Macaulay Gillesphey

By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Six yards from goal, the ball fell to Macaulay Gillesphey at the Madejski Stadium, Reading... and the left-back blazed over the bar.

Five days later, an almost identical chance came the way of the teenager - but this time he casually brought the ball down, stepped inside and equalised for his team against Wolverhampton Wanderers at St. James' Park on Saturday.

Willie Donachie, Newcastle's philosophical and wise Reserve Team Coach, often speaks about the importance of young players learning from under-21 games. Gillesphey did just that and set the Magpies on their way to a 3-1 win after going behind to Patrick Antelmi's first half opener. 

"I took a touch this time instead of going for it first time," the youngster told nufc.co.uk. "And I scored this time - hopefully I'll do it again next time."

To make the moment even sweeter, it was the first time the Ashington-born 17-year-old had played at the Magpies' stadium - although he was disappointed with his overall display.

"I'd been on the bench but this was my first time playing on the pitch and I'm glad I got a goal, but I wasn't happy with my performance," he said.

"I didn't think I played well but I was happy with my goal. I'm chuffed with it.

"I joined Newcastle from Cramlington Juniors at the under-16 age group then got injured for a bit, but started playing for the under-18s last season.

"Then this season I've played in both of the Reserve games so far.

"It's a great experience. The football's amazing and so is playing with big name players. You wouldn't have thought two years ago that I'd be playing with people like Dan Gosling and Haris Vuckic."

Of course, Keith Gillespie was a regular scorer at St. James' Park during the 1990s and although it's a slightly different spelling, Gillesphey has already developed a knack of popping up with big goals.

He had only scored once before for the Club and smiled: "It was my first appearance for the under-18s against Sunderland so I know how to pick them!"