Monday, August 02, 2010

Double Dutch

Newcastle and PSV Eindhoven served up an entertaining 2-2 draw in Saturday's friendly arranged to mark the anniversary of our former manager Sir Bobby Robson's death. Two down to impressive strikes from distance by Ola Toivonen and commentators' nightmare Balazs Dzsudzsak, we recovered thanks to goals from Ryan Taylor and substitute Leon Best.

With Dan Gosling and Sol Campbell sidelined, the sole player pulling on a black and white shirt at St James' for the first time was James Perch. Giving away the free kick from which Toivonen opened the scoring wasn't the most auspicious of starts, but he did improve. Wayne Routledge and Spidermag succeeded in strengthening their cases for inclusion in our first XI by their absence, and Big Lad, Bigger Lad and Peter Lovenkrands all looked a little off the pace - though in fairness they didn't have a great deal to work with. It was a usefully testing afternoon for central defensive pair Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson, who may well line up together at Old Trafford unless Campbell sharpens up quickly.

We have another friendly fixture on Tuesday, at Coloccini's former club Deportivo La Coruna, while Peter Beardsley and Steve Stone's first game in charge of the reserves resulted in a 3-0 win over Gateshead, with Nile Ranger and Haris Vuckic on the scoresheet.


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