Strange day in Hartlepool has happy ending
Kevin Keegan's side were expected to win comfortably at Victoria Park but in the way that only Newcastle United can manage, they still made hard work of their friendly win over Pools.
The League One side ran rings around Newcastle in the opening 40 minutes and but for some hard graft from James Milner in the middle and some dogged defending by Steven Taylor at the back, they could have been further behind than 1-0 after Matty Robson opened the scores.
Untypically for a pre-season friendly, the rain lashed down at the Vic and a pre-game storm raised doubts whether the game was actually in danger of being called off
Yet it was all fine by the end and after Damien Duff levelled before the break, Hartlepool's confidence seemed to evaporate.
The second half resulted in Danny Guthrie pulling on a Toon top - purple for those who weren't there - for the first time and a surprise introduction for Shola Ameobi.
Guthrie showed some good touches and within eight minutes he'd set up Duff for number two and bagged his first Toon goal - not a bad start for the former Liverpool man.
Duff bagged a hat-trick by the end but notably Shola showed some decent touches and was afforded a warm reception by United fans.
Yet he somehow missed an easy chance when it was easier to score in the second period.
Toon fans best chant of the day had to be: "If Shola scored we're on the pitch."
Remember the Geordie supporters belted this one out at Cheltenham in the FA Cup a couple of years ago, with Shearer close to beating Wor Jackie's record.
And with Shola's days numbered at Newcastle, unusually, Toon fans may get to cheer a farewell goal before the season is out.
WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF THE OPENER AT HARTLEPOOL?