Steve McClaren’s reign as Newcastle United boss got off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory over Gateshead.
he Magpies’ first pre-season game of the campaign saw them comfortably control proceedings against their non-league neighbours - but poor finishing let them down.
Papiss Demba Cisse grabbed the only goal, netting a sixth-minute penalty after Simon Ramsden’s rash challenge on Massadio Haidara.
McClaren had named a strong starting XI on his first teamsheet, with internationals Daryl Janmaat and Moussa Sissoko accompanying a strikeforce of Siem de Jong and Cisse.
Former Nottingham Forest duo Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow were handed their debuts but were barely in the game as Gateshead struggled for possession against the Premier League side.
Sissoko missed a golden chance to make it 2-0, miscuing horribly the rebound after his first effort was saved by Sam Russell in the home goal as Newcastle had to be content with just the one goal at half-time.
McClaren put out an entirely different team after the break, a more youthful-looking line-up supplemented by a couple of first-teamers including Cheik Tiote, making his first appearance since January.
Adam Armstrong should have doubled the scoring two minutes after the restart after showing the Gateshead defence a clean pair of heels, only to slice off target.
He curled another effort just wide from 25 yards as United continued to dominate, with Rolando Aarons being denied by substitute Gateshead keeper Shaun MacDonald.
The youngster also denied Gabriel Obertan with his feet and then recovered after Armstrong charged down his clearance to stop the England Under-18 star’s weak left-foot effort trickling across the line.
Newcastle continued to dominate possession but despite going close on several occasions couldn’t find a second as their finishing again let them down.
Newcastle First Half: Darlow, Janmaat, Haidara, Lascelles, Williamson, Anita, Colback (c), Gouffran, Cisse, Sissoko, de Jong.
Second half: Woodman, Bigirimana, Satka, Good, Ferguson, Obertan, Tiote, Perez, Aarons, Armstrong, Riviere.