Hartlepool United (a) Friendly
9 mins Bellamy beat strike partner Shearer to Speed's through pass, blasting his shot low past Williams defending the goal at the Town End 1-0
17 mins This time the front duo linked up to present Shearer with his first goal of the night, after Robert's corner had been returned by Solano for Bellamy to nod down into the path of Big Al 2-0
28 mins Griffin's cross from the right caused some hesitancy in the Pool's defence, duly punished by Shearer with a typical finish. 3-0
35 mins Shearer's hat-trick was
completed when he took on Solano's through pass, rounded the keeper and knocked
the ball into the unguarded net 4-0
Full time: Hartlepool United 0 Newcastle 6
John Carver (in
charge tonight) said:
"This game was a good work-out and a useful test for us. We knew Hartlepool would be up for it as it's a local derby after all, but the players applied themselves well and we got a very pleasing performance.
"We played some nice football and every goal had a bit of quality about it. No matter who the opposition is - if you play like that then you give yourself a chance of scoring goals.
"The most important thing for us is the Champions League qualifier, which is less than two weeks away. It's all about getting the players ready for that one.
"We're on target for where we want to be when the season starts. The Asia Cup was a great experience and from a fitness point of view I think we're ahead of where we were in the past two seasons.
"As long as we keep
progressing down these lines then I think we'll be raring to go come the start
of the season."
"We have to use games like the one at Hartlepool to get things right and to improve our fitness. We had the right attitude. We started the game well and we never took our foot off the pedal throughout.
"I tend to get my fitness in games like these and we're all getting there. We've been working hard and there have been no after-effects from playing in the Asia Cup.
"We've got a tough game on Tuesday against Bayern Munich. That will show us how far we've come so far in pre-season. But I think we're looking good and I'm looking forward to the new season."
Neale Cooper said:
"They punished us on the counter attack and you could see why they are multi-million pound players, but we played some decent stuff at times and didn't disgrace ourselves.
"It was a good test for the lads and I'm sure they will learn a few things - I'm just glad we won't be playing teams like that every week!"
While another Newcastle XI were going down in a
seven goal thriller at Hillsborough, Alan Shearer helped himself to an 18-minute
hat-trick as The Magpies put six past Hartlepool United at Victoria Park.
PS... on close inspection Andy Griffin was sporting a haircut every bit as savage as his tackling.
Our Sandancia correspondent