Newcastle lost yet again to Sunderland on Tuesday afternoon, this time the Newcastle Under 18s losing the latest derby.

It meant a trio of defeats to end their normal league season, today’s 1-0 loss on Wearside following an 8-0 loss to Everton and 2-0 to Manchester City.

Sunderland’s Academy team won 3-0 at Newcastle earlier in the season and the scoreline could have been far worse than that if it hadn’t been for an inspired Ben Smith in the Newcastle goal.

He pulled off a string of outstanding saves and was only beaten 10 minutes from time, standing no chance when Nelson headed home from a corner for Sunderland.

At the other end, the home keeper didn’t have a serious save to make as Sunderland dominated for the entire game.

The Newcastle United Under 21s (reserves) are spared playing derbies thanks to not even being in the same division as our local rivals.

Sunderland are currently second top of the Under 21 league first division, just behind Manchester City, meanwhile Newcastle are third bottom of division two, with only Wolves and Brighton beneath them.

It really makes you worry about the future of the club, not only is the first team picture a total shambles but at both Under 18 and Under 21 level it looks to be in disarray. A losing culture right throughout the club.

The leagues now reform again for a playoff competition starting 27 February, when the two North and South 12 team divisions combine into three eight team leagues.

They are made up of the 1st-4th, 5th-8th & 9th-12th place finishers in each division, each club playing the other seven teams in their new league once (some home, some away) – Newcastle will end the season no higher than 9th ensuring they are in the bottom level of competition (Sunderland will play in the top level).

Newcastle’s seven opponents in the play-offs now confirmed as Brighton, Derby, Man Utd, Norwich, Southampton, Stoke and Swansea.