Newcastle Thump Hartlepool 4-1 As Damien Duff Grabs A Hat-Trick

Andrew BarrySenior Analyst IJuly 19, 2008

Newcastle United began their pre-season with a resounding 4-1 victory over neighbours Hartlepool. The match was marked by the return to form by Irish winger Damien Duff.

The League One side weren't good enough to cope with the Premier League stars despite Kevin Keegan's men getting off to a shaky start. Hartlepool stunned the travelling Toon Army by taking the lead after 16 minutes as Matty Robson dinked the ball past fit again Shay Given.

However, Newcastle were level on 40 minutes after Butt played the ball to Milner who found Duff on the left before the Irishman steered the ball home from just inside the box on the left to make it 1-1.

Martins then went round the keeper a minute later but Ben Clark cleared the ball off the line to keep the score level.

On the stroke of half-time N’Zogbia forced a good save from Lee Barrett with Martins unable to convert the rebound as Newcastle finished the half slightly on top.

Guthrie was handed his debut at the start of the second half and replaced Enrique with a reshuffle seeing N’Zogbia drop to left-back.

And Ameobi—who was given a superb reception from the visiting fans—was also introduced for the second period with Martins making way.

Guthrie, signed from Liverpool, proved an instant success and fed Duff for his second on 54 minutes. The Irishman timed his run to perfection and slotted the ball past Lee Barrett.

Less than a minute later, Guthrie had scored himself with a thundering strike from 20 yards as Hartlepool began to wilt under the Geordie waves of pressure.

It should have been three goals in three minutes as Shola Ameobi missed an open goal after doing the hard work, despite that the Academy product showed enough desire to continue playing for Newcastle.

With 19 minutes left United gave youngster Callum Morris a slice of the action with the Academy product taking his place at right back and Ben Tozer partnering Taylor in the middle.

Duff almost completed his hat-trick with 10 minutes left when a cross from the left hand side dipped on to the Pools bar before bouncing to safety.

But he did get the treble he was looking for with three minutes to go as he side footed a neat finish into the roof of the net after Ameobi laid the ball off to him.

Newcastle off to a great start and the forgotten man Damien Duff is back with a bang.