Elliott Dickman begins life as Newcastle United U23s lead coach with hard-fought point against Norwich City
Elliott Dickman began his Newcastle United under-23s reign with a 2-2 draw against Norwich City in front of a 300+ crowd at Whitley Park.
Dickman wasted no time in stepping onto the touchline just over 48 hours after his switch from Tyne-Wear rivals Sunderland was confirmed.
The former long-serving Black Cats coach watched his new side lead twice through Jay Turner-Cooke, a player he knows all about from his Stadium of Light days, and Jack Young.
However, twice the young Magpies were pegged back, giving Dickman plenty of food for thought as he leads the academy into a new era along with Steve Harper.
Dickman was without star midfielder Joe White through suspension, while the injured Elliot Anderson remained out.
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Turner-Cooke was handed the number 10 role in his absence and soon registered Newcastle’s first shot at goal inside two minutes, which went high and wide.
Norwich enjoyed the better side of possession for large spells of the first half and Dan Langley was called into a solid near-post save from Liam Gibbs.
Whilst a Canaries player received treatment, Dickman used the short break to dish out instructions after a slow start, and United took the lead soon after on 25 minutes.
It was a swift counter-attacking move. Langley punched the corner clear, Dylan Stephenson burst forward and Turner-Cooke finished the move with a lovely curling finish in the bottom right corner.
The Magpies, however, invited more pressure on themselves and Norwich deserved to equalise before the break.
Jon Rowe twice went close for Norwich. An ambitious effort floated just over Langley's goal before a shot from 20 yards was deflected narrowly behind.
Langley claimed corner after corner but the visiting players soon tried to stop that as they surrounded the 6ft7 goalkeeper.
He stood firm however and produced another strong save on the brink of half-time as Rowe advanced on the left side of the penalty box.
Rowe was the visitors' livewire but squandered a clear-cut opportunity – cutting inside on the left before his shot rose over the crossbar.
A neat turn from Stephenson on the edge of the box forced Dylan Berry to tip his shot over before Norwich made their pressure count.
Tom Dickson-Peters beat Remi Savage’s offside appeal to slot the ball under Langley to level on the hour-mark.
Norwich weren’t level for long however. Turner-Cooke again played a key role as his run into the box saw him brought down for a penalty.
Captain for the evening Young made no mistake, sending goalkeeper Berry the wrong way.
Dickman became a bit more vocal in the second interval as his side needed to become more organised.
Dickman and goalkeeper Langley could do nothing but watch when Flynn Clarke’s brilliantly struck free-kick went in via the underside of the crossbar.
In the closing stages, Langley helped preserve his side’s point when he got down to deny Rowe after a mazy run into the box.
Indeed, Stephenson came close to winning it for Newcastle in injury time when his strike cannoned off the crossbar.
The draw keeps Newcastle inside the Premier League 2 play-off places with a trip to Southampton next Friday.
That will allow Dickman to have a full week of training as he settles into his role as under-23s lead coach.