Newcastle’s young stars grab first win in two months
Rafa Benitez has his Newcastle United team playing to their max and achieving seventh place and 14 points at this stage of the season has been a boost to everyone.
It hasn’t exactly inspired things further down the process though, with questions once again asked of the longstanding Dave Watson and Peter Beardsley.
Overseeing the Newcastle United under 18s, Watson hasn’t seen a single win all season so far, six defeats and three draws the return up to now.
Things have been little better at reserve (Under 23s) level, Peter Beardsley going two months without a win, including losing the last four games with 13 goals conceded.
However, there was some hope inspired by Tuesday night’s showing, though difficult to gauge the quality of the opposition.
Newcastle’s kicked off their Premier League International Cup campaign with a 2-1 win against Sparta Prague’s young reserves.
The International Cup sees reserve teams from 24 clubs split into six groups initially, and as well as 12 domestic competitors, there are also clubs from Croatia, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Scotland, Poland and the Czech Republic represented. The teams are made up of Under 23 players, plus up to a maximum of three over age outfield players, plus a goalkeeper.
In Group A are Liverpool and PSV Eindhoven, as well as Newcastle United and Sparta Prague.
Newcastle opened the scoring in the 19th minute at Whitley Park last night, Victor Fernandez crossing and a visiting defender diverting it past his own keeper.
United were on top and should have increased their lead, only for a sucker punch on the hour mark, when Sparta Prague were awarded a penalty and Vaclav Drchal beat Freddie Woodman from 12 yards.
On 75 minutes though, Dan Barlaser celebrated his recent contract extension with an excellent long-range winner, beating the keeper with a strike from outside the box.
Freddie Woodman came out top when faced with a one on one in the final seconds of the match, leading to a first win in the competition, as well as a first win overall in two months for Peter Beardsley and his team.
Newcastle United Under 23s 2 Sparta Prague B 1
Woodman, Kitchen, Yarney, Gillesphey, Cameron, O’Connor (El-Mhanni 46), Barlaser, Fernandez, Aarons, Charman, Ward (Bailey 73)
The other two group games are 15 November away at Liverpool and then home to PSV on 12 December.
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