Newcastle lose pre-season opener in York – but biggest concern is latest injury blow

The few Newcastle fans who snuck in may have enjoyed their day in the sun, but our performance failed to match up to the weather as York City scored late to come away with a surprise 1-0 win.

It was, however, a good work out in tough conditions against a spirited side who gave a very good account of themselves – even if the result may seem an alarming one.

Another thought to remember; we wouldn’t have got carried away had we won 7-0 today, so we shouldn’t be too concerned about a 1-0 defeat.

After all, arguably the biggest worry coming away from this is the injury to Joelinton – along with Hayden’s first-half scare – not the fact we’ve just been beaten by a National League North team.

STARTING XI: Langley, Murphy, Fernandez, Lascelles (c), Watts, Ritchie, Hayden, Hendrick, Fraser, Joelinton, Wilson.

SUBS: Thompson, Clark, Dummett (68), Lewis (45), M Longstaff (60), S Longstaff (60), Saint-Maximin (45), Muto (78), Gayle (18).

It was a scruffy start to the game in the North Yorkshire sunshine, and a concerning moment arrived just 10 minutes in as Isaac Hayden went down holding his knee.

A worrying sign given he’d not long recovered from a knee injury that ended his 2020/21 season early, however he managed to continue. Panic over, until Joelinton then pulled up.

The Brazilian had started brightly in his new no.7 shirt and did brilliantly to skip past his man and almost set up a tap-in, but that came at a cost and he appeared to have felt something in the top of his leg.

He continued for the next five minutes but was clearly uncomfortable, seeing Dwight Gayle come on in his place just 18 minutes in. A shame and yet another reminder that another striker is desperately needed – especially now we’ve released Andy Carroll!

A decent move involving Murphy, Hayden, Wilson, Gayle and Fraser then led to our first near miss of the match, with the Scot very nearly lobbing the goalkeeper from a tight angle after getting in behind.

The home side were holding their own and forced Dan Langley into the first save of the game just three minutes later, as Duckworth’s stinging effort was tipped wide by the 6ft 7′ giant.

Fresh from a drinks break, Jacob Murphy very nearly put us ahead on the half-hour mark. Fernandez started the move with a cross-field pass to pick out Ritchie, whose back-post delivery was met by Murphy – only to be parried well by the York City stopper.

Another big chance then arrived, this time at Callum Wilson’s feet after Ritchie and Fraser combined well down the left and cut the ball back to our new number 9. He sold the defender with a drop of the shoulder, but saw his goal-bound effort well blocked by an outstretched leg.

There was little else to report in what was a disjointed and one-paced opening 45, however Kell Watts enjoyed a few impressive ball carries out of the back – showing Maguire-esque confidence in possession for a player with his 6ft 4′ frame.

Joelinton also looked bright before being forced off and Jacob Murphy was a constant out ball down the right, picking up from where he left off last season.

The second half got underway and Steve Bruce had made two changes, bringing on Saint-Maximin and Jamal Lewis for Callum Wilson and Isaac Hayden.

10 minutes into the restart and there was little to report, aside from a Saint-Maximin burst that saw him hacked down on the edge of the box. Matt Ritchie stepped up but saw his free-kick hit the wall – and his follow up effort wasn’t much better.

Just before the hour mark, the Longstaff brothers were then given the call just before the hour mark, replacing Jeff Hendrick and Ryan Fraser.

Seconds after coming on, Sean Longstaff lost the ball in a bad area and York got in down the left. The ball flashed across the box and Clayton Donaldson prodded towards goal, only to see his effort blocked well by Watts’ outstretched leg.

It was a boiling hot day and our first game back from a two-month break, but there was a real lack of pace about our play, with Saint-Maximin standing out like a sore thumb after others around him tired.

On that note, it was his wing play and inviting cross that very nearly led to our opening goal, as Dyson’s diving header was just tipped over his own cross bar by the York City GK.

Just over 20 minutes remaining and Paul Dummett replaced Fernandez, a change that was followed by a big chance for Matt Ritchie just five minutes later, as the wing-back smashed Murphy’s clever cut-back straight at Whitley.

75 minutes on the clock and our biggest chance of the game arrived. Saint-Maximin broke free on the break, fed Gayle down the left and got the ball back after a smart reverse pass from the NUFC striker put ASM in on goal.

ASM thought he had just the keeper to beat, until a miraculous last ditch challenge from Josh King saw his goal-bound strike fly over the bar just as we expected the net to bulge.

Muto then replaced Gayle with little over 10 minutes to play, giving the Japanese international his first appearance in black and white shirt since returning from a loan spell in La Liga.

Just as the game looked destined to fizzle out, York took the lead. Barrow swung in a cross from the left, which was met brilliantly by Michael Duckworth – whose header looping header left young Langley rooted to the spot.

1-0 to the National League North team and a big cheer from the home fans – and rightly so!

Three minutes of added time came to nothing and York held on for the win.

A good work out. A bad performance and another reminder that we need another striker – especially if Joelinton’s injury is a bad one.

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

86 thoughts on “Newcastle lose pre-season opener in York – but biggest concern is latest injury blow

  1. I always questioned just how good Rafa was at NUFC especially in the transfer market – and was regularly asked ‘what do you expect with the budget he had’ – I still think he could have spent more wisely with what he did get – but told ‘judge him when he has a budget’.

    He’ll have a better budget at Everton, but even with our budget I can’t say I’d be chuffed with Townsend, Berkovic & Gray 😖🤦🏼‍♂️

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  2. Should be interesting at Doncaster tomorrow with fans allowed back in. I dont think Jones is back yet is he? We are thereby stuck with the Steves coaching.

