Nobody wants to work hard in the middle of the summer, and that’s probably why Newcastle United scheduled their first pre-season game on July 15 against minnows Gateshead.
The hosts and the visitors, players, staff, and fans alike present at the Gateshead International Stadium got wet and had to endure a brief delay of the game. It was well worth it, though, considering they ended up enjoying a five-goal matchup and some sunbath.
Your starters? Darlow, Trippier, Manquillo, Burn, Lewis, Targett, Savage, Longstaff, Anderson, Ritchie, and Saint-Maximin. Yes, that’s like eight full-backs along with a goalie and Saint-Maximin. Eddie Howe, folks.
Not playing? Tonalil, Bruno, Joelinton, Gordon, Isak, Wilson and pretty much everyone with a single (serious) Premier League app to his name.
Newcastle emerged victorious with a come-from-behind 3-2 win against their local rivals after going down 0-2 in the early stages of the game.
Gateshead made an explosive start, catching Newcastle off guard with quick goals by Dinanga (12th minute) and Ste Wearne (45th) on the verge of halftime. The visitors struggled to find their rhythm through the first half of play, and they surely paid for it and for bringing a not-so-fresh set of rusty legs to this game.
As the match progressed, Newcastle began to find their footing. Elliot Anderson displayed his talent and drove the lads forward, to not much avail.
Howe rallied his troops during the halftime break by the looks of it, making tactical changes and injecting fresh legs into the lineup. The team talk or whatever strategy he used inside the hidden guts of the venue proved effective as Newcastle came out firing in the second half.
The turning point came when Anderson (50th) capitalized first, and slotted the ball into the net courtesy of an ASM assist bringing the scoreline to 2-1 and breathing new life into Newcastle’s gameplan.
The momentum shifted in favor of Newcastle, with dynamic winger Saint-Maximin (59th) leading the charge. It was no surprise when the Frenchman combined with Anderson to level the score at 2-2 in a very non-EPL play by the hosts. The duo’s chemistry and attacking prowess posed a constant threat to Gateshead’s defense.
With the game hanging in the balance, it was young forward Jay Turner-Cooke (81st) who etched his name into the headlines. Turner-Cooke’s well-timed volley, set up by a sublime assist from Lewis Miley, sealed the victory for Newcastle.
The away supporters celebrated, the home ones not so much, but everybody was happy because it poured cats and dogs but at least they got to watch some goals on the 3-2 victory of Newcastle.
In the closing stages, Gateshead went all-in and desperately tried to apply some pressure to the Men in Green but they could do nothing to inflict any pain and bring the final score to a halt.
Howe was satisfied with the team’s performance as the Magpies will go to sleep already thinking about what lies ahead. Up next, Rangers at Ibrox Park next Tuesday. Don’t miss it.