Romain Amalfitano

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Newcastle United Under-21s 1 (Newton 60)
Manchester United Under-21s 2 (Thorpe 47, Lawrence 66)

Newcastle could have gone top of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League National Group Two with a win against Manchester United, but it was the visitors who came out on top in the battle of the Uniteds.

Tottenham's win over Southampton kept them in pole position anyway but the Red Devils climbed above the Magpies into second place with a 2-1 win at Whitley Park.

John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman were all in the crowd but goals from Tom Thorpe and Tom Lawrence proved the difference despite Conor Newton's strike for the Magpies.

There were players with senior experience on both sides - Xisco, Mehdi Abeid, James Tavernier and Romain Amalfitano started for the Magpies while the likes of Federico Macheda, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Bebe and Scott Wootton were in the visitors' line-up.

Newcastle youngster Adam Campbell, former Magpies ace Nikos Dabizas and ex-Whitley Warriors and Newcastle Vipers ice hockey player Spencer Downey were also in attendance and watched Newcastle start brightly.

Inside the first minute, Xisco almost added to the hat-trick he bagged in his last second-string outing when he met JJ Hooper's low cross only for Jonathan Sutherland to beat it away.

For the visitors, Adnan Januzaj saw Jak Alnwick keep out his shot from a tight angle after nine minutes but there were few chances at either end, with the next opening coming for the Magpies courtesy of Marcus Maddison's inswinging corner which narrowly evaded everybody in the box.

Then as the half hour mark approached, Maddison's cross from the right was prodded goalwards by Hooper, but Sutherland saved as the flag went up for offside against the striker.

Inman ran from his own half on 34 minutes but could only shoot tamely at the keeper, then Abeid teed up Xisco to fire over from 16 yards as Newcastle ended the half strongly.

Macheda sent a shot on the turn too high for the Red Devils before Xisco's clever ball released Amalfitano but his powerful shot was parried by Sutherland

At the start of the second half, Bebe saw a shot deflected over and from the resulting corner, skipper Tom Thorpe headed his side in front.

Knight shot just wide as United tried to respond but cometh the hour, cometh the man and the man was Conor Newton, who rifled home after Sutherland palmed the ball out from a Newcastle free-kick.

Parity was short-lived, however, as substitute Tom Lawrence stroked the ball past Alnwick after another corner was only half-cleared.

Bebe should have killed the game off when he raced through on goal only to blaze horribly over the top and he was almost left to rue his miss when Yven Moyo headed wide with 11 minutes to play and then Abeid shot off target.

Another chance came Bebe's way as he swivelled and half-volleyed narrowly wide from just inside the area before Maddison saw a goalbound effort blocked and Tavernier's downward header just missed the target.

The United captain then saw a long-range shot flash wide then in stoppage time, Abeid's stinging shot was superbly saved but the Magpies couldn't force an equaliser and slipped to a second successive defeat.
 
Newcastle United Under-21s: Jak Alnwick, