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Newcastle United exit second cup competition of the season – Only 58 NUFC fans there to see it

1 week ago
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Another night, another cup exit for Newcastle United.

Back in August, Steve Bruce made nine outfield changes as he played a second team in the League Cup defeat to Burnley.

On Tuesday night Newcastle United shot themselves in the foot in a different way, to set up this second NUFC cup exit of the season.

This time it was the Papa John’s (EFL) Trophy, the Newcastle United Under 21s taking on the Harrogate Town first team, who are currently second top of League Two.

Ironically, it was Newcastle United overage player, 29 year old Mark Gillespie who set the home side on their way.

A feeble attempted pass in his own penalty area ended up with Harrogate winning possession 15 yards from goal and Kerry finished easily.

The weather conditions not great but it didn’t affect Harrogate who dominated the game, a hardy 58 travelling Newcastle United fans in the 980 crowd, not getting any real encouragement that they were going to see a comeback.

Having been hammered 3-0 by Sheffield Wednesday in their first of the three group games, the NUFC youngsters (and Mark Gillespie) knew that defeat on the night would mean an exit from the competition with a game against Mansfield still to play/

However, they offered very little on the night in terms of creativity or goal threat against a dominant Harrogate side who had beaten a young Newcastle United side in a pre-season friendly.

Elliot Anderson offered the only vague threat in that first half, sending a 25 yard snapshot around a foot or two over the bar.

On the stroke of half-time though the game was effectively over when Newcastle United gifted a second, caught in possession the halfway line, Harrogate took advantage with Orsi supplying the finish this time.

Early in the second half Harrogate had an effort cleared off the line before Mark Gillespie almost gifted a third, his really poor goal-kick didn’t beat the first line of defenders / attackers and thankfully he saved with his feet to prevent more embarrassment, the home side putting the rebound over the bar.

Half-time substitute Jay Turner-Cooke had earlier put an effort just over the bar from the edge of the box, after Harrogate had created problems at the back for themselves.

Finally with seven minutes to go Newcastle had an effort on target, Wilson denied by the home keeper, though it almost ended 3-0 when Harrogate were only stopped by the woodwork late on.

Back in 2018 the Newcastle United Under 21s had a great time in the competition (then the EFL Trophy was the Checkatrade) beating the first teams of four League One and Two teams – Doncaster, Notts County, Grimsby and Macclesfield. Finally exiting to another first team of a lower league club at the fifth attempt, Sunderland’s first team beating the United kids at the Stadium of Light in early January 2019.

You can see for yourself what happened at Harrogate Town last night in the 2-0 defeat via the official highlights below:

No doubt some Sunderland fans will be enjoying the fact this morning that their first team are still in two cup competitions after Newcastle’s double exit, they set up a likely qualification from their Papa John’s group with a 2-1 win at Lincoln last night. Whilst they have a fourth round League Cup tie later this month away at QPR.

Harrogate Town 2 Newcastle United Under 21s 0

Newcastle United Under 21s:

Mark Gillespie, Joe Oliver, Charlie Wiggett, Remi Savage, Brad Cross, Niall Brookwell (Lucas De Bolle 79), Jack Young, Joe White (Jay Turner-Cooke 46), Josh Scott, Elliot Anderson (c), Dylan Stephenson (Adam Wilson 78)

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