Airey milks the applause as Peter and Pancrate get through 80 minutes!

Posted on November 17th, 2009 | 18 Comments |

Needs more games?
Needs more games?
Cold, damp and pretty miserable, and that was just my fatha. Well no actually, the weather did a good impersonation of mid-December (or else I’m just getting auld). And the first half of the Newcastle vs Hartlepool reserve match sort of felt a bit sorry for itself at times. But with the news that Fabrice Pancrate would be gettin a trial run-out in tonights game and Peter Lovenkrands would be getting some much-needed match fitness, the gate was somewhat swelled by it’s usual numbers and the atmosphere was quite vibrant.

Starting off the night by heading to The Strawberry from work, I realised it had been a while since I’d been in for a pint. It might be my last for a while, judging by the funny looks I got from the regulars looking over my shoulder as I opened my IPhone to browse the blog and discovered picture after picture of naked men. ‘Summat funny about him’ the look said, so I finished off my Babycham and headed to the East Stand.

Eagerly grabbing my A4 teamsheet, I sat down to study the first eleven and realised I only knew half of the team. What happened to the reserves being for first teamers down on their luck? It’s not really ‘the stiffs’ anymore is it? Anyway, some ‘Poolies’ behind me, were inferring that it was a strong eleven that they had out, so our youngsters seemed set to face a stern test.

And in truth Hartlepool made most of the running in the early stages. Bjornsson headed over when he should have scored and was involved again when David Foley set up the Icelandic international but Alnwick made a great save, and amid a comedy of errors, somehow Leon McSweeney could only drive the ball off the bar from five yards before we managed to clear the danger.

However, there was no such good fortune when Pools took the lead not long after, as they broke down the right and the ball was whipped into the box only to ricochet off Matthew Grieve and into the back of the net. No sooner had they taken the lead though, and we were back on level terms when Fredriksen, misjudged the bounce to let Phil Airey in on the right. He pulled the ball back to Peter Lovenkrands and the Dane slid the ball into the net to make it 1-1.

By this stage, my dad had finally turned up and I went to sit in his chosen row, which was a great choice as he’d managed to sit four rows in front and yet my seats had been bone dry and his were soaking. The wind also seemed to be worse down there and was blowing a hooligan around my delicate lugs. Not literally blowing a hooligan. They were safe up in their lofty perches on the back row. Them and their junior-sized Burberry jackets and anti-Ashley chants. It was a noble effort but given that I could barely hear them twenty rows down, it was difficult to imagine the linesman could, never mind Ashley.

There was no further goalmouth action and the teams went in at level at the break. Half-time came and went, as did my £2.50 on a manky looking pie that managed to both look and taste grey, and we were back out for the second half with no change to either side. Hartlepool should have made it 2-1, early on after Leadbitter let a ball fall to Leon McSweeney but his effort was well saved by Alnwick. But it wasn’t long to wait until the next goal though as McSweeney broke down the left and dragged the ball back for Billy Greulich who slotted home.

Once again though, the goal seemed to spur Newcastle into life because we then immediately broke and after good work from Pancrate, he realeased Airey who drove into the box and slotted cooly past Cook in the Hartlepool goal for 2-2. Sammy Adjei came on for Frank Danquah and as we turned the screw, a defensive lapse allowed, Airey to sneak in at the front post and head LuaLua’s corner into the back of the net for 3-2. That was followed by some neat and tidy football and as we began to dominate, we should have gone on to score more. However, with the introduction of two new players as Lovenkrands and Pancrate made way, the game sort of fizzled out.

Overall, it’s difficult to see why the first team would be too concerned about their places. Defensively we looked a little suspect at times and weren’t great at dealing with the long balls. The keeper pulled off a couple of good saves though. In the middle, LuaLua made some penetrating runs, Donaldson looked comfortable enough without doing too much and Danquah was neat enough. Upfront Lovenkrands and Airey’s touch were poor at times though the Dane needs fitness and occasionally looked sharp and also netted. Young Airey made one and scored two so was probably man of the match. Sammy Adjei looked classy, except for the odd mistake, when he came on and he shaved the bar with a lovely effort after a great ball from Pancrate.

