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Season 2021-22
Watford U23s (a) Premier League Cup Group G


Monday September 6th 2021, 6pm

 Clarence Park, St. Albans

Admission: 4 adults (card only)




Newcastle U23s

  2 - 0





33 mins Pochettino shot at the York Road End 0-1

 mins Forde shot. 0-2

Half time: Hornets 2 Magpies 0

Full time: Hornets 2 Magpies 0

We said

Newcastle confirmed that Gary Caldwell's time in charge of the U23 side had come to an end via the following statement on Monday evening:

Former Magpies defender Gary Caldwell has left the club's Academy after completing his scheduled period as interim Under-23s lead coach.

Caldwell stepped in on a short-term basis last month following the departure of Chris Hogg, and leaves with the recruitment process to appoint Hogg's full-time successor nearing completion.

Current assistant Kevin Richardson will take the team for its upcoming fixtures ahead of a permanent appointment being announced shortly.

The club would like to thank Gary for his contribution and wishes him well for the future.

Caldwell himself then posted the following on social media:

"Enjoyed immensely being back on the grass coaching at the club that gave me my start in football. Thank you to all the players and staff for making me feel so welcome.

"Wish you and all the Newcastle fans the best of luck for the rest of the season. A fantastic football club.

"Looking forward now to my next challenge in the game which I will announce in the next few weeks."

That "next challenge" is now reported to be taking the Oldham Athletic job.

The U23s return to action on Monday when they face West Bromwich Albion at Telford in a PL2 fixture. Barring the arrival of a new permanent coach before then, Kevin Richardson will oversee the team.

He'll be the fourth different person to do so this season, with Chris Hogg in charge for the friendlies and Academy coach Mark Atkinson at the helm for the season opener against Reading as Caldwell's arrival was being concluded.


All sides play six group stage games, meeting each other home and away.

United's group is completed by Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town, who meet in their opening game next week.


Newcastle's U23s began their Premier League Cup Group Stage campaign on Monday with a demoralising defeat - in what proved to be interim coach Gary Caldwell's fourth and final game in charge.

Caldwell was on the touchline at the Clarence Park home of St. Albans, but United announced after full time that his temporary stint in charge was over.

The visitors debuted their new sky blue change kit but struggled to make any impact against a Hornets side who play in the Professional Development League - one step below the Premier League 2 Magpies.

Playing up the hill, Watford came close to opening the scoring on 18 minutes when Ryan Andrews saw his long-range shot take a slight deflection and rebound back off the goal frame. 

A breakthrough wasn't long in arriving though, Maurizio Pochettino (son of you-know-who) finding space in the box and beating Max Thompson with a powerful swerving shot on 33 minutes.

Pochettino then turned provider three minutes later, exchanging passes for Shaq Forde to double his side's advantage with a simple finish.

The only moment of danger aside from a poorly-executed back pass that Dylan Stephenson almost reached came in first half added time, when Matty Bondswell swept past several opponents only to fire wide of the Watford goal.

Reappearing with Jack Young for Cameron Ferguson, Bondswell was illegally halted on the edge of the box as he chased down a loose ball in the 48th minute and Derek Agyakwa was red-carded.

Nothing came of the free kick however - one of several wasted set pieces from the away side over the course of the game.

Gaining a numerical advantage at least saw Newcastle spend more time in possession, but only rarely threaten the home goal - a brief flurry on the hour seeing Hornets substitute Josh O'Brien twice hack the ball clear.  

Visiting substitute Rosaire Longelo did threaten down the right, but his efforts were undermined by poor deliveries - aside from a 72nd minute cross that Charlie Wiggett headed over the bar.

PS: Pochettino junior wasn't the only offspring of a famous father on show; Henry Wise is the son of our beloved former Executive Director Dennis. For United meanwhile, Cameron Ferguson is Big Dunc's lad.


Page last updated 14 September, 2021