Magpies pick up InterToto win

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Newcastle's European adventure started impressively, with the Premiership side recording a 3-1 victory over Dubnica in the away leg of their InterToto Cup match.

Michael Chopra and a Robert Novak own goal had stunned the Slovakian hosts within the opening six minutes and, although a Lukas Tesak header before the break gave them hope of a comeback, James Milner gave the English side a huge advantage to take back to St James' Park.

Manager Graeme Souness had insisted that it would be tricky to play against a side that were at a later stage in their season, but it was his charges that exploded out of the blocks

Chopra, still trying to live up to his potential, chose a fine time to score his first senior goal for The Magpies, evading the offside trap to canter onto Milner's through ball and slotting home.

With Newcastle fans still celebrating their fine start, things got even better for the Premiership side when Robert Novak put through his own net to double their advantage.

Charles N'Zogbia fired in a cross from the left and Novak looked to have turned the ball over his own goal-line before Alan Shearer made sure at the back post.

Piling everything forward in response, Dubnica had a penalty appeal turned down and then hit the post, when Marian Adam rounded Steve Harper but could only hit the upright from a narrow angle.

Harper could do nothing when the hosts finally did get off the mark - Tesak getting ahead of Steven Taylor to power home a header from close range.

With their blood up, the Slovakian side came out strongly, but found Harper in fine form to deny their barrage of early chances.

Indeed, it was the visitors who extended their lead with 20 minutes remaining - Milner on hand to steer home a lob after the Dubnica defence had been left in the lurch by a bouncing ball and the not inconsiderable presence of Shearer.

Newcastle will feel confident ahead of their second leg adventure - and will be pleased to have started their season with a win.