Yoan Gouffran and Haris Vuckic

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

At Fir Park

 

Motherwell 2 (Vigurs 26, McFadden 52pen)

Newcastle United 4 (Vuckic 8, Gouffran 15, Sissoko 39, Marveaux 64)

 

Newcastle United got their pre-season campaign off to a winning start on Tuesday night with a 4-2 victory away at Motherwell.

Haris Vuckic, Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko and Sylvain Marveaux all found the back of the net for the Magpies in a deserved triumph over their Scottish Premier League opponents.

Iain Vigurs and a James McFadden penalty provided brief responses either side of half-time for the hosts but United will be happy with a productive evening's work at Fir Park.

Newcastle made a bright, positive start and were rewarded for their attacking intent with just eight minutes on the clock.

Sissoko robbed the Motherwell midfield in the middle of the park and took a couple of strides forward before releasing Gouffran.

The French front man raced on to the through ball, forcing Motherwell goalkeeper Lee Hollis into a fine stop to keep out his low effort.

However, the stopper was unable to keep out Vuckic's follow-up, as he tapped home into the unguarded net from the edge of the area.

Paul Dummett threatened to double the advantage soon after but could only drive over the top from distance, having been afforded time and space to get forward from his left-back berth.

And it wasn't long before United had a two-goal cushion as Vuckic turned from goalscorer to provider.

A superb James Tavernier pass dissected the hosts' midfield, allowing Vuckic to drive towards the 18-yard box.

The Slovenian seemed set to shoot but at the last second cleverly knocked the ball into the path of Gouffran, who applied a confident finish.

It was seemingly one-way traffic when Ameobi cracked the foot of the post with a drive but Motherwell forced their way back into the contest midway through the half.

First, the home side's trialist striker - believed to be Estonian international Henri Anier - out-muscled Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, only to be denied by Rob Elliot from a tight angle.

But the keeper had no chance seconds later when winger Iain Vigurs fired a fierce, 20-yard, left-footed volley into his bottom corner.

Six minutes before half-time, the Magpies restored their two-goal advantage.

When Sissoko received the ball on the edge of the area surrounded by a clutch of Motherwell defenders, there appeared little on.

However, the midfielder had other ideas, dinking the ball over a challenge before striking a powerful first-time effort goalwards, which Hollis got a hand to but saw it squirm under his body and trickle agonisingly over the line.

Manager Alan Pardew made two changes at the break, replacing Vuckic and centre-back Mike Williamson with Sylvain Marveaux and Steven Taylor.

But the hosts clawed another goal back seven minutes after the restart when Sissoko was adjudged to have tripped Stuart Carswell as he stretched to intercept a loose ball.

Referee Willie Collum had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and home substitute McFadden cheekily did the rest, chipping his penalty straight down the middle as Elliot made his move.

However, Newcastle responded once again, with substitute Marveaux touching home Dummett's excellent low cross at the far post, as the visitors notched goal number four of an entertaining evening.

With further changes made by both teams, as so often happens in pre-season friendlies, the game started to become disjointed and goalscoring chances were limited in the closing stages.

But Pardew will be pleased with an encouraging first run-out for his troops, and a winning start to their pre-season campaign.

 

Motherwell (4-4-2): Lee Hollis (Gunnar Nielsen 46); Adam Cummins (Fraser Kerr 46), Simon Ramsden, Shaun Hutchinson, Stevie Hammell; Stuart Carswell, Paul Lawson (Zaine Francis-Angol 46), Keith Lasley (Craig Moore 74), Iain Vigurs (Euan Murray 74); Bob McHugh (James McFadden 46), Trialist (Lee Irwin 82)

Subs not used: n/a

 

Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Rob Elliot; James Tavernier, Mike Williamson (Steven Taylor 46), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (c) (Remie Streete 82), Paul Dummett; Vurnon Anita (Michael Richardson 82), Moussa Sissoko (Mehdi Abeid 68); Gabriel Obertan (Shane Ferguson 74), Haris Vuckic (Sylvain Marveaux 46), Sammy Ameobi (Romain Amalfitano 82); Yoan Gouffran (Adam Campbell 58)

Subs not used: Jak Alnwick

 

Referee: Willie Collum

 

Attendance: 4,475 (1,012 Newcastle)