Ben Drennan


By Paul Reece

Newcastle United Under-18s 2 (Roberts, Kerridge)

Bolton Wanderers Under-18s 1

 

A young and inexperienced Newcastle United side made it seven straight wins on Saturday with victory over in-form Bolton Wanderers in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League.

The young Magpies were without a host of regulars, with Rolando Aarons, Adam Armstrong, Tom Heardman, Jonathyn Quinn, Ryan McKinnon, Olivier Kemen and Macaulay Gillesphey all absent.

But Dave Watson's men continued their impressive recent run of results with a hard-working performance at the Club's Little Benton Academy.

Callum Roberts opened the scoring with a superb first-half strike before Joe Kerridge doubled the Magpies lead in the second-half.

The visitors netted a consolation goal to reduce the deficit but United held on, producing another solid and disciplined performance.

With Derby County up next in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup on Sunday, Academy coach Watson challenged his side to continue their fantastic form.

"We had a young team out on Saturday and it was good to see them in action," he explained.

"They did alright and it continues our good form.

"We have been in great form recently and we are on a good winning run and hopefully now we can keep it going in the FA Youth Cup at the weekend.

"The competition is as big as they come at this level and everyone is looking forward to the game at the iPro Stadium on Sunday.

"I thought Liam Smith played well against Bolton, along with Ben Drennan, but it was more of a hard-working performance from all the lads."

Winger Roberts broke the deadlock with a 25-yard strike into the far corner and United went into the break leading by that solitary strike.

Fellow wideman Kerridge then doubled Newcastle's lead as he finished off a great move by firing a left-footed shot into the far corner.

A slip from Freddie Woodman allowed Bolton to pull one back, however, as the goalkeeper mishandled a strike and the ball rolled into the net.

But the inexperienced Magpies kept their composure and continued their 100 per cent start to 2014, ending Bolton's four-game winning streak in the process.

 

Newcastle United Under-18s: Freddie Woodman, Michael Newberry (Louis Johnson 70), Macauley Booth, James Atkinson, Kyle Cameron, Ben Drennan, Liam Smith, Joe Kerridge, Alex Gilliead, Callum Roberts, Andy Hall (Jack Hunter 70)