Newcastle 4 Reading 1- Wednesday 17 August 7.45pm
We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle, to talk about some aspect of the match:
“Wobbly but comfortable win in the end.
“Ritchie was excellent and has been our driving force in these early games, with two good goals for Gayle which will help him get into his stride for the season.
“There’s hope now that the first two games were a blip and the season starts here.
“Hopefully that’s the case but we seriously need some transfer activity to be confident in that. A left back and new striking option at least.
“Feels bit better though.”
“Wasn’t too confident at half time but thankfully we turned it around with a pen and free kick – after that we could all relax a bit more and enjoy it, including the players..”
“Phew! Nice to finally get up and running!
“After a nervy first half from players & fans alike we improved in the second.
“Really pleasing, let’s hope we can take confidence into the next match and start to gather some momentum.”
“What a difference a few days make.
“Total opposite of Saturday’s dire showing. Good to see us actually play high intensity football.
“Only negative was Clark’s debut. How desperate was he to give away a penalty?
Leazes Park Ender”
“We’re up and running. There has been a few worries of late but the players have done a professional job after Saturday.
“Who am I to criticise a man like Rafa Benitez?
“That said, I was a bit nervous when I saw that team sheet tonight and then we were hanging on at 2-1 up. Typical NUFC.
“Thankfully Gayle has now started to repay some of that fee. More work is needed though. I’m still concerned at some aspects of our play.
“We have to try and do what previous managers could never seem to do – kick on after a good win.”
“A big monkey off our back. Though at half-time I didn’t see it coming. Looked like the snooze button had been hit at 40 minutes again, with another stupid goal given away after taking the lead.
“The sinking feeling I felt at half time mirrored the feeling I felt pre match when the mighty Gouffran was named in the starting eleven!
But as I prepared for a second half filled with as many thrills and spills as the Rose and Crown gents’ urinal floor, NUFC finally woke up and put Reading to bed.
“Four goals and three points – never mind, thank God, thank Rafa.
“Gayle’s got 3 in 3. Upwards and onwards.”
Here are the stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 4 Reading 1
Newcastle: Hayden 20, Ritchie 50 (pen), Gayle 69, 89
Reading: McCleary 45 (Pen)
Possession was Reading 58% Newcastle 42%
Total shots were Reading 13 Newcastle 11
Shots on target were Reading 3 Newcastle 7
Corners were Reading 9 Newcastle 2
Team: Sels, Anita, Clark, Mbemba, Dummett, Shelvey, Hayden, Ritchie (Aarons 90), Perez (Lascellles 76), Gouffran (Colback 84), Gayle
Unused Subs: Darlow, Janmaat, Hanley, Armstrong
Ref: Andy Madley
To view our interactive Newcastle v Reading player ratings and to add your own go HERE.