It's now three successive wins for Newcastle U23s in league and cup
games under coach
Elliott Dickman, with their latest success coming at a chilly Whitley Park
on Friday afternoon.
And once again the black and whites were grateful to top scorer Dylan Stephenson, who
took just three minutes to notch his thirteenth goal of the season in his
Lucas de Bolle then doubled the advantage on 83 minutes, before the
visitors - by then reduced to ten men - pulled one back during added time.
Going into what was the fourth of six group stage fixtures in this season's
Premier League Cup, Newcastle had won one, drawn one, and lost the other.
That defeat was away to Watford in September; a woeful United display
rightly punished with a 0-2 reverse.
In need of points to help secure a top two finish that guarantees
progression to the knockout stages, the hosts made a perfect start in front
of a sparse crowd.
Rosaire Longelo powered down the left and set Joe White away to fire over a
low cross that Stephenson converted from close range at the second attempt.
The visitors had two good chances to level but a good block by Dan Langley
in the 13th minute denied them after a speedy counter attack. Then three
minutes before the break a defensive slip let in Freddie Moriarty but he
fired across the goal.
In between those incidents Newcastle made and missed several opportunities
to extend their lead; Joe White and de Bolle both testing Hornets 'keeper Adam
Parkes again denied de Bolle after the break before the visitors had a
player sent off - the third successive U23 game that United have faced ten
That came on 81 minutes when Kamil Conteh was dismissed after receiving a
slightly harsh second yellow card for blocking an opponent.
The black and whites soon made that numerical advantage count, 19 year-old de
midfielder Bolle dashing into the area and firing home his first goal at U23
That looked to have sealed victory, but the Hornets did find a goal in the
second minute of three added on; a free kick just outside the area played to JJ McKiernan,
who found the net
with a low shot from the edge of the box.
United round off their PL Cup group games with away ties against Birmingham
City and Huddersfield Town in January and February respectively.
And they return to action in another cup competition on Tuesday, making the
short journey to Ashington for a Northumberland Senior Cup tie.