Sheffield Wednesday 0 Newcastle United 1 - Final

Newcastle United fans unfurl a banner, in tribute to fans who died on flight MH17, during the pre-season friendly at Hillsborough, Sheffield.

Newcastle United fans unfurl a banner, in tribute to fans who died on flight MH17, during the pre-season friendly at Hillsborough, Sheffield.

  • by Liam Hoden

It was goalless at Hillsborough at half time during a well-matched clash.

Stuart Gray’s side held their own against Premier League opposition, crafting much the better chances than their lacklustre visitors.

When Newcastle took the lead on 65 minutes, it was through only their second shot on target as Ayoze Perez drilled past Chris Kirkland from just inside the area.

It had taken the Magpies 56 minutes to register a single shot on target and that was a rather tame effort from substitute Remie Streete which was comfortably gathered.

Wednesday had the edge until falling behind, recovering from a slow start to craft the better of the opportunities and have the more meaningful possession.

Trialist Roy Contout was introduced on the hour mark by Gray, taking his place on the left wing.

The France-based forward spent the last two years with Sochaux after a €1.76million move from Auxerre. He has made 275 senior appearances, scoring 26 goals and can play on either flank or as a striker.

Wednesday spent the first 20 minutes on the back foot but enjoyed strong possession and crafted several chances as the half wore on.

Newcastle controlled possession in the early stages but crafted few chances, their play lacking any real tempo or cohesion in the Wednesday half.

Hesistation from Dejan Kelhar allowed Gabriel Obertan to drill in a low cross which Glenn Loovens was forced to turn over his bar, as a number of attempts to get behind the Owls defence finally paid off.

It proved a useful exercise for the Owls defence, once again featuring trialist Kelhar, as they mopped up through balls well.

The Magpies’ best opportunity came on 24 minutes. Obertan floated over a cross which summer signing Emmanuel Riviere brought down and poked past Chris Kirkland only to see the ball trickle wide.

Wednesday burst into life after the midpoint of the half, producing several chances over a good ten minute spell.

Giles Coke received a pass from Jacques Maghoma on the edge of the box, turned and drilled a low effort which was well claimed by Robert Elliot in the Newcastle goal.

Then Atdhe Nuhiu found space 12 yards out for a shot which deflected wide and from the subsequent corner, Joe Mattock drilled a first-time effort high and wide.

On the half hour mark, Maghoma sent a free kick from the left to the back post which Gary Madine met with a powerful header only to see Elliot palm away and offside flagged by the assistant.

The Owls really grew in confidence as the half wore on, enjoying some decent spells of possession of their own.

Nuhiu kept possession alive superbly on the edge of the box on 38 minutes and played in Sam Hutchinson who danced into space and drilled a high shot which rattled back off the underside of the bar.

The Owls made a bright start to the second half, forcing a string of corners with dangerous balls into the box.

Substitute Contout played a neat one-two with Nuhiu but his touch was too heavy receiving the ball back ten yards from goal.

After Newcastle took the lead, Nuhiu quickly had a chance to draw the Owls level. He brought down a Kirkland goal kick and darted into the area but the ball was robbed from his toe as he prepared to shoot.

Youngster Franck Betra really should have drawn the Owls level ten minutes from time. After a free kick was tossed into the area, Madine squared in a packed area to Betra who side-footed a shot first time from eight yards but sent it wide.

Summer signing Ryan Croasdale could have equalised shortly after coming on after the ball fell to him 15 yards out but he drilled straight at Elliot.

Substitute Michail Antonio saw a low shot from 20 yards deflect wide as the game moved into time added on. And he produced a stunning shot on the turn from the subsequent corner but could only watch it fly wide.

Streete drilled a powerful effort from 30 yards which Kirkland claimed well in the last act of the game.

Wednesday: Kirkland, Palmer (Young 83), Loovens, Kelhar (Zayatte 46), Mattock (Floro 81), Maguire (Contout 60), Coke (Croasdale 74), Hutchinson (McCabe 60), Maghoma (Antonio 46), Madine, Nuhiu (Betra 74).

Not used: Wildsmith, Dawson.

Newcastle: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Perez (Campbell 73), Haidara (Bigirimana 59), Tiote (Vuckic 59), Obertan, Riviere (Streete 55), Dummett, Satka (Anita 46), Abeid, Armstrong (Gilliead 86).

Not used: Alnwick.




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