Hartlepool had proved to be no mugs in pre-season but were blown away 5-1 by a strong Newcastle line-up which was still missing the likes of Tiote, Ba, Coloccini, Krul and Cisse.

The returning Ben Arfa will no doubt make the headlines tomorrow but the game was ran by the excellent Sylvain Marveaux who scored two and was creative all night.

Shola opened the scoring followed by the two from Marveaux (including a penalty), with Vuckic and Obertan adding one each in the second period.

Pools had beaten the Mackems and gained creditable draws with Hull and Boro but were no match for an impressive United.

Newcastle fans (2,503) made up just over half the crowd and were rewarded with not only an excellent team performance but the reassurance of not only Ben Arfa showing for the first time this pre-season but also creating one via a deflecttion and almost scoring himself.

Bit of a worry to see Shola hobble off before half-time and hopefully the absence of Cabaye is not something to be worrying about.

Newcastle United: Harper (Alnwick 84), Simpson (Good 73), Steven Taylor (Ben Arfa 46), Williamson, Tavernier, Perch (Ryan Taylor 73), Bigirimana, Amalfitano (Santon 84), Gosling, Marveaux (Obertan 78), Shola (Vuckic 46)

Full match report to follow.

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