Rodrigo Vilca impresses in winning debut at St James Park
Rodrigo Vilca has made his first competitive appearance in black and white at St James Park.
The 21 year old having joined Newcastle United at the start of the month from domestic football in Peru.
The young midfielder looking good on the ball and an impressive first small step towards hopefully making it in England.
It was not an average reserve team game because as well as Rodrigo Vilca making his debut and the match being at St James Park, it also featured three of the first team squad starting their playing comeback from their latest injuries.
Matty Longstaff played the first 45 minutes before his planned substitution at half-time, coming through it ok.
The same with Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett, the defensive pair playing 60 minutes before being replaced.
However, at that point, the NUFC Under 23s trailed 1-0 to their Fulham counterparts thanks to a 27th minute goal from Jean-Pierre Tiehi.
Newcastle United had experienced the best of the play but hadn’t made it count, former Arsenal youth play Stab Flaherty having come closest to equalising when he saw his effort come back off the post.
However, just when it looked like Rodrigo Vilca would make a losing debut, two goals in the final ten minutes pulled it around.
Yannick Toure equalising with ten minutes remaining and then with only a few minutes left, winger Stan Flaherty scored the winner having been United’s best player on the day.
Today also saw a debut for central defender Bradley Cross, the 19 year old out of contract central defender having joined NUFC last week.
To top things off, there was also the rare sight of Achraf Lazaar actually playing football in a black and white strip.
The Moroccan international hopefully playing (and impressing) due to a watching scout or two (we / he live in hope) maybe in attendance, either ahead of the January transfer window or even possibly a Portuguese club, as their transfer window still has this week to go.
Newcastle United Under 23s 2 Fulham Under 23s 1
Langley, Clark (Cross 61), Dummett (Gamblin 61), Matty Longstaff (Oliver 46), Francilette, Barrett, Flaherty, Scott, Toure, Vilca, Lazaar
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