Mehdi Abeid scores at York

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
At Bootham Crescent

York City Reserves 1 (Reed 87)
Newcastle United Reserves 3 (Abeid 21, 28; Folan 23)

Two stunners from Mehdi Abeid helped Newcastle Reserves to a comfortable win at Bootham Crescent in a behind-closed-doors practice match.

United handed a trial to a right-back and also gave games to Phil Airey - his first since returning from a loan spell at Hibernian - and Paul Dummett, Tamas Kadar, Joan Edmundsson and Abeid on their return from international duty. 

There was also a debut as a second-half substitute for 14-year-old goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, the highly-rated son of Magpies coach Andy Woodman.

With York boss Gary Mills looking on, the home side threatened first on eight minutes as Adriano Moke surged down the left and cut into the box, only to see his shot hit the side-netting, but from that point Newcastle took control with some sublime one-touch passing through the midfield giving them the platform.

First Bradden Inman siezed possession and his low strike was expertly tipped around the post by the home side's 42-year-old goalkeeper Paul Musselwhite, then Edmundsson supplied a clever chipped pass for Airey who shot straight at the keeper.

Australian midfielder Inman continued his bright start to the game as he started and finished a move which also involved Airey and Edmundsson but shot narrowly wide then, from Dummett's short throw-in, Abeid ran half the length of the pitch before letting fly from the edge of the box, but it was too close to Musselwhite.

Another incisive move saw Inman feed Airey whose first-time lay-off was struck by Michael Richardson - but again, the experienced York stopper was in the way.

But there was nothing Musselwhite could do to keep out Abeid's 21st minute opener, and indeed the goalkeeper will probably have seen few goals beat him in quite such spectacular fashion throughout his 25-year career.

Airey teed him up nearly 30 yards out and the young midfielder hammered the ball into the top corner for his first goal in black and white.

Stephen Folan doubled the lead just two minutes later - albeit from rather closer to goal - as Edmundsson's right-wing corner fell to the Irish defender who smashed the ball home from five or six yards.

York briefly rallied with a couple of efforts from distance going off target before Richardson cut in from the left but was thwarted by Musselwhite.

But on 28 minutes the veteran keeper was beaten for a third time as Abeid grabbed his brace. A poor goal kick fell to the former Lens youngster 25 yards out and before Musselwhite could get back on his line, the ball was past him with unerring accuracy.

From Moke's cutback, York's no. 4 hit the underside of the Newcastle crossbar with 16-year-old keeper Jonathan Mitchell helpless.

But it was United who ended the half on top, with Edmundsson denied by a superb fingertip save from Musselwhite and Airey heading over from Richardson's perfect cross.

Peter Beardsley and Willie Donachie used all six of their substitutes in the second half and their two best opportunities of the second period both fell to full-backs - first Dummett marauding down the left but seeing his shot saved and then sub Michael Riley scuffing wide after Inman had picked him out.

On 78 mins, Richardson saw an effort well saved and sub Ryan McGorrigan was denied a certain goal by a last-ditch block from a City defender.

Young Woodman did well to palm away effort from Moke, who then shot wide moments later after dribbling through the defence.

But he was beaten in the 87th minute by Jamie Reed, who turned home from close range after David McGurk had headed on a corner.

However, the 14-year-old made an excellent reaction stop just moments later, then produced a strong save from the York no.4 as Newcastle ran out victorious ahead of their upcoming Barclays Premier Reserve League game at home to Liverpool next week.

Newcastle United Reserves: Jonathan Mitchell (sub Freddie Woodman 74), Trialist (sub Michael Riley 57), Paul Dummett (sub Brandon Miele 59), Stephen Folan, Tamas Kadar, Joan Edmundsson (sub Adam Campbell 46), Greg McDermott, Bradden Inman, Mehdi Abeid (sub Dennis Knight 53), Michael Richardson, Phil Airey (sub Ryan McGorrigan 64).