Ben Drennan

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Newcastle United Under-18s 3
Blackburn Rovers Under-18s 0

Newcastle United Under-18s stormed to the top of the Barclays Under-18 Premier League Tier Two table with a 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers at Little Benton.

Rovers - who knocked United out of the FA Youth Cup and end of season play-offs last term - had beaten the Magpies 4-1 last month but Dave Watson's side gained revenge with a comfortable victory on Tuesday afternoon.

Callum Roberts was the star of the show with a goal and two assists but it was a great team display from a side who have now kept successive clean sheets following their 1-0 win over Middlesbrough last weekend.

The windy conditions favoured Newcastle in the first half and they took the lead after ten minutes when Freddie Woodman's long kick was brought down by Roberts, who raced to the byline and but the ball back to Greg Olley at the far post. The midfielder confidently slotted past David Raya from eight yards.

William Butterwick side-footed narrowly wide for Rovers before Brice Wassi's backpass almost carried into his own net but came back off the outside of the post, much to the Blackburn defender's relief.

Ben Drennan then saw a shot blocked then dragged his effort from the rebound wide and England under-16 forward Adam Armstrong fired a 35-yard free-kick over the bar.

Rovers almost equalised when Modov Cham's low shot hit the base of the post but on the stroke of half-time Newcastle made it 2-0 when Roberts robbed Butterwick and smashed home from outside the area.

Butterwick nearly made amends early in the second half but his header was disallowed, then Woodman made a fine save from Jordan Anderson's piledriver.

At the other end, Drennan headed wide from Olley's wonderful floated free-kick but it was soon 3-0 when Roberts stormed down the right and stood up a cross from substitute Liam Smith. The midfielder, back from a long injury lay-off, took the ball on his chest before rifling past Raya.

Roberts was unlucky not to score another of his own when his strong run ended in his effort being kept out by the goalkeeper, then Smith played in Armstrong but he blazed over the bar.

Newcastle United Under-18s: Freddie Woodman, Jamie Cobain, Kyle Cameron (Liam Smith 46), Ryan McKinnon, Macaulay Gillesphey, Greg Olley, Ben Drennan (Jordan Storey 75), Brad Halliday, Macauley Booth, Adam Armstrong, Callum Roberts

Subs not used: Brendan Pearson, James Morgan