Pre-season kicked off in less than emphatic style last night as Newcastle succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to 3. Fußball-Liga (third division) German outfit Chemnitzer FC.
Ze German outfit are a full month ahead in their own pre-season preparations and that showed on a fine evening at the 16,061 capacity Stadion an der Gellertstraße as the hosts ran out 1-0 winners against a largely second string United side.
The home side dominated the opening exchanges and went ahead within ten minutes courtesy of a smart finish from Anton Fink following on from good work on the German right-wing from Sascha Pferffer. The lead was very nearly doubled soon after but for a smart save from Rob Elliot who palmed away a goalbound header as a result of an efficient German set piece.
However Newcastle soon clicked into gear and Sammy Ameobi created an opening for Dan Gosling who saw his shot denied by the post, and by the offside flag. Ameobi then found himself also denied by the offside flag after his header found the back of the net before Gosling again and Haris Vuckic both forced fine saves from Phillipp Pentke in the home goal.
United emerged unchanged in the second half but there was no notable action until Romain Amalfitano sent over a corner which Sammy Ameobi headed onto the roof of the net. That was in the 58th minute, and just two minutes later United were nearly level after the home ‘keeper missed a backpass although he managed to get back and scramble the ball off the line. Gosling once again went close soon after but his goalbound effort was deflected wide.
Newcastle brought on some more familiar names in the shape of Shola Ameobi, Danny Simpson, Davide Santon, Demba Ba, Jonas Gutierrez along with new boy Gael Bigirimana but it was to no avail and the score remained at 1-0.
At this stage of the season it’s not the result that is the most important although it is always nice to win games obviously. What was pleasing was seeing so many fringe players involved with so many players who have had injury problems coming through unscathed, the likes of Dan Gosling, Haris Vuckic and Sammy Ameobi I’m referring to.
Next up we face AS Monaco on Monday evening – a game that is, apparently anyway, being featured live on ESPN – where the hard work can hopefully continue ahead of what is a monumental season for us.
Howay the lads!
Chemnitzer FC: Philipp Pentke (G), Fabian Stenzel, Marcel Wilke, Toni Wachsmuth, Thomas Birk, Sascha Pfeffer, Maik Kegel, Carsten Sträßer, Josip Landeka, Benjamin Förster, Anton Fink
Newcastle: Rob Elliot (G), James Tavernier (Danny Simpson 65), Mike Williamson, James Perch, Ryan Taylor (Davide Santon 65), Gabriel Obertan (Jonas Gutierrez, 77), Mehdi Abeid (Gael Bigirimana 65), Dan Gosling, Romain Amalfitano, Haris Vuckic (Shola Ameobi 65), Sammy Ameobi (Demba Ba, 77)
Attendance: 6,700 (featuring approximately 150 NUFC diehards!)