By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Adam Campbell's first goal of the season was not enough to prevent Newcastle's under-18 side from losing 2-1 to Aston Villa at Bodymoor Heath on Saturday morning.
The England Under-16 international was on target for United but last season's Premier Academy League Group B champions came out on top - although Joe Joyce believed his side were unfortunate in the end.
After deservedly falling behind in the first half, Newcastle improved in the second period and levelled through Campbell's well-worked goal, before JJ Hooper hit the woodwork after cutting in from the right.
Villa then went ahead again and could have made it 3-1, but Alex Baird saved a penalty and Dan Taylor was unlucky to see his header crash back off the bar in the closing stages.
United also had a strong penalty appeal turned down late on and Joyce said: "I thought we were unfortunate to lose, ultimately.
"In the first half, we struggled to get going but in the second half we were much better and were in the ascendancy for much of the second half. We created chances and I thought we could have got something from the game.
"The first half was disappointing because we didn't reach our standards. We knew it was going to be tough but collectively and individually, they fell below what we expect in the first half. In the second half we were unlucky, though."
Campbell cancelled out Villa's opener after a superb move down the left involving Michael Riley, Patrick Nzuzi and Michael Hoganson which ended in Hoganson drilling in a low cross which was side-footed home by the flame-haired forward.
The home side regained the lead, however, before Baird's fantastic stop after Will Turton had conceded a penalty.
Despite diving to his right as the ball went centrally, Australian stopper Baird threw up his left hand to push it over the bar.
But despite late pressure, the Magpies couldn't match their last minute goalscoring feat of the previous weekend.
Newcastle United Under-18s: Alex Baird, Alex Nicholson, Michael Riley, Remie Streete, Louis Storey (sub Will Turton 70), Ryan McGorrigan (sub Adam Campbell 46), Brandon Miele, Patrick Nzuzi, Michael Hoganson, Dan Taylor, JJ Hooper.
Subs not used: Jonathan Mitchell, Lee Toland, Dennis Knight.