Michael Riley

By Dan King - Newcastle United Communications Officer

Michael Riley made his return following a hernia operation as Newcastle Reserves beat Ashington on Friday night, and looked like he had never been away.

Still only 17, the Walker-born left-back broke into Peter Beardsley's team towards the end of last season on the back of his displays for the Under-18s before suffering the injury.

But after making his comeback for the Academy side on their recent tour of Scotland, Riley was back in the second-string starting line-up at Woodhorn Lane and set up Brad Inman's opener in the 2-1 with a dazzling dart down the left and a perfect cut-back for the Aussie to stroke home.

He twice laid on chances for Phil Airey, too, in an exciting first-half display where he regularly got forward, before proving his defensive mettle in the second-half as Ashington put United under a little more pressure.

After the game, Riley - the nephew of former Magpies midfielder Ian Bogie - spoke to nufc.co.uk and said: "It was great to be back.

"You miss playing football all the time, so it's good to be back. Wille (Donachie) and Peter always encourage me to get forward and if you keep carrying on your runs, you're going to create chances.

"I love to get forward. I'm more of an attacking left-back than a defensive left-back but you have to have both in your game to become a proper, strong left-back.

"Now I'm back from injury I plan on having another good season. I'll try to play more Reserve games and see how it goes. And with the youth team, hopefully I'll have a good season with them and get as far as we can in the FA Youth Cup."