By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Durham-born winger Marcus Maddison is handed his second-string debut in tonight's Barclays Premier Reserve League clash against Chelsea (kick-off 7pm).
The pacy former Tudhoe Grange School pupil - who scored four goals in last season's FA Youth Cup third round win over Dulwich Hamlet - has been in outstanding form for Dave Watson's under-18s since the turn of the year, and is rewarded with his first call-up at this level following his display against Stoke at the weekend.
He scored one and laid on two in a 3-1 win, and will start on the right-hand side of midfield against a Blues side featuring Belgian international Romelu Lukaku, who was a big-money summer signing from Anderlecht.
There's also a first start at this level for defender Alex Kitchen, who shone in the Academy's victory on Saturday. He was a half-time substitute for Willie Donachie's side against Aston Villa earlier this month, when he made his debut on the same night as Steven Logan, who starts in the centre of midfield tonight.
He plays alongside Michael Richardson in the engine room, while Yven Moyo is on the left-hand side.
Ryan Donaldson, who was an unused substitute for the first-team against Norwich on Sunday, plays behind Nile Ranger. The striker figures for the first time since a foot injury cut short his loan spell at Barnsley.
Jak Alnwick is in goal after keeping a clean sheet against Blackburn last time out, while Jeff Henderson skippers the side. He'll partner Kitchen, with Michael Riley at left-back and Phil Airey continuing at right-back.
There are five Academy players on the bench: Australian goalkeeper Alex Baird, defender Louis Storey, midfielder Brandon Miele and strikers Dan Taylor and JJ Hooper.
Newcastle United Reserves (4-4-1-1): Jak Alnwick; Phil Airey, Jeff Henderson (c), Alex Kitchen, Michael Riley; Marcus Maddison, Steven Logan, Michael Richardson, Yven Moyo; Ryan Donaldson; Nile Ranger
Substitutes: Alex Baird, Louis Storey, Brandon Miele, JJ Hooper, Dan Taylor