Burton 0 Newcastle 2 – Decent display and comfortable win but alarm bells ringing unless…
Burton 0 Newcastle 2 – Friday 30 July 7.45pm (Actually delayed until 7.50pm due to fans still queuing outside)
Tonight was a bit of a rarity for me. For the first time in years all three of my kids agreed to come and see the game.
I think the journey taking less than an hour was a factor but it was lovely to have them there with me and even see a victory too.
The game itself was played at a slightly less than competitive pace, although I must admit it was an entertaining game, bar the last ten minutes when nearly everyone with a black and white shirt seemed to come on as sub.
The first half saw us score when man of the match Jacob Murphy lashed home a ball that came out to him following a cross from the left. Murphy had an excellent game, although I did say to my kids on the way home that I’m not sure if it was because he’s our only midfield player who can run quickly with the ball and change direction too.
A midfield of Hayden, Sean Longstaff and Hendrick would make anyone with pace stand out, although that’s maybe a bit harsh on Murphy as he did play well regardless.
That brings me on to another player who played well. Step forward none other than Joey himself. Yes, it may have taken two seasons and League One opponents but Joey had a decent game tonight. He made plenty of the right runs and he even scored. It was nice to see him get a good reception when he came off. Maybe tonight is the turning point for him! At least he now looks like a player we might have paid some money for.
The defensive three of Schar, Fernandez and Krafth were rarely troubled and Freddy in goal hardly made a save. His biggest contribution was to finally wave to the fans after refusing the request for an eternity. Certainly long enough for the names of all our keepers right back to Mick Mahoney, super goalie, to get an airing.
The second half brought our second goal with a Joelinton header from a corner. That followed a decent spell of pressure after the restart. Further goals didn’t arrive but we had some decent moves forward without ever looking like scoring.
Burton had one shot on target after Hendrick lost the ball on the edge of the box under no real pressure. “Oh Jeffrey” said the bloke next to me.
Towards the end of the game a chant went out to Bruce to give the crowd a wave. A small thumbs up gesture came our way.
I was half thinking he was gonna get loads of abuse and I think he did too – but he didn’t. I think the fact we were better to a man than every one of their players helped calm the animosity towards him. For tonight anyway.
So what have we learned?
Jacob Murphy is a very good player.
Laschelles is at his most dangerous when the ball is at his feet and he gets closed down – he nearly scored an own goal tonight.
A midfield of Hayden, Longstaff and Jeffrey will get taken apart by every team in the Premier League.
The plan is going to have to be give it to ASM and hope for the best.
Fraser and Ritchie don’t seem to do much but seem to do it very quickly.
Joelinton has either found his level or some confidence.
Fernandez and Schar are a very good pairing.
Freddy, you had better wave next time if you expect us to like you, regardless of what’s going on around you.
Some of the youngsters look half decent.
I think if we play without Wilson and ASM and we don’t sign a goal scoring midfielder, in our next friendly we will lose and that run will continue into the foreseeable.
Burton 0 Newcastle 2
Murphy 6, Joelinton 46
Woodman (Gillespie 46), Murphy (Allan 83), Schar (Lascelles 63), Fernandez (Watts 79), Krafth (Clark 63), Ritchie (Matty Longstaff 76), Hayden (Young 83), Sean Longstaff (Lewis 63), Hendrick, Joelinton (Gayle 55), Fraser (White 55)
3,598 (Incl 1,200 NUFC)
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 1 Newcastle 1
Friday 30 July – Burton 0 Newcastle 2
Saturday 7 August – Norwich home (2pm)
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