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First-half showing frustrates Beardsley

Written by Rory Mitchinson

Peter Beardsley was left to lament a disappointing first-half display as a young Newcastle United side lost 1-0 to Port Vale in the Checkatrade Trophy.

The Magpies were slow to come out of the traps in the Potteries, and trailed at the break to Tyrone Bartlett’s headed effort.

Save for a rasping Luke Charman strike, United rarely threatened in the opening half, though they saw far more of the ball in the attacking third after the interval.

Beardsley, however, felt the Magpies could have done more in possession, and acknowledged that they paid the price for starting slowly against the League Two outfit.

“We were poor in the first half, to be fair,” he told nufc.co.uk. “Probably ten minutes before the break, we started to liven up. Once Luke has that shot, it livens everyone up and the atmosphere is different. Until then, we hadn’t really looked like scoring. We hadn’t had a shot.

“The second half, we played really well, but never really looked like scoring, if I’m honest. The goalie made another good save from Luke – people are saying that it’s a great save, but I’m not sure if it was, although it was a nice, clean strike.

“They obviously have the advantage of being more experienced, and they were almost happy for us to have the ball. They were quite content to defend and soak up the pressure. You could hear their fans getting frustrated because they wanted them to move on and get further forward, but they weren’t able to do that. Their fans were becoming frustrated, but we’re frustrated, as well. Not scoring causes you a problem. I don’t think we had a clear-cut chance, in my opinion. If we did, I missed it.”

A win at Vale Park would have made sure of United’s passage to the Second Round of the competition. However, Oldham Athletic’s win at Crewe Alexandra means that the Magpies must overcome the Latics next month to progress.

Beardsley, though, feels that such a scenario can work in his side’s favour.

“It isn’t ideal, because we’d have liked to have won tonight, but it’s very much in our own hands. If we win, we qualify – and that’s the great thing about it,” he said. “For us, and it sounds really stupid, it is like a Champions League. We have a group of four, two go through, but the bad news is that we can’t go into the Europa League if we get beat. But, it is what it is, and it’s a great experience, whatever happens.”

"We were poor in the first half, to be fair. The second half, we played really well, but never really looked like scoring, if I’m honest."

Peter Beardsley

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