Newcastle United Academy

By Paul Reece

Newcastle United Under-18s 0
Norwich City Under-18s 2

Two second-half strikes condemned Newcastle United under-18s to a first home defeat of 2013, but Academy coach Dave Watson was happy with his side's battling qualities.

The Magpies headed into the game looking to build on their recent victory over Aston Villa, but were undone after a goalless first-half.

Norwich failed to open the scoring from the penalty spot in an otherwise uneventful first-half, after full-back Ben Drennan conceded the spot-kick with Cameron McGeehan's effort hitting the crossbar.

After an even first 45 minutes, the FA Youth Cup quarter-finalists took the lead the lead as Carlton Morris headed home Josh Murphy's cross after the break.

The Canaries then sealed the victory in the dying minutes when Jake Simpson netted as United pressed for an equaliser and, while Watson had no complaints with the result, he did find positives from the performance.

Watson said: "It was a fair result, we defended a lot and Norwich played well but we were decent in the second-half and created chances of our own.

"The positive that we will take from the game is that we kept going after they took the lead and tried to get back into the game.

"They were the better side on the day but we kept working hard and did not cave in after they went ahead."

United spurned a host of second-half chances with captain Steven Logan, Callum Roberts and Rolando Aarons all going close for the home side.

It was England youth international Freddie Woodman who impressed Watson the most again, however, earning further praise from the former Everton defender.

"Woodman had another good game today," said Watson. "He made three vital saves for us and kept us in the game at times.

"Greg Olley was also impressive and put in a good performance and Jonathyn Quinn had a decent game up front on his own."

The Magpies youngsters are back at Little Benton next Saturday when they will look to avenge February's 1-0 defeat against Arsenal, with kick-off again 11am.

Newcastle United Under-18s: Freddie Woodman, Ben Drennan (Lewis Aird 70), Alex Kitchen, Macaulay Gillesphey, Lee Desmond, Callum Roberts (Andy Hall 80), Rolando Aarons, Greg Halliday, Steven Logan (Alex Gilliead 70), Greg Olley, Jonathyn Quinn

Subs not used: Sam Busby, Jamie Sterry