Greg Olley

By Paul Reece

Middlesbrough Under-18s 0
Newcastle United Under-18s 1

Returning striker Tom Heardman scored the only goal of the game as Newcastle United under-18s avenged Middlesbrough's recent 4-0 win at Little Benton. 

United were comprehensively beaten by their Teesside counterparts in their last game, just ten days earlier, but Academy coach Dave Watson was left delighted with their response on Saturday.

"We did very well today, it was a really good solid team performance and we restricted Middlesbrough to few chances," said Watson.

"Tom then scored a good goal and took it well and it was a good reaction after the 4-0 defeat last time out."

Middlesbrough were without Jordan Jones, who netted a clinical hat-trick in the victory on Tyneside, and United began the game on top.

Adam Armstrong's deflected effort tested Joe Fryer in the Boro goal before Heardman finally broke the deadlock midway through the first-half.

The powerful striker collected a left-wing cross as he arrived at the near and fired a first time effort past Fryer.

Middlesbrough headed into the game in fine form, netting 15 goals in their last three games, including a 7-0 win over FA Youth Cup semi-finalists Norwich City.

United defended resolutely, however, with Mark Kitching's volley the closest the home side came to equalising but it flew inches over the bar.

Watson's side, missing a host of players who featured for Newcastle's under-21s as they beat Crystal Palace 4-0 on Friday night, held on for three big points.

"It was a good performance, we went there today and everyone was ready for the game," said Watson.

"There was no need for us to mention the 4-0 defeat before the game, the lads knew themselves that they were capable of more.

"We knew there was a lot more to come from us and we put in a really good performance. It was a performance I knew we were capable of, we have just been a little inconsistent.

"The back four played really well, Macaulay Gillesphey and Ryan McKinnon were great and Adam Armstrong played well in midfield.

"It was a good performance and the players are really coming on now and the early season experiences has got them to where they are now."

Newcastle United Under-21s: Freddie Woodman, Jamie Sterry, Ryan McKinnon, Macaulay Gillesphey, Macauley Booth, Greg Olley, Brad Halliday, Steven Logan, Adam Armstrong, Tom Heardman, Jonathyn Quinn (Lewis Aird 75)

Subs not used: Callum Roberts, Ben Drennan, Lee Desmond, James Morgan.