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Opinion

3,145 Newcastle United reasons to celebrate at Doncaster on Friday night

2 months ago
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The final score was Doncaster 2 Newcastle 3 on Friday night.

Newcastle kicking off their match at the Keepmoat Stadium and the game a far better watch than the poor performance and defeat to sixth tier York City last Sunday.

A far more open game and Newcastle United finally edging it by the odd goal in five.

However, the big story was surely the first (official) NUFC away following in over 16 months.

A 1-0 win over Southampton on 7 March 2020 with an Allan Saint-Maximin goal, then ASM pulling the strings once again on 23 July 2021 as he was the main influencer in this victory in front of the magnificent travelling support.

A crowd of 6,787 in total and the away end housing 3,145 of those, very nearly outnumbering the locals.

They watched on as Ryan Fraser gave Newcastle an early lead in the 12th minute, with a smart finish from the edge of the box.

ASM involved in the vast majority of United’s best moments and on 24 minutes he cut in from the left into the box and his ball was touched on by Jamal Lewis for Sean Longstaff to stretch and finish from around 10 yards out.

Six minutes later and Rovers pulled one back, Dan Langley saving the initial Doncaster shot but Rowe was following up for the home side.

The 58th minute saw the winning and best goal of the match involving a host of Newcastle players. Doncaster probably starting to tire by this point and with more space, NUFC knocked the ball around and an ASM flick helped open things up, an excellent left foot through ball by Fraser expertly finished off by Callum Wilson.

Some good goals scored by Newcastle and other chances created as well but Doncaster held their own a lot of the time and with 14 minutes to go, Bogle headed home to bring it back to 3-2.

Newcastle had the fifth worst defensive record last season, only two clubs outside the bottom pair conceded more than NUFC. Last night was only a friendly but no sign of any great improvement in the defending, Newcastle fans interested to see Isaac Hayden already been used as an emergency centre-back stand-in, whilst Florian Lejeune was allowed to leave for a meagre fee.

Doncaster finished 14th in League One last season and you also have to factor in that on the night they had six trialists on the pitch, plus a host of first team players had been self isolating and only returned to training the day before the match.

Not a lot we didn’t know before the game, United massively reliant on ASM to make something happened, if you get the ball to Callum Wilson in decent positions then he will score goals, no improvement visible in terms of the defending, whilst encouragement that given time and space the likes of Ryan Fraser is potentially capable of improving on what we saw last season – though of course time and space are far more difficult to find in the Premier League.

However, Friday night was all about the fans, both home and especially away supporters, 3,145 Newcastle United fans on the road again. No matter how bad things are, nothing beats an away match with NUFC travelling in numbers.

Final Score: 

Doncaster 2 Newcastle 3

Goals:

Doncaster:

Rowe (30), Bogle (76)

Newcastle:

Fraser (12), S Longstaff (24), Wilson (56)

Newcastle United:

Langley; Murphy (Allan 81), Lascelles (Watts 81), Dummett (Clark 70), Lewis (Bondswell 85), Hayden (Fernandez 58), Hendrick, S Longstaff, Fraser (Young 76), Saint-Maximin (Gayle 67), Wilson (M Longstaff 67)

Attendance:

6,787 (Incl 3,145 NUFC)

(Steve Bruce announces after the match that Newcastle United now trying to buy Joe Willock – Read HERE)

Newcastle United pre-season friendlies:

Sunday 18 July – York City 1 Newcastle 0

Sunday 18 July Harrogate Town 2 Newcastle 1 (This was originally a first team fixture with some Under 23 added but it became solely a Under 23 NUFC players after Karl Darlow tested positive for Covid and first team and Under 23s had to be kept apart)

Friday 23 July – Doncaster 2 Newcastle 3

Tuesday 27 July – Rotherham United away (7pm)

Friday 30 July – Burton Albion away (7.45pm)

Saturday 7 August – Norwich home (2pm)

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