Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Mitrovic tastes debut defeat for Newcastle

SoccerNews in English Premier League 29 Jul 2015

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Newcastle United handed a debut to new striker Aleksandar Mitrovic at Bootham Crescent on Wednesday, but saw League Two side York City spring a surprise 2-1 victory.

The former Anderlecht man arrived at St James’ Park last week and was among the chances as York-born Steve McClaren saw his Newcastle team fall to two first-half goals. 

York led 16 minutes in through Anthony Straker, the defender rather fortuitously opening the scoring with his side’s first attack of the game, and it was 2-0 courtesy of Trialist A after an impressive virtuoso goal down the right-hand flank. 

The hosts made eight changes midway through the second half and saw Ayoze Perez reduce the deficit, but stood firm to deny their somewhat toothless Premier League opposition.

While Newcastle’s side will look markedly different when they face Southampton in just over a week’s time, the defeat will nonetheless come as a blow to McClaren ahead of his first season in charge.

The visitors had the first effort on goal two minutes in when Perez seized on a loose ball and played in Siem de Jong – Scott Flinders turning his effort around the post.

Flinders gathered Rolando Aarons’ effort from a tight angle from the resulting corner before debutant Mitrovic glanced Shane Ferguson’s delivery off target.

The pressure was near-constant from the youthful Newcastle side early on as Mitrovic went close to connecting with a header – John McCombe standing firm under pressure.

But completely against the run of play, Newcastle’s youthful back-line were undone as the trialist forced the issue down the right before crossing for Straker – the full-back diverting the bouncing ball over Karl Darlow.

There was nothing fortuitous about York’s second, however, as the trialist meandered down the right before cutting in curling home a stunning strike past a helpless Darlow.

Aarons rattled the crossbar with a header prior to the interval before Newcastle began the second half on the front foot as Perez played in Mitrovic to fire wide.

Aarons limped off around the hour – heading straight down the tunnel seemingly for treatment – and his absence further hindered Newcastle, with York standing firm.

Mitrovic departed with 20 minutes remaining and, while Perez prodded home from close range, it proved a consolation, leaving Newcastle’s new-look coaching team with questions to ponder ahead of their final friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

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