Burnley 1 Newcastle United 0
- Peter Bankes
Newcastle United were beaten 1-0 by Burnley in a behind-closed-doors practice match at Turf Moor on Tuesday afternoon, as Jonjo Shelvey made his first appearance of the pre-season campaign
The Magpies midfielder suffered a calf injury during the close season but his 30 minute cameo against the Clarets suggests he is slightly ahead of schedule in his recovery and could yet be fit for United’s Premier League opener against West Ham United in just under two weeks' time.
There was also a first senior start for England under-18 international Joe White in a number ten role, and the teenager was lively during his 45 minutes on the pitch - but Jay Rodriguez's second-half strike proved to be the difference.
The hosts started brightly, with Matêj Vydra shooting wide and Dwight McNeil bringing a smart save from Freddie Woodman, but the Magpies began to dominate after that and in the 16th minute, after a sustained spell of possession, a Jacob Murphy cross from the right was met by Joelinton - with Jeff Hendrick also attacking the inviting delivery - but his header from close range hit a post.
Then Matt Ritchie cut inside from the left and saw a powerful right-footed drive beaten away by Wayne Hennessey, who made another save five minutes later, this time from Joelinton following a strong run by the Brazilian.
From an Ashley Westwood cross, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson sent a header wide for the Clarets but it was United who ended the first half in the ascendency, with Joelinton finding the run of the overlapping Ritchie, whose goalbound low shot was blocked.
With Steve Bruce making nine changes at the break, Burnley came out of the blocks quickest in the second period with Phil Bardsley and Nathan Collins both wasting presentable opportunities before McNeil's shot was well saved by Mark Gillespie.
Guðmundsson saw a long-range effort flash just over the bar before the much-changed Magpies started to regain a foothold in the game.
Sean Longstaff blazed off target and Dwight Gayle stabbed wide from a Ryan Fraser cut-back - so it was somewhat against the run of play that Burnley broke quickly from a Newcastle attack and Rodriguez slotted home from Erik Pieters' pass.
Josh Brownhill came close to a second for the hosts with a late free kick, but while United were beaten, Shelvey's return will have pleased Bruce, who will now hope that other key players like Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almirón, Paul Dummett, Karl Darlow and Martin Dúbravka are also back sooner rather than later.
Newcastle United: Freddie Woodman (Mark Gillespie 46), Jacob Murphy (Tom Allan 46), Emil Krafth (Fabian Schär 46), Federico Fernández (c) (Jamaal Lascelles 46), Ciaran Clark (Kell Watts 55), Matt Ritchie (Jamal Lewis 46), Matty Longstaff (Jonjo Shelvey 60), Isaac Hayden (Jack Young 46), Jeff Hendrick (Sean Longstaff 46), Joe White (Ryan Fraser 46), Joelinton (Dwight Gayle 46)
Subs not used: None
Photograph courtesy of Burnley Football Club