By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Arsenal Under-18s 3 (Jeffrey, Bellerin, Akpom)
Newcastle United Under-18s 0
Newcastle bowed of of the FA Youth Cup at the third round stage to 2009 winners Arsenal at Barnet's Underhill stadium.
Dave Watson's side, who reached the quarter-finals last season, battled well against the Gunners but were undone by the hosts' slick passing and movement as Anthony Jeffrey, Hector Bellerin and Chuba Akpom got the goals.
The Under-18s Coach said: "They had a few chances to score in the first half but we were still in the game until they scored their third in the last few minutes which makes it look a bit worse than it was.
"We had a great chance through Stevie Logan just before half-time where the keeper's made a fantastic save, which would have got us back into the game at 2-1. We went in 2-0 down at half-time but I thought we were still in the game.
"We had a few chances before their third goal but it wasn't to be and overall they had two or three really, really good individual players who were the difference between the two teams."
United's Alex Gilliead had the first chance of the game, with the England under-17 international cutting inside and shooting just wide, but the hosts began to gain control from that point and it took a good save from Freddie Woodman to keep out Jeffrey.
But, after Jon Toral and Akpom had both missed opportunities, London-born Jeffrey opened the scoring on 23 minutes when he finished in style after Akpom's pass.
The dangerous Akpom shot wide before Isaac Hayden saw a shot headed off the line by Lubo Satka but just before half-time, Spanish full-back Bellierin slid home after playing a one-two with Toral.
United almost pulled one back seconds later when Logan's 25-yard strike was well saved by Deyan Ilyev and the Magpies continued to threaten at the start of the second half when Gilliead's shot was blocked.
But they couldn't find a breakthrough and as they pushed more and more players forward in an attempt to get back into the game, the Gunners broke to kill off the game. Kristoffer Olsson fed Akpom and the England youth international prodded the ball past Woodman.
However, Watson insisted that playing at Barnet's 105-year-old stadium was a valuable education for his young players.
"It was good," he said. "Barnet's not one of the Premier League grounds but it's still a really nice ground and the pitch was in good condition so to play at a Football League ground is a really good experience for them.
"We played a decent Arsenal side tonight and we put in a decent performance. The lads have put an awful lot of work in but they just had better individuals in key positions."
Arsenal Under-18s: Deyan Iliev, Hector Bellerin, Zac Fagan, Isaac Hayden, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill, Alfred Mugabo, Jack Jebb, Kristoffer Olsson, Anthony Jeffrey (Jordan Brown 86), Jon Toral, Chuba Akpom
Subs not used: Josh Vickers, Leander Siemann, Alex Iwobi, Austin Lipman
Newcastle United Under-18s: Freddie Woodman, Macauley Booth, Kyle Cameron (Tom Heardman 46), Alex Kitchen, Lubo Satka, Jonathyn Quinn (Rolandon Aarons 70), Steven Logan, Liam Smith, Lewis Aird, Alex Gilliead, Adam Armstrong
Subs not used: Jonathan Mitchell, Lee Desmond, Greg Olley
Photograph courtesy of David Price and Arsenal Football Club