Peter Beardsley was disappointed but not disheartened with Newcastle United reserves’ defeat at non-league Ashington on Monday night.

Despite creating a number of chances Newcastle failed to hit the back of the net and Ben Harmison took his opportunity when it came with five minutes left, sending the locals home happy with a 1-0 win.

Newcastle’s second string drew 1-1 at york on Saturday and against Ashington they used a whole different starting team of players.

Peter Beardsley expects a number of players to go out on loan before the transfer window closes but still must be expecting/hoping for a significant change in results from the disaster of recent seasons.

The Newcastle United Under 21s kick off their competitive matches on Monday 15 August and Rafa Benitez has already moved to bring in players to try and improve results/performances under the first team.

Last night El-Mhanni played, whilst former Celtic defender Stuart Findlay scored the equaliser on Saturday – plus a number of trialists have been given a run out during pre-season to see if they are worth a contract offer.

Ashington 1 Newcastle United 0

NUFC: Woolston, Broccoli, Hunter, Newberry, Gibson (Cameron 71), Ward (Williams 71), Longstaff, Holmes, El-Mhanni, Charman, Heardman (Barlaser 46)

Peter Beardsley speaking to the Newcastle United official website:

“It probably shows that that was the younger part of our group, so there was a lack of experience but credit to Ashington, they kept going and kept going and in the end, because they took their chance, they maybe deserved to win.

“We had good chances, but we never really looked like taking them. We needed a bit more composure in front of goal and we rushed things and snatched at things, but that’s what pre-season’s for.

“In that sense, we’re disappointed, and we did create some chances but they kept going and going and going, so fair play to them.

“It’s more experience and more minutes for them, but also it shows you that this year we have a group of 23 or 24 at the moment.

“It might be that a lot of them will go on loan, but come the first game in two weeks we might have a group of 20 or 21 to choose from, so we have to be ready. In that sense, they have to motivate themselves and get themselves ready.

“It’s a funny game, because about three days ago we were flying, and then we’ve had two hiccups. York was a big test, as we know, and then we’ve lost tonight. You want to try and win every game and give your confidence a boost, but it might just be the jolt they need – it might make them realise they’ve got to step up again.

“We’ve had a good pre-season, no doubt about it. Physically, Simon Tweddle (fitness coach( has got them in great shape and in that sense, we’re ready to go.

“Pre-season is important – absolutely, it’s important – but the most important thing is always the first game.”