Haris Vuckic and Ayoze Perez


By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

At Hillsborough

 

 

Sheffield Wednesday 0

Newcastle United 1 (Perez 66)

 

Ayoze Perez's second half strike handed Newcastle United a 1-0 pre-season friendly victory away at Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday night.

The young Spaniard, signed from Tenerife in the summer, put the finishing touch on a rapid Magpies counter-attack just past the hour mark at Hillsborough, as Alan Pardew's side recorded their third successive victory in eight days.

The result was harsh on the Owls, however, who applied plenty of pressure - particularly in the first half - but were unable to take the chances they created.

Gary Madine, Chris Maguire, Giles Coke, Atdhe Nuhiu and Sam Hutchinson were all guilty of spurning decent opportunities and Perez made them pay midway through the second period.

United went from one end of the pitch to the other in seconds - goalkeeper Rob Elliot's long throw finding Gabriel Obertan, who played in Perez for a clinical finish.

And Wednesday substitute Franck Betra missed a late sitter as Newcastle kept another clean sheet, just 48 hours after returning from their pre-season tour of New Zealand.

The opening exchanges were quiet, with the game's first shot coming on 12 minutes through a wayward, long-range Jacques Maghoma effort.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa then gifted Wednesday a great opening with a weak header straight to Madine.

The former Carlisle centre-forward volleyed into the path of Maguire, but he could only lift the ball over both Rob Elliot and the crossbar when well placed to do much better.

It took United a while to get going but Gabriel Obertan almost forced an own goal from Glenn Loovens, with the Wednesday skipper doing well to clear to safety rather than net past his own keeper.

On 24 minutes, Riviere showed a glimpse of his pace, racing between two defenders to latch on to a through ball, but could only prod agoinisingly wide of the upright, as goalkeeper Chris Kirkland raced off his line.

Almost immediately at the other end, Coke tested Elliot with a low strike from the edge of the area, while big front man Nuhiu saw a similar shot head head just off target with the aid of a deflection.

Nuhiu then sent a deft chip from a tight angle onto the roof of the net, before Hutchinson went even closer, wriggling away from a couple of challenges inside the area before firing a drive off the underside of the crossbar, which bounced down and was hooked clear by Massadio Haidara.

Within a minute of the second half, Adam Armstrong fired a warning shot for United from 25 yards, shortly before a low Mehdi Abeid effort was simple for Chris Kirkland to gather.

With a raft of substitutions made by either side, the game was struggling to spark into life, but on 66 minutes Perez broke the deadlock to cap a stunning Magpies breakaway.

When Elliot confidently claimed a cross at one end, there looked little on. However the keeper launched a superb inch-perfect throw to the feet of Obertan on the halfway line.

The former Manchester United winger strode forward before sliding a ball through the Wednesday rearguard for Perez to race on to.

The 21-year-old had timed his run to perfection, breaking the hosts' offside trap, and he drove into the area before placing a composed finish past Kirkland.

With just over ten minutes remaining, Owls substitute Betra had a glorious chance to level the scores but, having only been on the pitch a matter of minutes, he somehow sidefooted a left-wing delivery wide from six yards when completely unmarked.

And that was the last of the meaningful action, with Newcastle's young side running out victorious in the blue half of Sheffield.

 

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Chris Kirkland; Liam Palmer (Matt Young 85), Glenn Loovens (c), Dejan Kelhar (Kamil Zayatte 46), Joe Mattock (Rafa Floro 81); Chris Maguire (Roy Contout 62), Giles Coke (Ryan Croasdale 74), Sam Hutchinson (Rhys McCabe 62), Jacques Maghoma (Michail Antonio 46); Gary Madine, Atdhe Nuhiu (Franck Betra 74)

Subs not used: Joe Wildsmith, Cameron Dawson

 

Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Rob Elliot; Lubo Satka (Vurnon Anita 46), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Paul Dummett, Massadio Haidara (Haris Vuckic 61); Cheick Tiote (c) (Gael Bigirimana 61), Mehdi Abeid; Gabriel Obertan, Adam Armstrong (Alex Gilliead 85), Ayoze Perez (Adam Campbell 73); Emmanuel Riviere (Remie Streete 55)

Subs not used: Jak Alnwick, Jonathyn Quinn

 

Referee: Mark Brown

Bookings: Sheffield Wednesday - none; Newcastle - none

 

Attendance: 10,173