By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
At the Stadion an der Gellertstraße, Chemnitz, Germany
Chemnitzer 1 (Fink 9)
Newcastle United 0
Newcastle suffered a 1-0 defeat in the opening pre-season friendly of their summer tour, away at Chemnitzer on Friday night.
The German third division side stunned United with an early goal from Anton Fink, and that turned out to be enough for the hosts to seal victory in front of a crowd of 6,700.
Summer signing Romain Amalfitano looked bright inside the opening exchanges and forced a corner in the fifth minute. From the resulting flag kick, which he also took, Haris Vuckic rose highest at the near post, but could only nod well over the top.
However, the hosts took a shock lead on nine minutes and it came on the break. Having successfully defended a long free-kick which was pumped into their box, Chemnitzer proceeded to race clear.
And when the ball arrived at the feet of Fink just inside the area, the striker calmly slotted past Rob Elliot to send the home fans wild.
Elliot was then called upon to make a superb stop, diving full stretch to his right to keep out Toni Wachsmuth's header, after the centre-back had connected firmly with a Josip Landeka set piece.
The Magpies finally settled and began to get a grip on the game, but it was Chemnitzer who created the next opportunity and it was that man Fink again - trying his luck with a 25-yard half-volley which Elliot was equal to.
Ryan Taylor responded and although he was able to curl a long-range free-kick past the wall, he was unable to beat home stopper Philipp Pentke, who did well to get down and hold the effort before it snuck inside the post.
Nine minutes before the break Sammy Ameobi had the ball in the back of the net, having latched on to a quick free-kick, but the youngster had strayed just offside and the assistant's flag curtailed his joy.
That seemed to spark United into life, however, and Gosling almost equalised immediately. James Tavernier's right-wing delivery seemed too deep for everyone, but Gosling had timed his run to perfection and met it first time at the far post.
His strike was rising and seemed destined for a place in the roof of the net, but the fingertips of Pentke somehow diverted it over the top for a corner.
Chemnitzer's keeper then proceeded to pull off another acrobatic stop to keep his side in front, flying to his right to tip Vuckic's fierce drive behind.
There were no changes at the break for the Magpies, with manager Alan Pardew sending the same 11 out to start the second half, and they made a much brighter opening, with captain Mike Williamson heading over before Amalfitano sent a weak shot straight at Pentke.
However, Newcastle almost gifted their opponents a second goal - twice in as many minutes.
First, Dan Gosling lost possession, with Carsten Straßer firing narrowly over, before Williamson played a sloppy pass back towards goal, for which he was grateful to see James Tavernier clean up.
United went straight back down the other end, and continued to press for an equaliser but continued to be frustrated by the excellent Pentke. Having watched Sammy Ameobi loop a header onto the roof of the net, the keeper then showed superb reactions to clear a misplaced back pass off his own line.
And when it looked as though the Magpies simply had to level, Pentke somehow denied Vuckic who was clean through.
A raft of changes quickly followed from Pardew, who was keen to give every player some game time, and one of those - Shola Ameobi - weaved through the Chemnitzer defence on 83 minutes, only to see his shot comfortably stopped by Pentke.
Chemnitzer (4-4-2): Phillip Pentke; Fabian Stenzel, Toni Wachsmuth, Marcel Wilke, Thomas Birk; Sascha Pfeffer, Carsten Straßer (c), Maik Kegel (Florian Hornig 75), Josip Landeka (Anton Makarenko 78); Anton Fink (Tino Semmer 80), Benjamin Forster (David Jansen 70)
Subs not used: Stefan Schmidt, Silvio Bankert, Christoph Buchner, Selim Aydemir, Felix Paul, Marcel Baude
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Rob Elliot; James Tavernier (Danny Simpson 66), James Perch, Mike Williamson (c), Ryan Taylor (Davide Santon 66); Gabriel Obertan (Jonas Gutierrez 75), Dan Gosling, Mehdi Abeid (Gael Bigirimana 66), Romain Amalfitano; Haris Vuckic (Shola Ameobi 66), Sammy Ameobi (Demba Ba 75)
Sub not used: Steve Harper