Newcastle United injury scare as Eddie Howe’s side suffer pre-season defeat to Mainz 05

Newcastle United defender Fabian Schar. Newcastle United defender Fabian Schar.
Newcastle United defender Fabian Schar. | Getty Images
Newcastle United suffered their first defeat of pre-season after losing 1-0 to Mainz 05 at the Kufstein Arena.

Newcastle United ended their pre-season camp in Austria with a 1-0 defeat to Bundesliga side Mainz 05.

Sven Botman made his first non-competitive start for the club, and while he impressed again, the Dutchman was unable to keep a clean sheet with Delano Burgzorg scoring the only goal of the afternoon on 58 minutes.

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Botman saw his centre-back partner Fabian Schar limp off a few minutes before the scheduled changes with what looked like a hamstring problem.

Matt Ritchie was named on a 14-man bench after missing the 3-0 win over 1860 Munich on Friday as a precaution.

And the former Bournemouth man, who got 30 minutes under his belt, was introduced for Paul Dummett on the half-hour mark in a pre-planned change by Eddie Howe.

United, however, remained without five players with Federico Fernandez (calf) and Jamal Lewis (calf) - both present at the Kufstein Arena - not risked.

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Meanwhile, Karl Darlow, Mark Gillespie and Kell Watts were again left out of the squad, despite making the trip to Austria.

Newcastle started much brighther than they did against Munich three days prior and had a clear intent to press the Bundesliga outfit’s defence.

The midfield three of Joelinton, Bruno Guimaraes and Sean Longstaff were heavily involved, while Ryan Fraser and Miguel Almiron got in down the wings.

But no clearcut chances fell Newcastle’s way with Mainz first going closest as Paul Dummett headed away a dangerous in-swinging cross from the left.

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The sweltering heat in the Austrian Alps was undoubtedly playing its part with Howe using his side’s first drinks break to dish out new instructions.

While the Magpies enjoyed the better side of possession, Mainz created a couple of promising openings.

Martin Dubravka, rivalling Nick Pope for the No.1 jersey, was forced into a routine save before diving and do well to keep out Anton Stach’s free-kick.

Disappointingly, United only registered one shot at the German side’s goal inside the opening 45 minutes with Chris Wood sending his shot inside the Austria Alps.

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Mainz made five changes at the break and within minutes of the second half were denied an opener after late blocks by Guimaraes and new boy Botman.

Newcastle responded with an opportunity of their own. Joelinton, who latched onto Almiron’s cutback, brought a first save from Robin Zentner.

There was concern for Schar, who went down holding his right hamstring. That saw Dan Burn introduced a couple of minutes earlier than planned and his first involvement was to watch Burgzorg open the scoring for Mainz.

A quick free-kick by Kieran Trippier was intercepted by Mainz and Burgzorg was sent clear to slot the ball under Martin Dubravka.

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That meant the changed line-up on the hour-mark started a goal down but their introductions injected the Magpies with fresh impetus.

On Jacob Murphy should have equalised almost immediately after coming on. Elliot Anderson, staking his claim for a spot in Howe’s squad, brilliantly found Emil Krafth, whose cross was scuffed by Murphy four yards out.

Callum Wilson was the next player to go close. Krafth again the creator as he found the Magpies No.9 in behind but his angled shot was pushed away by Gilbert Finn Dahmen.

United were unable to find an equaliser ahead of a return to Tyneside tonight.

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Newcastle United XI: Dubravka (Pope, 60), Trippier (Krafth 60), Schar (Burn, 58), Botman (Lascelles, 60), Dummett (Ritchie, 30 - Targett, 60)), Guimaraes (Shelvey, 60), Joelinton (Willock 60), S.Longstaff (Anderson, 60), Almiron (Murphy, 60), Fraser (Saint-Maximin, 60), Wood (Wilson, 60). Subs not used: M.Longstaff, Turner-Cooke.

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