NEWCASTLE reserves staged a smash-and-grab raid to win the Tyne-Wear derby dress rehearsal against 10-man Sunderland.
Barclays Premier Reserve League North leaders Sunderland dominated the game at Eppleton but goals from Nile Ranger and Jonny Godsmark against the run of play in both halves gave Newcastle victory, and avenged Sunderland’s 2-1 win at St James’s Park back in September.
Ranger put the Magpies in front in the 20th minute but David Dowson levelled four minutes before half-time, before Godsmark netted the winner nine minutes into the second period.
Referee Steven Cummins sent off Sunderland skipper Jack Colback for a second bookable offence on 77 minutes and also showed eight more yellow cards in a game in which there was scarcely a bad tackle, although Newcastle centre-back Tamas Kadar was stretchered off with what looked like a serious leg injury after a fair challenge with Jordan Cook.
Newcastle took the lead with virtually their first meaningful attack. The Magpies won a corner out on the left which Mark Doninger swung into the box and Ranger got above his marker at the far post to head home, with Sunderland’s man on the line, Jamie Chandler, able only to head the ball into the roof of the net.
Chandler had a double chance to redeem himself four minutes later but was first foiled by a fine save from Newcastle keeper Fraser Forster and then fired over the bar after Sunderland regained possession.
The home side pressed hard for an equaliser and their pressure told in the 41st minute when Cook put Chandler clean through with a perfectly-weighted pass. Forster came out to the edge of the penalty area to meet him and managed to block the midfielder’s shot, but the ball fell to Dowson just outside the box and he took a touch to control it, before firing low through into the goal.
And Sunderland could have gone in at the interval in front after Forster was called into action to make a smart save from Dowson just 60 seconds later.
The Black Cats thought they had taken the lead seven minutes into the second period when Newcastle failed to clear a corner and Colback forced the ball home from close range, but the linesman ruled his effort out for offside.
The home side continued to look for a second goal but were made to pay in the 54th minute when Newcastle scored what turned out to be the winner on the break. The goal came from another Sunderland corner but the Wearsiders gave the ball away sloppily, and Newcastle broke quickly forward through Kazenga LuaLua and then Godsmark, with the midfielder poking the ball low past Nick Colgan into the bottom right-hand corner from the edge of the box.
Cook missed a great chance to level on 76 minutes when he robbed Kadar but the outstanding Forster made another great block.
Colback, who had been booked for a foul early in the second half, was dismissed near the end for a second bookable offence and the closing stages of the the game were marred by the injury to Kadar four minutes from time. The defender was immediately taken to hospital for an X-ray. Sunderland’s defeat was only their second of the season – and their first of the campaign on home soil.
SUNDERLAND: Colgan, Kay, McArdle, Hartley, Luscombe, Meyler (Brown 72), Jordan Henderson, Colback, Chandler, Cook, Dowson. Subs not used: Weir, Carson, L Noble, Hubbuck.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Forster, Taylor, Jeffrey Henderson (Dummett 81), Kadar (McDermott 90), Lough, Godsmark, Donaldson, Doninger (Inman 68), Danquah, LuaLua, Ranger. Subs not used: Soderberg, McDermott, Williams.
REFEREE: Steven Cummins
BOOKINGS: Luscombe, Kay, Meyler, Cook (Sunderland), Donaldson, Kadar, Doninger, Godsmark (Newcastle)
SENT OFF: Colback (Sunderland)