Magpies fly high in friendly against Pools

Pools in 1993.
Pools in 1993.

The Mighty Magpies taught persevering Pools a “thorough lesson” in a 1993 pre-season friendly - without ever reaching top gear.

In what amounted to little more than a Saturday afternoon stroll, Newcastle United notched up a definitive 2-0 victory on July 24.

Francis Jones

Francis Jones

“If Newcastle can do this without breaking sweat, Hartlepool had better hope they don’t draw them in the cup!” reported the Mail.

“It is always difficult to judge a side’s true capabilities in a pre-season friendly, especially at such an early stage.

“This game was no different, though both teams will have left the field with reason for optimism.”

Newcastle paraded Peter Beardsley for the first time since his £1.3million return in the strongest side boss Kevin Keegan could put out.

But although Beardsley put the ball beyond Pools new boy Tim Carter, to reward a classy Newcastle move, he actually had a quiet afternoon.

Instead it was another newcomer, Nicos Papavassilou, who gave the 3,000-strong Newcastle contingent at Victoria Park most to cheer.

“His sharp bursts and mazy runs certainly vindicated Keegan’s persistence after confronting a string of work permit problems to sign him,” stated the Mail.

It was Scott Sellars, however, who put the visitors ahead after 16 minutes - when his free-kick eluded the entire Pools defence.

By then Newcastle had lost the services of Mark Robinson - who was replaced by Steve Watson after only two minutes, following a tackle by Ian McGuckin.

McGuckin then continued to put in some plucky service for the rest of the half, but even he could not prevent Beardsley from scoring two minutes from the break.

Indeed, the former England marksman darted in front of McGuckin to slot strike partner Robert Lee’s cheeky back-flick into the net from inside the area.

Pools’ only effort of the first period came after 32 minutes, when Tommy Wright had to scramble away Nicky Peverell’s downward header from close range.

But the second half - which saw the Pools players don their new away kit - involved much more action from the home team. Sadly, however, no shots on target.

“Newcastle were less of a threat after the break, though Pools goalie Steve Jones made a superb 67th minute save,” said the Mail.

“But Nicky Southall managed to tease Barry Venison before shooting into Wright’s arms. After that, the action just petered out.”