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Newcastle Scrape A 2-2 Draw With Doncaster

9:51 pm, Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 39 Comments

We didn’t think we would lose too many of our preseason friendly games, but we almost lost this one against League Two side Doncaster Rovers when we were 2-0 down at the half and it was two sloppy goals we conceded  that almost led to our first loss of preseason.

Ayoze Perez

Ayoze Perez scoring equalizer after 90 minutes

But goals from Hayden and Perez in the second half, with the  Perez goal coming after 90 minutes scraped together a 2-2 draw for the Magpies, and at least the lads came back well after a poor first half display.

This was the side Rafa started tonight with Thauvin and Wijnaldum initially not on the bench but both were put there about 20 minutes before the start of the game, which seemed strange.

Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Matz Sels; Daryl Janmaat, Chancel Mbemba, Jamaal Lascelles (c), Vurnon Anita; Jonjo Shelvey, Jack Colback; Matt Ritchie, Adam Armstrong, Rolando Aarons; Aleksandar Mitrovic
Subs: Karl Darlow, Jamie Sterry, Jesus Gamez, Paul Dummett, Isaac Hayden, Cheick Tiote, Henri Saivet, Yoan Gouffran, Ayoze Perez, Dwight Gayle

New goalkeeper Matz Sels made a terrible mistake after 19 minutes when he gave away a penalty and up stepped Williams to put the home side 1-0 ahead.

Matz didn’t control the ball on the edge of his own six-yard box and then tried to punch the ball away, but only managed to foul Doncaster striker John Marquis – it was a gift of a goal from the new Newcastle goalkeeper.

newcastel starting side at Doncastertonight

Newcastle starting side tonight – like the strips

Newcastle seemed to have most of the play after this, but couldn’t really carve out too may good chances and we were not moving the ball around quickly enough – Newcastle looked sluggish.

And then would you believe it but just before half time Doncaster went 2-0 up.

It was from a corner – yes a set play – and some sloppy defending again from the Newcastle side as the players seemed to switch off just before half time and Andy Williams was allowed to head the ball home.

Andy Butler was on his own when he headed the ball back across goal and then in came Andy Williams unmarked at the far post to head home – woeful defending from Newcastle.

At the start of the second half Rafa made five changes and on came Sterry, Perez, Gamez, Gouffran and Dummett and this was the side that started the final 45 minutes.

Sels; Sterry, Mbemba, Dummett, Gamez; Hayden, Shelvey; Gouffran, Armstrong, Perez; Gayle

Newcastle played a lot better in the second half – thank goodness – and looked more like a Rafa Benitez side.

Hayden pulled one back for Newcastle when his deflected shot beat the goalkeeper to make it 2-1.

Thauvin then replaced Adam Armstrong who had a good run-out tonight and then Gini Wijnaldum was brought on – rather surprisingly – for the final 13 minutes of the game.

It was interesting that both wantaway players were initially not even on the bench tonight but ended up playing in the game.

And then as time was starting to run out it was Ayoze Perez who scored an excellent goal for us to make it 2-2, when he turned smartly and banged the ball into the back of the net.

After a full 7 minutes of added time the game was over at 2-2.

Near the end of the game the fans let their feelings be known by chanting “Wijnaldum – we want you to stay” and then “Moussa Sissoko – we want you to go”

Wonder if the world-class player (in his own mind) will see that while he is on his second week of vacation this week?

Gini has acted very professionally in preseason and you know has not.

Since preseason games are meant to be a learning exercise (well – we say that only when we don’t win) our players and Rafa Benitez will have learned a lot from this game.

The defense looked poor in that first half and leaked two very poor goals and that’s something Rafa must fix quickly.

Maybe after Grant Hanley arrives and is signed tomorrow we could do with a left-back brought in to further strengthen the back four?


Doncaster (3-5-2): Etheridge (Marosi 46); Alcock (McCormick 67), Wright (Lund 38), Butler; Blair (Calder 46), Middleton (Fielding 61), Coppinger, Rowe (Mandeville 46), Evina (Garratt 46); Marquis (Pugh 64), Williams (Longbottom 64).

Newcastle First Half (4-2-3-1): Sels; Janmaat, Mbemba, Lascelles, Anita; Colback, Shelvey; Ritchie, Armstrong, Aarons; Mitrovic.

Newcastle Second Half (4-2-3-1): Sels; Sterry, Mbemba (Saivet 67), Dummett, Gamez; Hayden, Shelvey (Wijnaldum 79); Gouffran, Armstrong (Thauvin 62), Perez; Gayle.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Friendlies · Match Reports · Newcastle News

39 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Graeme // Jul 20, 2016 at 9:53 PM

    Mon the TOOOOON

  • 2 South_Wales_Geordie // Jul 20, 2016 at 9:54 PM

    Does this now take us to 8 games unbeaten? 4 wins 4 draws dating back to the last 6 games of the Pl too! In Rafa we trust

  • 3 Average_Contents // Jul 20, 2016 at 9:55 PM

    You pissed ed?

  • 4 Jail for Ashley // Jul 20, 2016 at 9:57 PM

    It’ll be funny as if Sissoko is still here in August and he gets played at home 🙂

  • 5 Fatman_joe // Jul 20, 2016 at 9:58 PM

    Friendly results do matter. A little bit disappointed but great to see the lads fight back. Glad hayden got on the score sheet.

  • 6 manxpie // Jul 20, 2016 at 9:59 PM

    especially if he gets subbed on jail!

  • 7 kilcline // Jul 20, 2016 at 9:59 PM

    Left back – Henry or Targett
    Centre mid – Hughes
    Wingers – Moses
    Striker – Sakho, Bamford or Gray

    Then sell the usual suspects.

  • 8 scout // Jul 20, 2016 at 9:59 PM

    Anyone who booed needs a new hobby the game has no meaning.

