The Newcastle youth team attracted their biggest crowd in over fifty years but they couldn’t quite lift them into the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup on Monday night.
An astonishing 11,664 turned up to support the United kids as they staged a repeat of last season’s quarter final at St. James’ Park.
A combination of half-term, free entry, publicity for the match and basically Newcastle United having quite mental support, meant that they registered the biggest crowd to watch a youth cup game at St. James’ Park since 1962, some 53 years ago.
On that occasion, 20,558 turned up to watch Bobby Moncur and the team lift the FA Youth Cup in the second leg of the final, while more recently 7,000 turned up for the home leg of the successful 1985 final when Gazza helped United win the competition for the second time.
Last night the players were suitably lifted by the support and against superior opposition they managed a rearguard action that meant the 90 minutes finished goalless.
Freddie Woodman made some great saves in the United goal as Newcastle were penned back in their half for most of the match, the keeper even saving an early penalty from Chelsea’s Dasilva.
Adam Armstrong was a lonely figure up front but just after the hour mark he almost put Newcastle in front with a great solo effort but the Chelsea keeper was equal to it. Sean Longstaff was the only other home player to threaten with a late chance, as the one-way traffic continued.
The previous round had seen the match go all the way through extra time and penalties for success over Sunderland but it wasn’t to be on this occasion.
Chelsea’s Izzy Brown broke the deadlock a few minutes into extra time and the visitors added two more to leave the game with a harsh scoreline for a battling performance.
Hopefully the unbelievable turnout will help make the difference to one or two of the young Newcastle players, inspiring them to work even harder in training to realise their dreams in the future.