By Paul Reece
Academy coach Dave Watson praised his young side as they enjoyed a winning start to their second league campaign of the season.
The Magpies teenagers finished bottom of their first league of the 2012/13 season but hit the ground running on Saturday with a 3-2 victory over Manchester City.
Watson was able to call upon experienced players such as Remie Streete and Adam Campbell and although Streete went off injured, Campbell produced a star performance. The teenager scored United's second and hit the post before providing the assist for Jonathayn Quinn's last minute winner.
Watson said: "Man City played very well in the second but I thought we had the better of the first half and could have scored three. City came back into it and credit needs to go the lads, they hung on when the going got tough and showed great character to defend our goal.
"We have been working on counter-attacking teams and it just happens we got the chance and grabbed the late goal. Although we didn't play as well in the second-half the attitude was first class."
Campbell's performance was a reminder as to why the striker was fast-tracked into the United first team.
"Adam is always going to score goals, he netted today and hit the post and fired another one just wide," Watson said. "He then supplied Quinn for the winner and he brought a great contribution to the squad for us today."
The victory ensures United begin the new league with three points - the perfect start after a disappointing first-half of the season.
"It is good to get off to a winning start," said Watson. "We suffered a few heavy defeats before Christmas but it is always good to start with a win, especially against a team like Manchester City.
"Today was as strong as our under-18 side will be this season. We have all the big hitters, Campbell, Remie, Alex Kitchen and Steve Logan.
"It is as strong as we get and on another day we could have won by a lot more goals, but saying that, we also could have lost today; it was a funny game really. Whether they are available for selection again depends on the under-21s' fixture list and if they have a game but the lads need games.
"I think the more they can play for the under-18s then it will do them the world of good."
The victory was marred slightly with the injury to captain Streete, with the defender substituted during the first-half with a suspected tight hamstring. Streete only returned to full fitness last month after picking up a serious ankle injury in March but the latest injury is not thought to be serious.
Watson said: "I haven't spoken to the physio yet but I think it was just a tight hamstring which forced him off today and he should be okay."