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Season 2018-19
West Bromwich Albion (h) U23 Premier League Division Two


  

 
Date:
Monday March 11th 2019, 7pm 

Venue:
Whitley Park

Conditions: Dispiriting
 



Newcastle U23s

Aston Villa U23s

  0 - 3

 

 

Teams

Goals

17 mins Knibbs header. 0-1

45+1 mins
Brunt shot. 0-2

Half time: Magpies 0 Villans 2

89 mins
Mooney shot. 0-3

Full time: Magpies 0 Villans 3

Waffle

A first defeat in five league games saw Newcastle's second string lose ground in the race to secure promotion on Monday, as they were well beaten by fellow playoff hopefuls Villa at Whitley Park. 

One place and one point behind United, the Villans looked the more dangerous and after creating three early chances, took the lead when Harvey Knibbs rose unchallenged to meet Tyreik Wright's 17th minute corner.

United's best chance of levelling came seconds before half-time when a free-kick into the box ended up with striker Yannick Toure beating the 'keeper only to see his shot blocked on the line.

In the first minute of added time however, the visitors broke and Wright's fine cross from the right was knocked in by Lewis Brunt from close range.

Two minutes after the resumption Matty Longstaff hit a 20-yarder that was tipped over the bar and United maintained the pressure for the remainder of the half without any tangible reward. 

With so many home players upfield, Villa twice missed the chance to seal victory when breaking away, but it was third time unlucky for United on 89 minutes when Cameron Archer set up substitute Kelsey Mooney to tuck the ball under Nathan Harker. 

Despite their league form, this wasn't a wholly unexpected outcome for the U23s, now defeated in  three of their last four league and cup fixtures as their visibly begin to lose momentum.

U23s Coach Ben Dawson spoke of a lack of confidence among his squad, but the absence of both top scorers due to loans and the unavailability of various other players has seen him dip into the U18 side to make up the numbers.

That those loan players are kicking their heels up and down the country is especially annoying; some missing out on gaining experience and others closer to the exit door at United unable to impress potential new employers as they languish on the bench. It surely has to be better to be playing than not doing so, even at a lower level.

The absence of more experienced players of course opens up opportunities for others, but we just seem to have tipped the scales the wrong way in recent weeks. This season has been a radical improvement on 2017/18 but we're in danger of falling away and ending up empty-handed. Gaining promotion to the highest U23 division would be timely, given the expected reboot of our Academy.   

Elsewhere on Monday, Wolves went top of the table after defeating previous leaders Southampton 3-1. It's a 22 game season, with the champions taking the one automatic promotion spot and the next four sides going into a knockout playoff competition.

Newcastle's defeat by Villa realistically ends any hopes of winning the title, but they remain in with a fighting chance of qualifying for the playoffs. Their final four games see them host Wolves and Manchester United and travel to Stoke and Boro.

Premier League 2 Division 2 table:

   P GD Pts
1.Wolves 18 +24 37
2.Southampton 19 +9 36
3.Reading  19 +9 34
4.Aston Villa 19 +5 33
5.Newcastle 18 +10 31
6.Man United 19 -2 26


Biffa


Page last updated 12 March, 2019