JJ Hooper

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Sunderland Under-21s 4
Newcastle United Under-21s 0

With no midweek Barclays Under-21 Premier League fixture, a second-string practice match was arranged at Sunderland's Academy of Light on Monday afternoon to enable Newcastle's youngsters to maintain their match sharpness.

But there was not a great deal of sharpness on show from the Magpies as they went down to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of their local rivals in Cleadon, with Willie Donachie and Peter Beardsley taking the opportunity to give game time to some players who haven't been involved on a regular basis at second-string level.

The likes of Dennis Knight, Yven Moyo, Brandon Miele, JJ Hooper and Marcus Maddison all featured but there were also starts for James Tavernier and Adam Campbell while Walid Abeid - the younger brother of Mehdi - appeared as a half-time substitute.

Sunderland took the lead when Jordan Laidler's shot from the edge of the box was saved by Jak Alnwick but the striker forced home the rebound, before the same player doubled the advantage when he beat the offside trap to tap home after Adam Reed's shot had struck a post.

Craig Lynch, back from a loan spell in League One with Hartlepool, then forced Alnwick into another stop before Miele's threaded pass found Campbell racing into the box for Newcastle. However, the 17-year-old's touch was heavy and Jordan Pickford was able to deny him with a brave stop.

At the other end, Alnwick had to be at his best to first frustrate Laidler after a pass from Lynch, then to keep out Lynch from point-blank range after Adam Mitchell's cross from the right and then Lynch saw an effort fly just wide.

With the wind behind them, United improved after the break, with Maddison forcing Pickford into a smart stop from 20 yards, but Roarie Deacon won a penalty after sub Lubo Satka was adjudged to have fouled the frontman and Reed sent Alnwick the wrong way from the spot.

On 70 minutes a Knight free-kick was pushed away by Pickford, who then saved well from Michael Riley before captain Tavernier broke up play before cutting inside and sending a dipping drive inches over.

Bradden Inman saw a shot from 14 yards saved, then an effort on the turn kept out by Sunderland's former Darlington keeper but on 88 minutes, Blair Adams' cross fell to Mikael Mandron to wrap up the scoring.

Newcastle United Under-21s (starting XI): Jak Alnwick, Conor Newton, Curtis Good, James Tavernier, Michael Riley, Marcus Maddison, Brandon Miele, Dennis Knight, Bradden Inman, Yven Moyo, Adam Campbell