SMB 0 Magpies 0
49 mins Watts own goal. 0-1
26 mins Wyke header. 0-2
54 mins Maguire shot. 0-3
77 mins Kimpioka header. 0-4
Full time: SMB 4 Magpies 0
U21 side bowed out of the Checkatrade Trophy at the last 16 stage on Tuesday
evening, beaten but certainly not disgraced by a mackem first team XI.
Scoreless at the interval, conceding four times in the second half was tough
on the Magpies, who received fabulous backing throughout from a sold-out away
contingent of 2,800 supporters at the stadium of plight.
Although able to name a limited number of over-age players, United coach Ben
Dawson kept faith with the outfield lineup that had defeated the mackems at
U23 level last week, changing only his goalkeeper - Nathan Harker recalled
following first team bench duty in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Clad in their blue change kit and attacking the North Stand where their fans
were housed in the upper tier, United's first serious attack came on 21
Roberts robbed an opponent on the right byline before pulling the ball back
across the six yard area, team-mate Adam Wilson unable to reach it due to a
defender's intervention amid hopeful
Roberts then had what proved to be his side's best opportunity of the night,
forcing a save from Robbin Ruiter at his near post.
The red and whites did have the ball in the net before the break only for play
to be pulled back for an earlier infringement; limp cheers from home fans
clustered on two sides of the ground before they realised it wouldn't count a timely reminder that they were
actually there at all.
By contrast, the visiting section reverberated with many and various
selections from the derby day songbook - including the topical, "we
saw you crying on Netflix."
(Cameras were present tonight, filming for another series of the mackem
panto, but any suitable footage will require some sustained audio overdubbing
of the soundtrack provided by Toon fans...)
Into the second half and Jerome Sinclair struck the
Newcastle woodwork from close in within 40 seconds, before the hosts went ahead on 49 minutes when Chris
Maguire's corner kick was diverted into his own net by visiting defender Kelland Watts.
That sapped the confidence of United's young side and before they had fully
recovered their composure, the second and clinching home goal arrived on 52
A magnificent block from Watts prevented a certain goal at the expense of a
corner, only for Charlie Wyke to head home and put the tie beyond United's
There was a further blow for the visitors when top scorer Elias Sorensen
limped off shortly after, having needed treatment for a leg injury earlier.
Going behind did nothing to dampen the contribution of the Toon followers,
whose repertoire by now included "you sad mackem b&st&rds,
you're playing our kids."
The third goal came in the 78th minute when Maguire took a loose ball before
firing in from the edge
of the area, just a hint of a handball on his first touch.
Four minutes from the end Harker and Watts went for the same ball but were
beaten to it by Swedish teen Benjamin Kimpioka, who nodded into the empty
net for 0-4.
That was the end of the scoring, but the final whistle saw a clearly
disappointed Newcastle side acknowledge a fully deserved ovation from their
fans, who played their part in a slightly surreal but nonetheless memorable
night, when the scoreline was completely immaterial.
Putting aside the local rivalry and "passion" (which most in the
away end seemed primarily concerned with), Newcastle's display was
effort-laden but no more than a fairly sketchy work in progress. One national
newspaper totally disregarded their efforts to sustain a passing game though,
a poor effort.
Rafa Benitez wasn't present, in part because there's nothing here for him to
see that's of any short term use. Several of the visiting side have trained
with the first team, giving him a fair indication of their potential, but
that's it. Age specific football is no preparation for playing the men's game.
Tonight will have been useful for the United players who featured, if for no
other reason than giving them first-hand knowledge of how far away they are
from matching a mediocre third tier side.
If that motivates them to improve their skill levels and intensity, then this tie and this competition has been worthwhile for more than
just slinging puerile but very funny insults.
The opportunity of a Wembley visit may have gone, but the possibility of
promotion to the top U23 division this season remains - another step on the
road to respectability. Those promotion hopes however will suffer once the
loans necessary for individual development weaken the squad. For information,
the likes of Reading and Aston Villa remain ahead of us in the table. That's
If nothing else though, this gave
our long-suffering fans an enjoyable night out at a comedy club.