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Features

Eye on the Tigers

Written by Dan King

Newcastle United's last visit to the KCOM Stadium ended in huge disappointment, but the Magpies have fared pretty well there since Hull City moved from Boothferry Park - their previous home of 56 years - in 2002.

Rafa Benítez takes his side back to the scene of 2016's heartbreaking Capital One Cup quarter-final penalty shoot-out defeat for a pre-season friendly on Tuesday - but that cup exit was one of only two league and cup losses United have ever suffered there.

Joe Kinnear was in charge when Newcastle made their first competitive visit to the 25,000-capacity venue - then known as the Kingston Communications Stadium - for an FA Cup third round tie in January 2009.

Shay Given helped the Magpies to earn a replay with a 0-0 draw, although the goalkeeper could do nothing to prevent United from losing the replay 1-0 at St. James' Park.

Damien Duff tries to get away from Hull's Sam Ricketts in 2009

The two sides met again on Humberside in March, this time in the Premier League, with Chris Hughton by now in caretaker charge. Brazilian Geovanni gave the Tigers an early lead but Steven Taylor equalised with a header.

However, that 1-1 draw proved to be crucial for Hull. They finished one point and one place above the Magpies, who were relegated at the end of the season.

United bounced back as champions but Hull then went down themselves, so the two sides didn't meet again until September 2013. Alan Pardew's Newcastle led twice in an entertaining encounter, with Loic Remy scoring both, but ended up losing 3-2, with Sone Aluko settling the match with a brilliant volley.

The Magpies won 4-1 on their next visit, in March 2014 - but Pardew's clash with David Meyler made most of the headlines.

A Moussa Sissoko brace and goals from Remy and Vurnon Anita capped an excellent performance. Pardew, though, was sent to the stands and eventually banned from the touchline for seven games as he squared up to former Sunderland midfielder Meyler, who left the Tigers this summer after six years with the club.

John Carver had replaced Pardew by the time United returned to East Yorkshire in January 2015, and the Magpies claimed the first victory of his tenure as Remy Cabella, Sammy Ameobi and Yoan Gouffran got on the scoresheet in a 3-0 win.

Remy Cabella's only goal for Newcastle came at the KCOM Stadium

But Gouffran's failure from the penalty spot in November 2016 saw United miss out on a cup semi-final. United had 32 shots during 120 minutes, with Mohamed Diamé putting Newcastle ahead in extra time against his old club after Dieumerci Mbokani had been sent off in the final seconds of normal time.

The lead lasted just a minute, though, with Robert Snodgrass equalising and taking the tie to penalties. Eldin Jakupovic saved from Jonjo Shelvey and, decisively, Gouffran, with Dwight Gayle hitting the bar with his effort, as Hull went through to face eventual winners Manchester United in the semi-finals.

That means Newcastle's league and cup record at the KCOM Stadium is won two, drawn two and lost two. However, they have also played there twice before in pre-season friendlies.

In August 2003, Michael Chopra scored twice while Shola Ameobi and Carl Cort also netted in a 4-0 win against a home side who were then in Division Three (now League Two).

Four years later, the Tigers had climbed into the Championship and came out on top when new United boss Sam Allardyce sent a young team to Humberside. Bryan Hughes scored the only goal as run-outs were given to the likes of Darren Lough, Jonny Godsmark, Mark Doninger, Alex Francis, Frank Wiafe Danquah and Mark Bertram.

Hull was named the 2017 City of Culture but the team struggled last term, eventually finishing 18th in the Sky Bet Championship, with Nigel Adkins replacing Leonid Slutsky as manager midway through the campaign.

But they will be looking to challenge for promotion back to the top flight next season and are sure to provide a good test for Benítez's men after last week's win at St. Patrick's. Supporters can buy tickets on the night, from the Away Bar which is situated next to turnstiles 1-5.

Newcastle vs Hull City

Goals for
50
Goals against
27

 

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