And so to our trialist. He looked at times like a man amongst boys, which in effect he was. He probably didn’t get enough of the ball but seemed keen to run with it when he did and was quite neat and tidy. Probably need to see more of him before deciding if he’s worth a shot on a contract though.

Wor lot – Alnwick, Leadbitter, Tozer, Grieve, Folan, Pancrate, Donaldson (c), LuaLua, Danquah, Lovenkrands, Airey

Subs – Robinson, Henderson, Taylor, Adjei, Newton

Hartlepool Stiffs – Cook, Power, Cherel, Clark, Fredriksen, McSweeney, Rowell (c), Foley, Bjornsson, Greulich

Subs – Sharples, Thomas, Mason

Att – Probably about 1500-1600.

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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18 Responses

  1. Bowburn lad…
    You should have given me a shout kid…Poor 1st half, decent 2nd.  Lua Lua looked a cut above at times and Pancrate was pacey and direct. Worth a short term deal imo as he would provide pace and power down the right hand side….something which we are sadly lacking at present…

  2. Add the likes of Kadar, Inman, Tavernier and Vuckic to that reserve team and we have a very bright future, with Carroll and Ranger already in the 1st team at 18 and 20. In the next 3-5 years i think we can preapre for more youngsters coming up to the first team than the past.

    And i think Pancrate will just be a waste of time to be honest. Admittedly i have never seen him play and will give him a chance, but in 6 months if we get promoted hopefully, on paper he doesnt seem premiership quality. Lets hope Hughton knows a good or bad player when he sees one.

  3. Loon – sorry pal, totally forgot you get to the ressie games. Fond of a treat you are sunshine.

    I’ll have to start meeting you for a pint on matchdays now that I’m going again. You fancy Barnsley away? Send me a text at some point if you do.

    Big Dave – Airey needs some meat on him but he’s quick and obviously knows where the goal is. Has to improve hold-up play but looks canny.

    Robby Bobson – Pancrate was just as LooneyToon described and potentially worth a short term contract. Maybe another run out first though. Funnily enough I was just checking the squad and thinking there were actually quite a few faces missing tonight, so you’re right about the young ‘uns. They just need to be progressed properly.

  4. We are desperate for a right winger! If panacerty is semi decent a short term to end of season would be a good call!

  5. At least the pie was up to the standard expected of MA’s fare!

    God old Joe eh? 

    What credentials to lay in front of the SFA: 

    He’s managed India (wow, was that the year they reached the World Cup semis?);

    can describe two errors of judgement by the Irish FA in not appointing  him;

    posseses demonstrable tact and diplomatic skills;

    an unequalled mastery of the English language along with sophistication, eloquence, wit and charm;

    And, for good measure, an Irish cockney to boot!

    Wow, what a CV!

    In summary, a man who’d bring much joy to the Scottish nation and make us reflect and realise just what Newastle United lost when he went! 

  6. The Journal’s take on Pancrate is the he’d probably done enough to get a short-term contract.

    He goes on to say that the squad’s lacking depth especially with the packed festive season’s fixtures looming up.

    Then says [of the loan window], we still have a little time left but he isn’t desperate to bring anyone in!

    So, the squad’s lacking depth yet there’s no desperate need to to bring anyone in…………..

    Is it me or have I missed something?

  7. my worry is that as a triallist he should be giving everything and all I’ve heard is he did ok (paraphrasing), he should be a f**king superstar as a triallist in a reserve game if he wants to join us that bad he’s “black & white in his blood”!!

  8. has any 1 seen the bit in the sun it says tozer is going back to swindon on a free 2 years after a 1.1 mill switch to sjp ?

  9. shouldn’t take it too seriously Batts, on 2 accounts:

    1. it’s the sun, ’nuff said
    2. can we see the ayatollah letting money walk out the door?

  10. watched the game pancrate made some good runs though didnt see enough of the ball to pass full judgement on…also thought i have seen one of the fastest players at sjp in a long time, the young right-back Leadbitter i think his name was?? can anyone confirm??

  11. jonno87 – aye Daniel Leadbitter. My dad was saying the same thing. Pity he didn’t try and get beyond Pancrate and overlap more. Think his speed is best attribute mind, wasn’t sold on his ability on the ball.

    Canny bit of pace with the two of them on the right and LuaLua in the middle and Lovenkrands upfront. Should really have played more to that strength but we launched it too much.