Newcastle Utd 2 Valencia 1

Last updated : 10 August 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor
The match was held back two hours, causing problems with fans who had organised pick-up times for a 3pm kick-off, due to a delayed flight for the Valencia players.

But the 31,494 crowd was a lot healthier than the attendance on Wednesday evening, as many expected to see the closest we were going to come to a full strength Newcastle side.

Mark Viduka and Michael Owen were missing but Oba Martins was back ... and at least it gave us hope of a goal orb two.

As it happens, the Toon number nine didn't find the net, but Damien Duff scored his third goal of the summer pre-season fixtures and James Milner's stoppage time strike sealed the win.

Milner hit the winner after the ball rebounded off the post from a Steven Taylor header, and he steered the ball past goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand to give Kevin Keegan's men a massive boost ahead of the Premier League season.

United donned their new silver third kit ... obviously putting it in the shop window for potential buyers. But it looks like the 1980's silver kit (pictured left, worn by none other than Gazza).

Newcastle began strongly, trying to build on the carnival atmosphere at St James' Park, and of course there was unpopular referee Uriah Rennie trying hard to be the star of the show.

Wingers Milner and Jonas Gutierrez unsettled the Valencia backline, which led to a string of free-kicks around the visitor's penalty area.

Keegan's side were unable to take advantage of these set-pieces, but as the half progressed the Spaniards balanced the contest out with chances of their own.

Their best opportunity of the early stages came after 22 minutes when the lively Joaquin broke into the area and cut the ball back across the area, but it managed to evade the on-coming Silva.

Valencia continued to press, but Newcastle always looked a threat on the break. That threat was confirmed on the half-hour mark when Duff burst through the Valencia defence thanks to a neat one-two with Obafemi Martins. However he could not shake off the pursuing Raul Albiol, who made sure the Irishman's shot did not trouble Hildebrand.

Valencia opened the scoring in the 37th minute with a neat move which stunned the Magpies. David Silva chipped a clever pass forward which Fernando Morientes flicked into the path of Joaquin who slotted the ball past Shay Given.

Martins was the main threat, but he failed to convert two Milner crosses, first with an attempted overhead kick three minutes after the break then with his head five minutes later.

Valencia looked dangerous after the introduction of Euro 2008 top-scorer David Villa, and he came close to doubling the visitors advantage on the hour mark when he fired a Vicente free-kick into the side netting.

The hosts continued to probe for an equaliser and Duff managed it 14 minutes from time. Gutierrez, who was a constant threat to the Valencia defence, fired in a corner which Duff easily converted.

Then Milner put a smile on Geordie faces with the injury time winner.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Given, Beye (Bassong 85) N'Zogbia, Cacapa (Edgar 85), Taylor, Milner, Guthrie, Gutierrez, Butt, Duff, Martins (Smith 63).

VALENCIA: Hildebrand, Albiol (Fernandes 59), Abelda (Edu 74), Baraja (Ruano 59), Morientes (Villa 46), Panadero (Manuel 74), Helguera (Navarro 67), Joaquin (Dominguez 46), Silva (Miguel 46), Garcia, Moretti.