Newcastle United 3 Vitesse Arnhem 2: Gayle and Ritchie impress in final friendly

Dwight Gayle
Dwight Gayle

Newcastle United ended their pre-season campaign unbeaten at St James's Park this afternoon.

Rafa Benitez's side beat Vitesse Arnhem 3-2 thanks to strikes from Dwight Gayle and Jack Colback and an own goal from Kelvin Leerdam.

All three of Newcastle's goals came in the first half.

And Vitesse fought back after the break, with Nathan and Guram Kashia finding the net from set-pieces in a scrappy half.

United had performed well before the break, though Matz Sels denied Lewis Baker, on loan at Vitesse from Chelsea, an early goal when he tipped over his free-kick.

Home debutants Gayle and Matt Ritchie looked sharp up front along with Ayoze Perez and Vurnon Anita.

Adam Armstrong

Adam Armstrong

Perez and Anita had early chances saved by Eloy Room before a Ritchie ball was diverted into the net by Leerdam in the 22nd minute.

Dwight Gayle struck from close range in the 36th minute, and Colback headed a Perez header home before the break.

Ritchie had a shot blocked early in the second half, but United quickly lost their first-half momentum.

Nathan scored from a corner in the 53rd minute, and Kashia added another from a set-piece just past the hour-mark.

Both goals were sloppy from a defensive point of view, and Benitez, without the injured Chancel Mbemba, will have been frustrated to see his team concede two goals from set-pieces.

Aleksandar Mitrovic, one of the many United substitutes, forced a save after coming off the bench, but chances were few and far between.

Newcastle now have less than a week before they kick off their Championship campaign against Fulham on August 5.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Sels; Janmaat (Sterry, 74), Hanley (Gamez, 62), Lascelles, Dummett; Hayden (Saivet, 74), Colback (Shelvey, 62); Anita (Mitrovic, 74), Perez (Armstrong, 62), Ritchie (Aarons, 62); Gayle (Gouffran, 74). Subs not: Darlow, Tiote, Thauvin.

VITESSE ARNHEM: Room, Leerdam, Kashia, Kruiswijk, Ota, Nakamba, Baker, Vako, Rashica, Zhang, Nathan. Subs not: Van der Werff, van Wolfswinkel, Dauda, van Bergen, Osman, Oude Kotte, Tornes, Houwen, Koryan, Faye, Foor.

Goals: Leerdam (og) 22 Gayle 36, Colback 41, Nathan 53, Kashia 61

Referee: Sebastien Stockbridge