Shola Ameobi

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

At the Kyocera Stadium

 

 

ADO Den Haag 0

Newcastle United 0

 

Newcastle United were forced to settle for a goalless draw on Saturday afternoon at ADO Den Haag, despite dominating at the Kyocera Stadium.

Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi went closest for the Magpies on a frustrating afternoon - the former having a header cleared off the line, before the latter saw his close-range finish ruled out for offside.

However, there were still plenty of positives to take for Alan Pardew's side, who looked comfortable in possession and created a number of goalscoring opportunities, while also keeping a clean sheet.

The result saw United extend their unbeaten pre-season run to five games, having not tasted defeat since their opening friendly against Chemnitzer midway through July.

Pardew named an experienced line-up to take on the Dutch top-flight outfit, with centre-back Steven Taylor continuing his return to fitness from a ruptured Achilles, and Senegalese strike duo Cisse and Demba Ba leading the line.

But it was a cautious opening period from both sides and took 19 minutes for the first chance, created when Cisse was denied at the far post as he tried to convert Davide Santon's left-wing cross.

Ba powered a header over the top from the resulting corner, while Haris Vuckic nodded wide as the visitors' pressure mounted.

Gabriel Obertan almost broke the deadlock in the 24th minute, meeting a poor Den Haag clearnace with a well-executed volley that keeper Gino Coutinho did well to get his body behind just as it threatened to sneak in the bottom corner.

A rare defensive lapse almost cost the Magpies dear but Mike van Duinen failed to capitalise when well placed and could only lob well wide of Tim Krul's goal.

Obertan conjured up another couple of chances either side of half-time, before Cisse was only denied by a superb defensive clearance just past the hour mark.

Rising highest at the far post to meet Ryan Taylor's corner, the front man's header looked destined to finally break the deadlock, until Tjaronn Chery somehow managed nod clear from underneath his own crossbar.

Pardew rung the changes midway through the second period, ensuring every outfield player in his squad was given valuable pre-season minutes, and it was a trio of those substitutes who thought they had combined to give Newcastle a deserved lead.

When Ameobi tapped in from a matter of yards there looked to be little wrong with the goal, but the assistant's flag was already raised, having adjudged Mike Williamson to be offside when heading Gael Bigirimana's free-kick back across the face of goal.

Returning to his boyhood club, for who he swapped Holland for Tyneside aged just 17, Krul was given an easy ride by Den Haag.

And his only meaningful save of the match arrived with time ticking away, plucking Charlton Vicento's drive away from the top corner, as the hosts made one final push.

 

ADO Den Haag (4-3-3): Gino Coutinho; Kenneth Omeruo (Dion Malone 58), Vito Wormgoor, Gabor Horváth (Tom Beugelsdijk 86), Aaron Meijers; Danny Holla (c) (Christian Supusepa 46) , Jens Toornstra (Stanley Elbers 46), Kevin Jansen; Mike Van Duinen (Charlton Vicento 46), Rydell Poepon, Tjaronn Chery

Subs not used: Robert Zwinkels, Ahmed Anmi, Aleksandar Radosavljevic, Kevin Visser

 

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Ryan Taylor (James Perch 71), Steven Taylor (Mike Williamson 64), Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon (Danny Simpson 82); Gabriel Obertan (Shola Ameobi 71), Cheick Tiote (Gael Bigirimana 71), Haris Vuckic (Dan Gosling 64), Jonas Gutierrez; Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba (Romain Amalfitano 82)

Subs not used: Steve Harper

 

Referee: Pieter Vink