PETER Beardsley made a winning start to his reign as Newcastle United reserve team boss with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Gateshead at the International Stadium last night.
United took just two minutes to carve open Gateshead and a piercing run down the left channel from Edmundsson was followed by a lay-off to Kazenga LuaLua who fired at goalkeeper James McKeown – on trial from Peterborough – but he turned it round the post.
Newcastle grabbed the lead on nine minutes. Greg McDermott crossed from the left hand side after getting to the byline and Nile Ranger applied the finish from close range with a well-taken finish. United doubled their lead with 15 minutes left of the first half. Ranger slipped it to Vuckic who drove on and planted a left foot shot through McKeown’s legs.
McKeown’s nightmare was to continue when Gateshead failed to deal with a harmless right-wing cross, which was headed back towards his own goal by Callum Morris. Farcically the Posh keeper was caught napping to concede a comical own goal three minutes before the break to all but kill the game as a contest.
Gateshead tried to make a fight of it after the break and six minutes in Jimmy Marwood hammered a shot from 25-yards out which Jak Alnwick palmed away to safety.
But despite the improved performance from the home side they couldn’t find a way through early enough to make a game of it, and the usual spate of substitutions resulted in the intensity levels of the game petering out slightly.
It could have been more for Newcastle in the end but it was a winning start for Beardsley and Stone and while it was a decent workout for Gateshead, Ian Bogie has plenty of food for thought ahead of his side’s Blue Square opener against Kettering Town on August 14.
GATESHEAD: McKeown, Baxter, Heckingbottom (Brown 70), Gate, Morris, Clark, Marwood, Ferrell (Francis 83), Wake (Dowson 70), Allan (Fisher 63), Challinor (Turnbull 46).
NEWCASTLE: Alnwick, Newton (Nicholson 72), Dummett, McDermott, Grieve (Nzuzi 46), Henderson, LuaLua (Ameobi 46), Inman, Ranger (D Taylor 67), Vuckic (Donaldson 46), Edmundsson (Knight 75).
Referee: Scott Duncan (Newcastle)