NEW boy Ayoze Perez opened his Newcastle United account to give Newcastle United a hard-fought win over Sheffield Wednesday tonight.
The forward scored the only goal of the game at Hillsborough.
Perez, signed from Tenerife this summer, netted in the 66th minute on a night where Sir Bobby Robson and the two United fans on downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 were remembered.
The game came on the eve of the fifth anniversary of Sir Bobby’s passing after a long battle against cancer.
And there were several rounds of applause in memory of John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who lost their lives travelling to New Zealand to watch the club in a pre-season tournament.
All but two of the players in Newcastle’s starting XI had got off a flight from New Zealand two days ago.
And it showed on a warm night in South Yorkshire.
Wednesday dominated the first half, but they couldn’t put away a series of chances created during a spell of intense pressure.
Pardew made a number of substitutions after the break in an attempt to freshen up his team.
But it was Perez - moved up front after the withdrawal of Emmanuel Riviere - who got the breakthrough.
Gabriel Obertan set the forward away, and the 21-year-old beat goalkeeper Chris Kirkland with a neat finish.
Wednesday pushed for an equaliser, but Newcastle held out to claim a third successive pre-season victory.
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Kirkland, Palmer, Mattock, Hutchinson, Loovens, Kelhar, Maguire, Madine, Nuhiu, Coke, Maghoma.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot; Satka (Anita, 46), Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett, Haidara (Bigirimana, 60); Tiote (Vuckic, 60), Abeid; Obertan, Armstrong (Gilliead, 85), Perez (Campbell, 73) Riviere (Streete, 55). Subs not used: Alnwick, Quinn.
Goal: Perez 66
Referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire)