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Season 2011-12
Darlington (a) Friendly


Date: Friday 15th July 2011, 7.45pm

 Northern Echo Arena


Admission: £10




Newcastle United

0 - 2




3 mins Barton close range effort 1-0

Half time: Darlington 0 Newcastle 1

The goal 

56 mins Sammy Ameobi fierce shot 2-0

The aftermath 

Full time: Darlington 0 Newcastle 2

We Said

After the game United issued the following statement:

On behalf of everyone at Newcastle United FC, we wholly condemn the behaviour of a number of our supporters who invaded the pitch during the second half of the club's friendly against Darlington this evening (July 15).

The club will be seeking to obtain footage of the disorder from Darlington FC and the police and will be taking the strongest possible action against those individuals responsible for the shameful behaviour. 

This behaviour is not typical of the vast majority of our fans, however this incident gives a poor impression of Newcastle United and its loyal supporters.

Friday's events won't have done anything to lighten the mood of club MD Derek Llambias, who is reported to have been abused by Newcastle fans as he made his way into the Northern Echo Arena before kickoff.

NUFC later released a second statement on the following Wednesday:

"In the aftermath of Friday’s shameful and unsavoury incidents at Darlington, Newcastle United are currently working with Northumbria Police to identify those individuals who were responsible for criminal behaviour during the game.

"The club will not tolerate any kind of criminal or anti-social behaviour from fans at home or away fixtures, and anyone who is identified as being involved in such behaviour may be subject to a club banning order over and above any action taken by the police.

"The club has already received calls from a number of law-abiding fans who have provided information which will help identify offenders.

"This information is being treated in the strictest confidence and will be shared with the police.

"Two Newcastle United fans, aged 20 and 21, have already been arrested and charged with pitch incursion and associated public order offences, and the police will be seeking lengthy banning orders for these individuals.

"In order to combat any possible trouble at future away fixtures, a new policy will be implemented by the club which will see ticket sales restricted to season ticket holders and members only.

"As such the buyer will be held accountable for any trouble associated with the purchase/use of a ticket.

"Supporters attending the forthcoming game at Leeds will be reminded in advance of the game of their responsibilities to the club, fellow supporters, and the game of football as a whole.

"Newcastle United sincerely hopes this incident is a one-off, never to be repeated again, and that as the 2011/12 season unfolds, the good name, fervour and loyalty of its fans will once again be to the fore up and down the country.”

Alan Pardew commented:

"It is very regrettable. I am standing on the side and it looked jovial at first. It was a celebration that turned nasty. It was only a few but that is all it takes. A few can spoil it. We all get tarnished with the few.

"We will have to wait to see if there are repercussions. In my time here I have not seen anything like that from our fans. I went over to calm them down. I knew if they came on again we would be in trouble. It was calm after that."

Joey Barton tweeted:

"Daily Mail r WRONG again, fans confronted none of the players. Especially not me, they were just asking me to stay!!"

They Said

Quakers boss Mark Cooper commented:

"It only takes one idiot to produce a knife or a bottle and you have a problem.

"When we play a game like that it's not ideal for us because we know that we're not going to have much of the ball. It turns into a training session and a lesson in keeping your shape which we did. 

"We went a goal down really early on which was upsetting for me, but we competed well and got through the game with only one injury. I'll take a 2-0 defeat against a Premier League team bristling with top talent."


This was Newcastle's first public match wearing of their new orange away kit, with debuts for two of United's four French summer signings - Yohann Cabaye and Mehdi Abeid.  

Steve Harper, Tim Krul, Shola Ameobi, Xisco, Demba Ba, Sylvain Marveaux, Cheick Tiote, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Kazenga LuaLua, Peter Lovenkrands, James Perch, Wayne Routledge and Jonas Guiterrez were all missing from the 24 man squad named for this fixture. 

Former Magpie reserve Paul Arnison appeared for the home side as he did in 2009, while ex-Toon apprentice Adam Rundle rejoined Darlo in the days leading up to this game.


Loon Army/Quaker Oafs


Newcastle began their pre-season programme with victory at the Northern Echo Arena on Friday, but in addition to giving 22 players a run out, both Alan Pardew and John Carver unexpectedly found themselves taking to the field.

The United managerial pair were forced to make appeals for calm after some loutish behaviour from a section of the 6,000+ travelling support had seen play suspended for almost ten minutes following a pitch invasion.

1-0 ahead at half time, thanks to an early effort from captain for the night Joey Barton and debuting their new orange change kit, things began to unravel just before the hour mark. 

Sammy Ameobi was introduced as Newcastle's third substitute of the game at that point and with his elder brother Shola not featuring in Friday's squad, the first rendition of "If Sammy scores, we're on the pitch" was audible from the travelling support.

Within minutes though the 19 year-old burst forward to net United's second of the night, prompting the promised pitch invasion from up to 300 fans that quickly went from good-natured to violent.

With a combination of stewards and police having just about cleared the field of play, trouble flared again on the touchline as some of the interlopers were led away and began tussling with stewards on the pitch - with a couple of home fans apparently also involved, having run across towards the away section during the original incursion.

The second flare-up looked to have sent some of the Darlington players off towards the dressing room and at that point an abandonment looked to be a possibility. Instead though, Pardew and Carver walked across the field towards the Newcastle contingent making "calm down" gestures, before play eventually restarted. 

Ruined as a spectacle and not helped by frequent interruptions for further substitutions, the remaining 30 minutes of the game were then played out with virtually nothing worthy of note, except for a shower of rain.

Completely avoidable and probably the most embarrassing incident involving Newcastle fans in the Premier League era, this display of Magpie muppetry rivals the pitiful SJP pitch invasion during the May 1990 mackem playoff loss.

The football element of the evening was overshadowed by these scenes, but the game did see debuts for French duo Yohan Cabaye and Mehdi Abeid - both off the bench. Sporting number 4, Cabaye was an earlier arrival in place of Danny Guthrie and showed some neat and composed passing, while Abeid (35) showed up in the second half when things were starting to turn loopy.

Injury victims Dan Gosling, Mike Williamson and Hatem Ben Arfa all made their comebacks and the latter was prominent in an advanced central role, tucked in behind lone forward Leon Best.

Seemingly desperate to mark his return with a goal, Ben Arfa tried his luck with half a dozen efforts of varying range, power and accuracy but failed to register.

His captain for the evening Joey Barton had no such problems though, netting from close range with United's first shot of the game after Best steered an Alan Smith centre into his path - that goal prompting shouts of "Ashley, Ashley sign him on".


Page last updated 16 July, 2019