Without further signs of new players to come, Newcastle started the pre-season game with a 4-1 win against league one side Hartlepool United. Without several key players on the starting line-up, Keegan men are still the stronger side at Victoria Park.
In fact, the home side were taking the lead first in 16 minutes after Matty Robson took advantage of Toon's slack defending before coolly lift the ball over Shay Given.
Newcastle were back with a shout, thanks to Damien “Almost Forgotten Man” Duff who put us level on 40 minutes. Nicky Butt played the ball to Milner before the “Almost Gone to Anfield” midfielder found Duff on the left. Duff steered the ball home from inside the box to make it 1-1.
United set Obafemi Martins and Alan “My God! He's still here!” Smith to led the Toon attack, but both are failed to impressed King Kev today. Without Owen who is missing due to minor injury and Mark Viduka, we should give thanks to our second liners today.
Martins has a good chance to double our lead a minute later went he round Pools keeper, Lee-Barrett but the host still has the emergency player in Ben Clark who cleared the ball off the line to keep the score level.
Before the end of half-time, Charles “Take Me Out Of Here” N’Zogbia gave a strong test to Lee-Barrett who successfully make a good save this time. The ball goes to Martins, but he's unable to convert the rebound.
In the second-half, Super Kev handed a debut for ex-Liverpool man Danny Guthrie to replaced Enrique and dropped N’Zogbia down to left-back. Newcastle then took the lead seven minutes after the break, and once again Duff racing on to a ball from Milner clever passing and slipping it past the advancing Lee-Barrett.
Danny Guthrie made it two in two minutes with a deflected effort before the Irish winger Duff completed his first hat-trick this season in the 87th minute.
After the game, Keegan praise Damien Duff performance today and said He has looked very sharp.
“It's the first time in three or four years that he has had a pre-season.” Keegan said, “He has missed all pre-season training in the last three and any pro will tell you, that is of major importance to get that in because it gives you a base for the season.”
Lee-Barrett; McCunnie (Foley, 60), Collins (Nelson, 69), Clark, Humprheys; Sweeney, Liddle (Power, 83), Jones (Boland, 60), Robson (Monkhouse, 76); Brown (Mackay, 85), Porter (Barker, 76). Subs not used: Budtz, Rowell.
Given (Forster, 65); Edgar (Tozer, 63), Taylor, Cacapa (Morris, 72), Enrique (Guthrie, 46); Duff, Milner, Butt, N'Zogbia; Martins (Ameobi, 46), Smith. Subs not used: Lough, Danquah, Doninger, Godsmark.
Goals: Robson 11, Duff 40, 52, 88, Guthrie 53
Referee: G Laws