Leeds 3 Newcastle 2
Written by Newcastle Utd
Goals from Steven Taylor and Haris Vuckic are not enough for Newcastle as they slip to a 3-2 defeat against Leeds at Elland Road
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Journalist
At Elland Road
Leeds United 3 (Patrick Kisnorbo 5, Lloyd Sam 66, Billy Paynter 85)
Newcastle United 2 (Steven Taylor 35, Haris Vuckic 77)
Billy Paynter's late header condemned Newcastle to a 3-2 pre-season friendly defeat against Leeds at Elland Road on Sunday.
The front man's header put the Whites in front for the third time on the day, after Alan Pardew's side had twice fought back from setbacks in Yorkshire.
Leeds defender Patrick Kisnorbo took advantage of a slip by Fraser Forster to give the hosts an early lead, and they could have gone further in front with a bit more composure in the final third.
Lloyd Sam edged the home side ahead once more with a neat finish from close range, only for Haris Vuckic to level things up once more. But former Swindon striker Paynter had the last laugh with a far post header in front of more than 20,000 fans.
Newcastle got off to the worst possible start as the hosts opened the scoring with just five minutes on the clock. Robert Snodgrass' free-kick from wide on the left was easy for Fraser Forster to rise and claim completely unchallenged.
But the goalkeeper fumbled the cross, dropping it towards his own line and leaving Leeds defender Kisnorbo with the easiest of tap-ins from a yard.
And the Championship side almost found themselves two up just a couple of minutes later as Ross McCormack robbed Steven Taylor of possession on the halfway line and raced towards the area, only to see his dangerous delivery well cleared by Yohan Cabaye.
The Magpies should have been back on level terms in the 12th minute after Joey Barton's through ball set Demba Ba clear of the hosts' defence, but two fantastic last-ditch tackles from centre-backs Andy O'Brien and Kisnorbo prevented the former West Ham man from equalising.
Leeds went straight back up the other end and had the ball in the back of the net as Max Gradel rose highest to head home a free-kick, only to see the linesman's flag curtail his celebrations.
Barton flashed a 20-yard strike well over as the visitors looked to hit back, while Ba was just inches away from connecting with the same player's low cross after Barton had created a chance out of nothing by driving into the box.
With Newcastle slowly starting to impose themselves on proceedings, Steven Taylor twice sent headers off-target from right-wing corners, but it wasn't long before the Whites were back on the front foot and Forster had to do well to tip over Gradel's fierce angled drive on 32 minutes.
However, having missed his two earlier chances from corners, Taylor made amends in the 35th minute, volleying home Cabaye's flag-kick at the far post to pull the Magpies level.
Leeds had a big penalty shout turned down right on the stroke of half-time when Snodgrass's cross from the right appeared to strike Taylor's arm inside the box, but referee Andy Haines waved away the appeals, much to Newcastle's relief.
Within a minute of the restart home captain Jonny Howson flashed a low drive inches wide of the upright, while Mike Williamson did well to block a Snodgrass shot after the wide man had danced his way past three tackles inside the Newcastle box.
Both sides made a raft of substitutions around the hour mark, and Leeds were back in front on 66 minutes thanks to one of their replacements, Lloyd Sam. It was another moment to look away for the visiting defence as Sam out-muscled Williamson on the by-line before poking the ball through Forster's legs from a ridiculously tight angle.
In the 72nd minute Newcastle had a penalty appeal of their own turned down when substitute Leon Best wriggled free in the area before smashing a shot against the body of Leigh Bromby from close range, with the centre-back unable to get out of the way in time.
And they continued to press for another equaliser, as Leeds keeper Andy Lonergan produced an outstanding stop to deny a close-range Barton header from Haris Vuckic's delivery.
The visitors didn't have to wait too long for that though as Vuckic turned from provider to goalscorer on 77 minutes to finally make it 2-2, receiving a cut back just inside the six-yard box and firing past the helpless Lonergan.
But Leeds won it with five minutes remaining as Alex Mendy created enough room on the right to stand up a cross to the far post, where fellow substitute Paynter rose bravely to nod in almost on the goaline.
Sammy Ameobi flashed a strike inches wide with time running out, but Newcastle were unable to salvage an equaliser for a third time.
Leeds United (4-5-1): Andy Lonergan; Paul Connolly, Patrick Kisnorbo (Boldizsar Bodor 59), Andy O'Brien (Leigh Bromby 46), Ben Parker (Tom Lees 59); Max Gradel (Alex Mendy 65), Jonny Howson (c), Michael Brown, Adam Clayton (Billy Paynter 65), Robert Snodgrass (Lloyd Sam 59); Ross McCormack (Ramon Nunez 65)
Subs not used: Paul Rachubka, Aidan White
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Fraser Forster; Danny Simpson (Paul Dummett 79), Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, James Tavernier (Ryan Taylor 57); Joey Barton, Yohan Cabaye, Dan Gosling (Haris Vuckic 65), Jonas Gutierrez (Sammy Ameobi 65); Shola Ameobi (c) (Leon Best 65), Demba Ba
Subs not used: Tim Krul