Steve Bruce had Newcastle set up in the familiar 5-3-2 this afternoon against York City at the new LNER Community Stadium. The lads were wearing their new Castore home shirts.
The back three consisted of Lascelles, Fernandez, and Watts with Murphy and Ritchie as the wing-backs. Hayden played deep in the midfield behind Fraser and Hendrick with Joelinton and Wilson up top. Dan Langley was in goal.
Newcastle saw the lion’s share of the ball in the first ten minutes. However, no chances were created in the early stages. Isaac Hayden received some treatment on his knee but was able to continue.
After a good run from Joelinton followed by a misplaced pass into the box, he went to the ground with what appeared to be an upper thigh problem. The new number 7 received some treatment and briefly came back on. However, he was replaced by Dwight Gayle in the 17th minute.
Ryan Fraser came close in the 20th minute. He was sent down the right by Gayle and tried to chip a shot over the advancing York keeper. The ball clipped the outside of the near post but it was a decent idea from Fraser.
York had their best chance of the afternoon soon after. Former Hartlepool right-back Michael Duckworth received an excellent pass in the box and powered a shot from the right across goal. Dan Langley made a diving save to keep the match scoreless.
York enjoyed some continued pressure over the next five minutes. But it was Newcastle who created the next chance. Matt Ritchie floated a right-footed cross into the box that Jacob Murphy latched onto but York keeper Ryan Whitley was there to clear the ball with his feet.
Callum Wilson soon had a couple of excellent chances. His first was a tame header that was easily handled. Then Fraser found Wilson in the box a minute later. He took a step to the right before firing a shot that was blocked out for a corner.
Newcastle enjoyed the bulk of possession and created a few chances but enter the half without a breakthrough. There is quite a bit of rust to shake off but it’s very early. One bright spot was the play of Kell Watts who looked very composed bringing the ball out from the back.