Liam Smith is congratulated by Macauley Booth

By Paul Reece

Norwich City Under-18s 0
Newcastle United Under-18s 6 (Smith 3, Roberts 3)


Liam Smith and Callum Roberts both hit hat-tricks as Newcastle United Under-18s returned to top of the Academy Premier League Group Two table after an empthatic win at FA Youth Cup finalists Norwich City.

Needing a victory in their final game of the season to stand any chance of topping the table, United wasted no time and raced into a 4-0 half-time lead.

A Smith brace and Roberts effort had United 3-0 up after just 24 minutes, before Roberts completed his double seven minutes before the break.

Smith collected Jonathyn Quinn's pass to open the scoring in the 12th minute before Roberts doubled the Magpies' advantage.

The striker finished neatly after collecting Adam Armstrong's pass and Smith's superb volley then stretched United's lead further.

Roberts' close range finish put United in firm control going into the break and South Shields-born Smith completed his treble shortly after the restart with another terrific solo effort.

The free-scoring midfielder then turned provider as he supplied Roberts to complete his hat-trick in the 72nd minute.

Victory ensured United climbed above Arsenal and Manchester City into pole position in the table but they could still lose the title.

Aston Villa travel to Norfolk on Thursday and know that victory will see them extend their season and compete in the play-offs against Sunderland.

A win for basement club Norwich, however, will see United clinch a second successive title at this level.

Newcastle United Under-18s: Freddie Woodman, Jamie Sterry (James Morgan 50), Ryan McKinnon, Lee Desmond, Macauley Booth, Jonathyn Quinn, Greg Olley (Jamie Cobain 70), Liam Smith, Adam Armstrong, Brad Halliday (Ben Drennan 50), Callum Roberts