Olivier Kemen

By Paul Reece

Blackburn Rovers Under-18s 4 (Rittenberg, Bauress, Joel, Preston)
Newcastle United Under-18s 1 (Kemen)

Olivier Kemen was on target but Newcastle United Under-18s' four game unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of Blackburn Rovers on Friday afternoon.

The Magpies travelled to Lancashire in search of a third consecutive away win but found themselves two goals down inside the opening 20 minutes.

French summer signing Kemen reduced the deficit midway through the second half but Rovers added another double in the dying minutes as United chased an equaliser.

Academy coach Dave Watson accepted the result but still found positives to take from the defeat.

"We didn't to deserve to win the game," admitted Watson. "We never really got going in the first half and conceded two goals early on.

"We showed a good reaction to get it back to 2-1 and although we were poor in the first half the scoreline did not reflect our second-half performance.

"After the break we were much better; it was a very good performance and we created a host of chances but they caught us on the counter as we looked to get back into the game.

"We have a little break now before our FA Youth Cup game with Barnsley in 11 days' time and we will just look to move on and bounce back."

The home side took just five minutes to open the scoring as Jordan Preston's cross was acrobatically finished by Dean Rittenberg.

United responded well with Tom Heardman forcing a good save and Dan Barlaser's effort crashing against the bar but it was Rovers who netted again.

Bradley Bauress netted from close range as Blackburn took a two goal lead into the break after a disappointing from half from the visitors.

Jonathan Mitchell then saved well as he denied George Pierce early in the second half before Newcastle began their fightback.

Powerful frontman Heardman was again denied by Rovers keeper David Raya before the shot-stopper produced a superb double save to deny defender Macauley Booth.

Kemen then raced through in the 72nd minute and beat Raya before Heardman was again thwarted.

Barlaser and Kemen spurned further chances as United pressed for an equaliser but it was Rovers who struck twice in the final minutes.

Preston supplied substitute Sam Joel and he lashed home the third before Preston netted a superb curling left-footed effort to ensure that United returned to Tyneside empty handed.

Newcastle United Under-18s: Jonathan Mitchell, Ben Drennan, Macauley Booth, Macaulay Gillesphey, Kyle Cameron, Callum Roberts (Jamie Cobain 70), Joe Kerridge (Jordan Storey 70), Olivier Kemen, Daniel Barlaser, Jonathyn Quinn, Tom Heardman