Keegan beaten on return to Donny
KEVIN KEEGAN endured a deeply disappointing afternoon today on his return to his hometown as his side went down to a late goal against Doncaster Rovers.
Northern Ireland international Stuart Elliott won the game for United after a defensive disaster late on paved the way for a famous victory which underlined the frailties of KK's paper thin squad.
But the scoreline could have been heavier had it not been for young Dutch keeper Tim Krul who came off the bench to pull off some fine saves.
United handed a chance to on trial Metz defender Sebastien Bassong while Geremi - who captained Newcastle - was eased back into the midfield after returning to pre-season training later than the rest of his team-mates due to his World Cup commitments earlier in the summer.
Bassong wore 46 for United today and Toon fans were left baffled by the player's presence singing "Number 46, nobody knows your name."
Big hitters for United such as Michael Owen (mumps), Oba Martins (family tragedy) and Mark Viduka (heel) were all missing.
After a scrappy opening United - playing in front of ex-boss Sir Bobby Robson - broke through on 16 minutes when they won a free-kick on the edge of the box but Geremi's curler was headed clear by Richie Wellens.
Yet Donny, preparing for an adventure in the Championship, weren't goal shy either and Gareth Taylor had Steve Harper on his toes on 28 minutes when he screwed a shot just wide.
Former Toon youngster Lewis Guy had Donny's best chance of the first half when after his ex-United colleague James Coppinger swung in a corner he latched on to Gareth Taylor's flick - only to fire over from close range with 10 minutes left of the first period.
Newcastle fans were clearly in fine form at the Keepmoat and in anticipation of unregistered new signing Jonas Gutierrez chanted "We want Spiderman" as the two teams headed for the tunnel after a dull first period.
During the break Donny new boy Tomi Ameobi entered the field to do battle with his older brother Shola.
And Geordie Ben Smith - son of Toon former keeper coach - also appeared for Rovers between the posts in place of Neil Sullivan.
The second half burst into life on 51 minutes when a great run from Charles N'Zogbia down the left resulted in a left foot snapshot that flashed wide of Ben Smith's goal.
Keegan also switched his goalie just before the hour when Tim Krul took over from Harper in the Toon goal.
And he was called into action within seconds of his arrival as Stuart Elliott cracked a long-range effort which the Dutch youth international had to turn round the post.
United responded a minute later as Shola Ameobi crossed for Alan Smith but the England international's flicked header went just wide.
On 66 minutes a Geremi right-wing cross took the merest touch off Shola Ameobi's head before striking the inside of the post before Donny cleared the dange.
With 20 minutes to go sub Waide Fairhurst upended N'Zobgbia to hand United a free-kick from 30 yards but Geremi's effort was curled over by some margin without troubling Ben Smith.
Two minutes later and Shola Ameobi weaved his way through the Donny defence but his powerful low effort went straight at the keeper.
On a frustrating hot afternoon for United N'Zogbia made another piercing run before his rising shot once again sailed over the bar.
Seconds later and N'Zogbia - United's brightest player on the day - broke through again but could only crash his shot into the side netting.
Krul produced another great save with nine minutes left on the clock when Elliott's powerful free-kick from range was parried away by the Dutchman.
But Krul was let down badly by his defence with four minutes later after some comedy defending by United.
Bassong and Jose Enrique got in a mix up before bumping into each other after Ben Smith's long ball.
And Donny star Stuart Elliott tucked away a neat finish after latching on to a loose ball with three minutes to go.
UNITED: Harper (Krul 57), Taylor, Bassong, Cacapa (Edgar 64), Enrique, Geremi (Tozer 78), Guthrie, N'Zogbia, Duff, Ameobi, Smith.
Subs: Morris, Tozer, Danquah, Doninger ,Donaldson, Godsmark.
Ref: Rob Shoebridge (Derbyshire)