    If we can get Willock I will be a lot happier. And if I put my glass half full hat on I think Ryan Fraser will have a much better season. I watched him at Bournemouth and for 1 season at least he was very good. That tells me he has it in him and it is up to Bruce/Jones to play him in his proper position and to get the best out of him.

    Will Jamal Lewis push on as well? That is 2 of our big signings from last year who offered next to nothing.

    I have given up on Hendrick and also Sean Longstaff to an extent. I would give him 6 games. Maybe if he is reunited with Hayden with Shelvey out we might see the player he was when he first came through, but him and Shelvey cannot play in the same team because they are just too slow.

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  3. Now for glass half empty. After this week you cannot be that optimistic about our season. We still have Bruce and he will be delightfully delighed and pleased to offer up the same useless patter taking all credit for the one good performance in 5 and blaming everybody else for the rest, including the fans. Our “expectations” should not really have that much to do with performances especially when there has been nobody in the ground for a year. As I have said, the fans’ reactions to a bad performance should be interesting, that is if Boris doesnt change his mind again and close all large venue events.

    As for the team, we are probably 15th with a fit Callum Wilson and a full season of Willock. Without, I am going to say 19th. Usually at least one of the promoted teams gets relegated and how long can Burnley ride their luck? I am using the Sharpy analogy of Sunderland because us and Burnley have been the Sunderland of the last few years. Even with Rafa who is given much more credit than he is due.

    Of course, our preseason is disrupted again with injuries and no signing to bed in. It offers up a convenient excuse for Brucie Boy which he will grasp with both hands. The takeover collapse, though forseeable, will cast a pall over the fan base and Bruce better hope we start well with fans back in. I think it could get ugly.

    The one optimistic note I will finish on is that Graeme Jones will have time with the players and as usual with NUFC there is also a bit of addition by subtraction because that means that the Steves will not be coaching them. They look to be on cone duty now. Or, as I have said before sent on trips to Greggs for Steve and Lee or maybe make Charnley a cuppa?

    I will be very interested to see Olly’s and others season previews as it is only 3 weeks away.

    I dont know what to expect as I think we are set up for anywhere from 15-19. Relegation is 50/50 in my mind although the bookies rate us 15th.

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  4. The Mail and The Guardian and Football365 all do season predictions. Between them they must have like 25 writers. They all predict relegation candidates. About half went for NUFC last year but I bet you there are more this year. It is pretty meaningless really, except to gauge what the so-called experts think. They get it horribly wrong most of the time which is why I think they are mostly full of sh!t. I will promise you one thing. Barry Glendenning (of The Guardian), Mackem Fan and England hater even though he lives in London, will have us relegated,

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  5. Hi Olly,
    Hope you’re getting better mate! At your request I sent you the story “All things under the sun”. Now I find the owner(s) have overturned your desire to publish the piece for extremely spurious reasons. How can you write a piece based upon the week of 9/11 and not mention terrorism. The piece is a Word document and it would be very easy to alter the few swear words with some stars. So very disappointing.

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  6. Seems like the Delta variant is spreading here now in the USA, mainly now in States where many remain unvaccinated. We (in the USA) can see from the UK how this is so virulent. Infects people quicker than the 1st and 2nd waves. They are thinking about bringing back mask requirements over here.

    The problem is that only about 50% are vaccinated so this could get bad pretty quickly.

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  7. Looking forward to hearing from the Fatuous Four on Wraith tonight and their contrived excuses for how they have been completely wrong on the takeover for the last 18 months but why we should continue to believe them now.

    All of the Fab Fools are responsible but Baldrick – Keith Patterson – thinks there is a “cunning plan” whereby Ashley, Stavely and Co are playing the long game and want the CAT case done first as some sort of Baldrickian cunning plan to put the PL into a corner on the arb case. It is over man… the Saudis are walking.

    I watched Patterson’s 24 minute excuse rant on Wriath the other night and it was a fact free zone. He is an idiot. But I am looking forward to his latest excuses.

    Some people seem to believe he makes sense. We will see. Tell me who is right in a year when all of his nonsense comes to nowt and we are still owned by Ashley.

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  8. We will probably lose or maybe draw with Donnie today. We just cannot compete with teams like them these days… 😳😳😬😬

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  9. Gilly Toon:
    We will probably lose or maybe draw with Donnie today. We just cannot compete with teams like them these days…

    Last time I was in Vegas Donny and Marie (Osmond) were playing in the hotel I was staying in. I would probably have rather watched them than Donny and NUFC 🙂 3,000 fans will supposedly be there though so let’s see what the reaction will be.

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  10. Mr. Blackadder, Sir?

    Yes, Baldrick?

    I have a cunning plan…

    Yes, yes, get on with it FFS.

    Baldrick: put Keith Peterson in charge.

    Blackadder: what!!! that is like putting Mrs Miggins Pie Club in charge.

    Baldrick: No, hear me out. There is a dentist is the Middle East who drinks a lot and can help him out. He apparently has connections.

    Blackadder: This dentist, is he the one who does your teeth Baldrick?

    Baldrick: Yes

    Hmmm. doesnt sound the best plan and is there a cross eyed Stavely involved.

    Baldrick: yes sir, there is and she looks a lot like Jimmy Bullard on a bad day.

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  11. So, we won 3-2… that’s us ok for the season then. No need for new signings… 😂

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