Friendly Report: St Patrick's Athletic 0 - 2 Newcastle United

Tue, Jul 17 2018

Kenedy of Newcastle United takes on the Saints' Jamie Lennon. Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick

Dave Donnelly reports from Richmond Park

VIEW gallery of the game from Peter Fitzpatrick here

Goals late in either half from Sean Longstaff and Christian Atsu earned Newcastle United a deserved 2-0 win over St Patrick's Athletic in their friendly at Richmond Park.

Longstaff struck three minutes before the break and Atsu doubled the lead from the penalty spot four minutes from time after Dwight Gayle had been fouled by Kevin Toner.

The Saints competed well throughout and stuck to their principles of playing out from the back but ultimately lacked the quality to hurt Rafa Benitez's Premier League side.

The visitors predictably dominated a first half low on tempo and with relatively few clear chances for either side.

Longstaff had a decent chance to test Brendan Clarke in the fifth minute after the Saints failed to clear their lines, but with time to pick his spot he sliced the ball wide

Joselu, starting as the lone striker in front of Ayoze Perez, had a chance shortly after from just inside the box, but he again failed to find the target with a curling effort.

Mohamed Diamé was running the play for the Magpies from midfield and he twisted and turned past Killian Brennan before shooting, but he got under the ball and it sailed harmlessly over.

Joselu had a chance to strike again as the Saints were caught napping on a free kick routine and Matt Ritchie picked out the striker, but his first time effort was once more off-target.

The Saints did gradually work their way into the game and began to enjoy more possession as the half-hour approached, with Darragh Markey, who had a quite opening, prominent on the ball.

Their first real chance came as Dean Clarke played the ball over the top for Jake Keegan to run on to and he tried to flick a header over the onrushing Karl Darlow, but he couldn't find the target.

Newcastle did finally make the breakthrough three minutes from the break as Longstaff finished smartly off the post after Pats had once again passed up an opportunity to clear their lines.

They could have been level as Simon Madden, just on for the injured Michael Barker, who squared up to Ritchie after being kicked on the ankle, shot wide.

A beautiful chipped cross to the back post from Dean Clarke found Madden, who bravely slid in ahead of Darlow and hooked the ball back past the post, picking up a knock for his troubles.

Both sides made nine changes at the break, with just Ian Bermingham of Kevin Toner of Pats and Josef Yarney and Longstaff of Newcastle, remaining on the pitch.

The changes brought Ireland's Ciaran Clark onto the field with Toner for the first time since they partnered one another in the Aston Villa defence in a 2016 Premier League game against Newcastle.

The changes seemed to benefit the visitors more as they had more of an attacking threat with Chelea loanee Kenedy and Dwight Gayle in attack.

A nice move involving Gayle saw Jonjo Shelvey play Christian Atsu into space, and it took an excellent block from Jamie Lennon to deny the winger.

A poor pass out of defence from Mick Leahy allowed Shelvey to intercept and feed Gayle, who turned the defender before curling a shot past the post.

There was a nervous moment for Clark as the defender got his head to Madden's cross and sent it flying inches past his post, but Pats struggled to create anything clear.

A lovely ball from Shelvey found Gayle one-on-one and Barry Murphy did brilliantly to save with his legs, before DeAndre Yedlin ballooned his shot with the goal wide open in front of him.

Kenedy showed his threat shortly after with a vicious shot that struck the top of the bar and went over, while Shelvey couldn't find the finish to match a slick passing move into the box.

Kenedy could have been forgiven for feeling cursed as a bad error at the back presented him with a shooting chance inside the box but Murphy produced world-class reflexes to turn it behind.

The Magpies finally got their second four minutes from time as Toner halted a counter-attack by taking down Gayle on the edge of the box, and Atsu sent Murphy the wrong way.

St Parick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke (Barry Murphy 46); Michael Barker (Simon Madden 43), Lee Desmond (Michael Leahy 46), Kevin Toner, Ian Bermingham (Lee Desmond 68); Killian Brennan (Ryan Brennan 46), Conor Clifford (Graham Kelly 46), Darragh Markey (Jamie Lennon 46); Thomas Byrne (Conan Byrne 46), Dean Clarke (James Doona 46); Jake Keegan (Ian Turner 46).

Subs not used: None.

Booked: James Doona (72).

Newcastle United: Karl Darlow (Mats Selz 46); Josef Yarney, Victor Fernandez (Ciaran Clark 46), Florian Lejeune (DeAndre Yedlin 46), Javier Manquillo (Callum Roberts 46); Mohamed Diamé (Jonjo Shelvey 46), Sean Longstaff, Ayoze Perez (Adam Armstrong 46); Matt Ritchie (Christian Atsu 46), Rolando Aarons (Kenedy 46), Joselu (Dwight Gayle 46).

Subs not used: None.

Booked: None.: 

Referee: Rob Rogers. 

Attendance: 5,000 (estimate).

Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United).