This game started relatively quietly, with both sides trying to get the ball down and play some football. Newcastle settled quicker and began passing the ball around and taking control of the game. They won a free kick on the right edge of the box. After a beautiful delivery, Newcastle failed to convert. Vendee started to grow into the game and began stringing some passes together but failed to muster up an effort on goal. The travelling French support were very vocal in the first half, doing their bit to get behind their team. They almost found themselves behind as McNall was put through on goal, but his effort was superbly saved by Vendee stopper Thibaut Cartwright.
But Newcastle continued to press and they got their reward in the 18th minute. A super cross from the left flank by Owen Gallacher supplied Heaney with the opportunity to open the scoring and he made no mistake in doing so. This settled the Magpies down and they began to dictate the play, with midfielder Matthew Longstaff doing a superb job pulling the strings from midfield. Newcastle’s hardwork and persistence paid off when they scored their second of the day. Heaney just wouldn’t be beaten down the left wing and he powered his way into the box before squaring the ball for the arriving player who buried it in the bottom corner. Newcastle almost added a third when Aziakonou’s whipped in ball was met by Gallacher who’s looping header came back off the bar.
There were calls for goal line technology as a well hit shot from distance came off the bar and onto the goal line, much to the disappointment of the French. After a slow start to the first half for Vendee it was more of the same in the second half as once again Newcastle settled the quicker out of the two. Thomas Allan almost found a way through after a mazy run from deep, but found himself running into a dead end. Vendee struggled to get going on what was a tough afternoon for them against a strong Newcastle side.
Vendee’s only notable strike on goal came 19 minutes into the second half when Yannis David had his shot comfortably saved. Then came a moment Vendee will want to forget. After the ball was headed over the keeper by Newcastle it was cleared off the line by Alpin whose clearance ricocheted off a Vendee player, who was no more than 8 yards out, and went over the bar.
Newcastle made sure of their victory in the last minute with a goal from Adam Wilson. The Magpies were then awarded a penalty for a shove inside the box, but Allan had his penalty saved. In a half that had little to offer Newcastle held on for a deserved victory.
Report by Jamie Patterson