By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At Bloomfield Road
Newcastle United 1 (Shola Ameobi 5)
Shola Ameobi's early, acrobatic strike earned Newcastle United a 1-0 victory away at Blackpool in their latest pre-season friendly on Sunday.
The long-serving front man superbly angled home an effort into the far corner with less than five minutes on the clock and that proved to be the difference between the sides at Bloomfield Road.
But Blackpool hit back after the break, with Thomas Ince particularly impressive, and United had to be extremely resolute defensively to earn their first clean sheet of the warm-up games to date.
Newcastle made a bright start and, attacking the end housing more than 2,000 Magpies supporters, they deservedly took a fifth-minute lead through Shola Ameobi.
As Blackpool failed to sufficiently deal with a right-wing corner, Cabaye worked a short throw-in with Sissoko before drilling in a deep cross.
Shola Ameobi headed on to Mike Williamson, who promptly nodded back into the big front man's path, and he controlled, swivelled and fired a superb volley home for his third goal in as many pre-season matches.
After Taylor, Marveaux and captain Cabaye all threatened to extend their advantage even further, Blackpool hit back and could have been on level terms on 16 minutes.
Thomas Ince and Kirk Broadfoot combined well down the right, with the latter's cross met by Grant, who fizzed a first-time effort inches wide.
The hosts went even closer just before the half-hour mark, centre-back Cathcart powering a header goalwards which Rob Elliot did brilliantly to tip over the bar.
Sissoko thought he had grabbed the Magpies' second with half-time approaching but saw his neat finish - dinked over the onrushing Matt Gilks - ruled out for offside by the assistant referee's flag.
Ince conjured the first opening of the second period, holding off the challenge of substitute Haris Vuckic before drilling a low, bouncing 20-yard shot straight at Elliot.
And the highly-rated England Under-21 star was soon at it again, this time trying his luck from just inside the halfway line and sending the audacious lob narrowly over the top.
At the other end, Cabaye's attempted curler from distance was well off target but that was a rare second half chance for the visitors.
Instead, Ince was starting to impose himself on proceedings and should have done better in the 70th minute when found unmarked inside the area, but he sent his shot inches the wrong side of the far upright.
As the clock ticked away the Seasiders forced corner after corner in search of an equaliser but United's defence held firm to record another pre-season victory.
Blackpool (4-4-2): Matt Gilks; Kirk Broadfoot (Chris Basham 69), Gary MacKenzie, Craig Cathcart (Jake Caprice 85), Bob Harris; Bobby Grant (Daylon Claasen 61), Barry Ferguson (c) (Massire Kante 69), Angel Martinez (Isaiah Osbourne 77), Thomas Ince (Tom Barkhuizen 81); Michael Chopra (Neil Bishop 75), Steven Davies (Nathan Eccleston 69)
Subs not used: Mark Halstead, Anderson Banvo
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Rob Elliot; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson (Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa 81), Steven Taylor, Davide Santon (Paul Dummett 61); Sylvain Marveaux, Yohan Cabaye (c) (Sammy Ameobi 74), Moussa Sissoko, Jonas Gutierrez; Yoan Gouffran (Adam Campbell 84), Shola Ameobi (Haris Vuckic 46)
Sub not used: Jak Alnwick
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
Attendance: 6,863 (2,384 Newcastle)