in the Darlington defence afetr 77 minutes.
And Abeid, who has been impressive in training over the last couple of weeks, almost had a goal but his effort was ruled offside .
Th pitch invasion will probably now be the news of this game, which is a pity because 22 players got a good run-out tonight.
Darlington (4-4-2): Sam Russell (Deale Chamberlain 65); Paul Arnison (John McReady 34), Ian Miller, Graeme Lee (Nick Wood 65), Phil Gray (David Ferguson 79); Greg Taylor, Kris Taylor (Jake Simpson 53), Jamie Chandler (Curtis Samgbarini 75); Adam Rundle (Ryan Bowman 46), Liam Hatch (Tommy Wright 46), Jamie Walshaw (John Campbell 46)
Subs not used: Ian Balmain, Scott Harrison
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Fraser Forster; Danny Simpson (James Tavernier 72), Mike Williamson (Jeff Henderson 84), Steven Taylor (Paul Dummett 72), Shane Ferguson (Ryan Taylor 46); Danny Guthrie (Yohan Cabaye 12, Ryan Donaldson 79), Alan Smith (Dan Gosling 60); Joey Barton (Mehdi Abeid 69), Hatem Ben Arfa (Michael Richardson 75), Haris Vuckic (Sammy Ameobi 53); Leon Best (Nile Ranger 65)
Subs not used: Ole Soderberg, Conor Newton