Peter Beardsley saw his young Newcastle stars progress to the semi-finals of the Northumberland Senior Cup on Wednesday night.

This is an annual test for United’s up and coming young players, as they are thrown into battle with hardened experienced non-league players, who will fancy the chance of turning over a Newcastle United team.

Last night it was Morpeth Town’s turn and they very nearly caused an upset, coming back from two goals down and having chances to win it, only for Newcastle United’s Under 23s to grab the winner.

Callum Roberts and Tom Heardman put the young Magpies firmly in the ascendancy at Craik Park, only for Matthew Grieve and then Mark Davison to score to make it 2-2 early in the second-half. Dan Ward getting the winner for the Newcastle United Under 23s

Peter Beardsley thought that by the final whistle Newcastle were worthy winners, though accepts Morpeth might not agree.

Peter Beardsley talking to the official website:

“We started off well, looked comfortable at 2-0, so it was disappointing to let them get it back to 2-2.

“The goal just before half-time changes the way the game is, and changes the team talk, really.

“When it is 2-0, obviously the next goal is always important. But, to be fair to them, after conceding another one early in the second-half, they got themselves going again, and I think we definitely deserved to win. If you were Morpeth, you might have a different opinion.

“They just have to learn how to see the game out. They were playing against experienced men at that level, who were used to the pitch, while we still like to pass the ball no matter what. It worked out well in the end, though, and once Dan Ward scored, I think we were very comfortable for the last 15 minutes.

“It’s a different world to them. They want to win, obviously, but physically, I don’t think they are used to it. We (coaching staff) think that it’s good, but if you’re a player in amongst it you maybe don’t, because sometimes you don’t know where the next tackle is coming from.

“Some of the tackles were borderline, if you like, so because of that, it’s a very physical game. Stuart Findlay is the man who is most used to that, because – with all due respect – he has played a lot of games in Scotland on loan. But for most of the others – even though they know what’s coming – until it actually comes it’s not the same.”

United join Blyth Spartans, Blyth Town and North Shields in the last four of the Northumberland Senior Cup.

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