Newcastle 3 Vitesse Arnhem 2

Rafa Benitez would have loved much of what he saw in the first half, maybe not quite as impressed with the second.

A deflected effort from Matt Ritchie (21 minutes) and then further strikes from Gayle (36 mins) and Colback (41 mins) looked to have United cruising.

Rafa and the fans enjoying the sunshine and action in United’s final preparation match.

It wasn’t startling stuff but they held possession relatively well and took the chances when they came, whilst looking ok at the back in Chancel Mbemba’s absence.

Grant Hanley slotted in and deputised in decent fashion in place of the injured DR Congo defender for just over an hour, until Jesus Gamez came off the bench.

By that point Vitesse Arnhem had somehow pulled it back to only one behind.

Rafa will have been fuming as just like at Doncaster, the opposition scored from a corner with a player who was unmarked, this time it was one of the Chelsea loanees Nathan who applied the finishing touch.

Only eight minutes late with 29 minutes left on the clock, Newcastle were again undone from a free-kick, Kashia scoring when the ball dropped for him in the box.

Pre-season schedule concluded with 4 wins, 1 draw, 3 clean sheets, 17 goals scored, 4 goals conceded.

A couple of  decent blocks kept the lead intact and it was eventually Newcastle who exerted a bit more control again in the final stages to see the match out, Mitrovic seeing an effort saved when maybe he should have done better.

Despite the two conceded today, Rafa Benitez is likely to see it as job pretty well done…just so long as they can iron out some of these defensive problems – especially on set-pieces.

Newcastle starting 11:

Sels, Janmaat (Sterry 74), Hanley (Gamez 62), Lascelles (c), Dummett, Hayden (Saivet 74), Anita (Gouffran 74), Colback (Shelvey 62), Ritchie (Aarons 62), Perez (Armstrong 62), Gayle (Mitrovic 74)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Tiote, Thauvin