Gateshead 0 Newcastle 1
Written by Newcastle Utd
Papiss Cisse's first half penalty earned Newcastle United a 1-0 pre-season friendly victory at Gateshead
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At the International Stadium
Newcastle United 1 (Cisse 6 pen)
Papiss Cisse's first half penalty got Steve McClaren's reign off to a winning start, as Newcastle United recorded a 1-0 victory at Gateshead in their first pre-season friendly of the summer.
The Senegalese front man stroked home from the spot on six minutes after Massadio Haidara had been brought down by Heed defender Simon Ramsden.
Unsurprisingly, the Magpies dominated proceedings at the International Stadium, but Siem de Jong, Moussa Sissoko, Cisse, Adam Armstrong, Emmanuel Riviere and Rolando Aarons were all unable to add to their tally.
Nevertheless, it was a positive first work-out for United under the tutelage of McClaren, with 22 players getting 45 minutes each, and encouraged to play an attack-minded passing game.
With less than six minutes on the clock, United broke the deadlock and it came from the penalty spot.
Haidara had already threatened with one driving run down the left flank, and this time the full-back was upended by Ramsden just as he got into the box.
Referee Geoff Eltringham had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Cisse confidently side-footed home into the top right-hand corner.
Haidara was really catching the eye and almost created a second for the visitors in the 15th minute.
Picked out wide on the left, the French flyer beat Jamie Chandler with a superb piece of skill before delivering a cross to the far post which Siem de Jong nodded narrowly over the top.
The Magpies were dominating proceedings and went close again just before the half-hour mark.
When Sissoko picked up the ball in the middle of the park there didn't appear too much on, but he powered his way through the Gateshead defence and exchanged passes with Cisse, only to see a close-range angled effort blocked by home keeper Sam Russell, before Sissoko - off balance - put the rebound over the top.
With half-time approaching, Yoan Gouffran saw a 25-yard shot blocked but as the ball spun up invitingly for Cisse, he tried his luck with an ambitious overhead kick which was smothered by Russell.
Head coach Steve McClaren made 11 changes at half-time, as he cast a first eye over his United squad in match action.
On the hour mark, Newcastle should have been two up but only an outstanding piece of goalkeeping prevented Rolando Aarons from finding the back of the net.
Some intricate passing down the right saw the ball worked inside to Riviere, 10 yards out. Rather than shoot, he cleverly slipped in Aarons but the winger's strike was brilliantly tipped around the upright by Heed's substitute goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald.
Aarons almost bent one in the far corner, having cut in off the right touchline, while Gabriel Obertan was thwarted by the legs of MacDonald as he attempted to fire home a low effort.
On 80 minutes, MacDonald made another good stop to keep out a Riviere effort, but the stopper almost blotted his copybook a couple of minutes later.
Having hesitated over a clearance, he soon found himself closed down by Armstrong, but having gained possession, the United forward was unable to get sufficient power on his shot to double the lead, with MacDonald racing back to recover.
Gateshead (4-5-1): Sam Russell (Shaun MacDonald 46); Simon Ramsden (Craig Baxter 46), James Curtis (Dean Briggs 73), Ben Clark (Nathan Buddle 46), Matty Pattison; Josh Gillies (Mechack Kanda 66), Rob Ramshaw (River Allen 57), Jamie Chandler (Dillon Morse 73), Jimmy Phillips (Paddy McLaughlin 57), James Marwood (Joe Hailes 77); Jon Shaw (Rene Howe 46)
Subs not used: Josh Parry
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Karl Darlow (Freddie Woodman 46); Daryl Janmaat (Gael Bigirimana 46), Mike Williamson (Lubo Satka 46), Jamaal Lascelles (Curtis Good 46), Massadio Haidara (Shane Ferguson 46); Vurnon Anita (Cheick Tiote 46), Jack Colback (c) (Ayoze Perez 46); Moussa Sissoko (Gabriel Obertan 46), Siem de Jong (Adam Armstrong 46), Yoan Gouffran (Rolando Aarons 46); Papiss Cisse (Emmanuel Riviere 46)
Sub not used: Haris Vuckic
Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Sunderland)