JJ Hooper celebrates scoring against Sunderland

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Newcastle United Under-18s 4
Sunderland Under-18s 0

Before the game, Joe Joyce admitted the result mattered in the under-18s derby between Newcastle and Sunderland - and his players responded with a superb performance to blow away the Black Cats.

Adam Campbell was the Wearsiders' tormentor-in-chief, scoring one and creating three further goals for Ryan McGorrigan, Michael Hoganson and JJ Hooper.

But United were impressive from the front to the back as they continued their strong start to the Premier Academy League season which now stands at five wins and one draw from their opening seven fixtures.

The Magpies started with an air of confidence befitting of such a record, controlling possession in the thick of the derby action, and almost scored with less than two minutes played when Campbell and McGorrigan both came inches away from connecting with left-back Michael Riley's superb cross.

Then England under-16 forward Campbell, playing just behind main striker Hooper, burst into the box with the first of several thrilling runs before going down under Jonathan Burn's challenge - but his appeals for a penalty were waved away.

At the other end, Newcastle keeper Alex Baird made a smart save to deny Nathan Thomas but United went back on the front foot as McGorrigan saw a snapshot held by Lewis King then, after Campbell had beaten the Sunderland keeper to Hoganson's through-ball, Hooper and then Hoganson couldn't force home from the frontman's cross and Brandon Miele's follow-up was saved.

However, the visitors began to find a way back into the game and on the half-hour mark Adam Mitchell and Alej Rodriguez Gorrin both made Baird work in quick succession.

Then the Australian shot-stopper made a fine starfish-style save, reminiscent of the great Peter Schmeichel in his prime, to thwart Thomas as the striker went through on goal, and Louis Storey blocked expertly on the line from the rebound.

Mitchell then hit the base of the post from close range when he should have scored after Connor Oliver's cross-cum-shot fell perfectly for him at the far post - and United made them pay.

Seconds later, the ball was with Campbell and he slid it through to McGorrigan. He still had plenty to do, but waited for King to advance from his goal before dinking into the net with a glorious finish.

At the start of the second half, Alex Nicholson broke forward from left-back to test keeper King, but Sunderland began to continue where they'd left off at the end of the first period. George Honeyman found Anthony Callaghan unmarked at the back post and United were fortunate that the chance fell to a left-back and not a centre-forward as the Black Cats youngster stabbed wide.

Billy Knott brought out another good stop from Baird before the Newcastle netminder made the best save of the day, staying big and diverting Thomas' shot onto the post with his trailing leg as the striker looked a surefire scorer.

That proved crucial as, having weathered the Sunderland storm, United began to dictate proceedings once more. On 66 minutes, Hoganson's cross found its way to Hooper, who turned and forced King to dive low to his right to keep out a skidding strike.

And with 15 minutes left, the rampaging Nicholson cut the ball back to Campbell, whose scuffed shot was parried by King but only as far as Hoganson, who rifled home with aplomb.

Two minutes later, it was 3-0 as Campbell's perfectly-weighted though ball allowed Hooper to slot confidently past the keeper for his fifth goal of the campaign.

And the game was wrapped up by the exciting Campbell, who got the goal his display so dearly deserved. He was in his own half when he picked up the ball before sprinting into the box and ended with an emphatic finish into the top corner.

Newcastle United Under-18s: Alex Baird, Alex Nicholson, Michael Riley, Remie Streete (c), Louis Storey, Ryan McGorrigan, Brandon Miele, Dennis Knight (sub Steven Logan 88), Michael Hoganson, Adam Campbell, JJ Hooper.
Subs not used: Jonathan Mitchell, Lee Toland, Ben Sayer, Billy Ions.