  • 9 Fatman_joe // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    Hughes is over rated on here. Derby fans are really disappointed with his progress and he’s made of glass. Hendrick is good though.

  • 10 Fostino // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:02 PM

    Our best 11


    Jesus lascalles hanley dummett

    Ritchie shelvey hayden aarons

    Mitro gayle

    Sub 11

    Anita mbemba mbabu ?

    ? Colback saviet ?

    Perez ?

    Sterry..woodman..Armstrong..toney to perhaps come through this season

    I can’t see krul..janmaat..sissoko..wini..riverie..goofy..vuckic..Good. .bigi..Sammy. .De jong..tiote haidira..saviet sticking around too long

    We therefore def need a l.b. 2 cm and st and a winger

  • 11 manxpie // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    hughes was out for 8 months! bit harsh he’s hardly gonna make much progress laying in bed

  • 12 lochinvar // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:06 PM

    If they scored from a slack corner that rather reinforces the thinking that a combative CB such as Hanley to deal with crosses is a useful addition to the team alongside Lascalles with Mbemba as an option

  • 13 Fatman_joe // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    He’s Derby’s Sammy Ameobi. He might become a decent player but there’s been no evidence of it so far. Why so desperate to have him here? Which game did he really show his quality? Cos derby fans don’t rate him.

  • 14 South_Wales_Geordie // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:10 PM

    Surely you can’t drop Mbemba? Also I disagree with Dummett as a first choice left back, it has to be Anita based on the back end of last season

  • 15 manxpie // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    the times i’ve watched them he’s totally ran their games and that was when he was a teenager both footed full of energy over 100 games in the championship and thats before his injury
    you must be talking to the equivalent of toonbrother derby fans

  • 16 WWSBRD // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    Dummett or Anita LB? Terrifying options

    Nope we need to bring a LB in or play Gamez there and keep Janmatt at RB

  • 17 WWSBRD // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:15 PM

    And on Hughes I’ve heard nothing but good things about him, I’d have him here in a heart beat

  • 18 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:15 PM

    Hopefully RAFA learned a lot more about his players/team than he did against Bohemians.

    And what the team will be like without Gini and Sissoko.

    promotion – It ain’t going to be plain sailing all the way

    Personally I think they will be a big miss even if they did not play at their best last season. Both players had a touch of class when on their game and hopefully we can fill their void with the new players or it could be struggle what ever the odds the bookies make us.

  • 19 Fatman_joe // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:17 PM

    Ok. Well you must know better than them. We’ll see what happens but I think we can do better. Our midfield is a mess and it’s the area we need the most work on. Hughes might be the answer to that.

  • 20 welshgeordie9 // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:19 PM

    Good effort from the players, doesn’t matter what the score is, it’s all about fitness and its only a friendly, if we played our strongest 11 all match and lost you could say something but there’s always going to be load of changes its not a league match, so for fans moaning about the match, behave will you.

  • 21 jazzyp // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    I like the looks of the Rico Henry kid.A big step up for the lad but looks a cracking prospect at left back

  • 22 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    And Shelvey – bloody enigma – brilliant against West Ham – dross ever since!

  • 23 welshgeordie9 // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    From what i read about the match Hanley played well and got some good tackles in, so far 3 of our new signings have scored already.

  • 24 manxpie // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:22 PM

    fatman its just from watching him plus he’s very highly rated before his injury there was talk of him going for 15-20 mill
    i can’t remember sammy getting that kind of interest
    he reminds me of rob lee actually

  • 25 WWSBRD // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    I’ve seen the link a few times but I’ve never seen the lad play, he is very good on a certain video game but beyond that I’ve no idea what he’s about. Very attacking though which isn’t what Rafa tends to go for by all accounts

  • 26 jimmysmith // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    Would it be fair to say the defence did ok, apart from a couple of Sels clangers, and we created plenty but didn’t take any. I watched a bit on the periscope feed and we knocked the ball around very well, and were by far the better team, as you’d expect. We are on course.

  • 27 jimmysmith // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:29 PM

    apart from the two of course. haha

  • 28 Belfast // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    Looks like a gerbil though Manxpie.

  • 29 Fatman_joe // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:33 PM

    The Derby telegraph made shit up a few years back about Barcelona scouts after him. And Martin jol talked about him being the next big thing. But that never materialised. To be honest I would have taken him two years ago and I wouldn’t object now. But he’s still young and we shouldn’t make out he’ll be the end to our midfield woes.

  • 30 manxpie // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    lol an albino one belfast?
    would love him here tho as long as his knee isn’t crocked
    but then again thats how we roll or at least used to!

  • 31 Belfast // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    Yep a yellow gerbil.

  • 32 JamesToon // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    Rico Henry or Charlie Taylor must be bought in ASAP can’t go on having Anita/Dummett/Gamez competing for left back

  • 33 manxpie // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    liverpool were supposedly very interested before his injury
    i don’t think we could aim that much higher tbh even with a load of money in the bank

  • 34 Shearer.Milburn // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    Really love how rafa plays gini even though hes pretty much on his way out. Perfect way to say we dont need to sell so cough up the asking price or we’ll keep him.

  • 35 Belfast // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    Really like that shirt, best one in a long time imo

  • 36 geordie157 // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    Definitely need a left back, Anita is never good there, he’s better at right back or in midfield.

  • 37 Fostino // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    Allen for 13 m on this market is good business. If stoke get berating then Hughes will impress me

  • 38 Fostino // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:44 PM


  • 39 Fatman_joe // Jul 20, 2016 at 10:59 PM

    Forrest fans call hughes brienne of tarth. They’re not far wrong. Anyone else worried we won’t breeze the championship like everyone predicts? I think we’ll struggle.

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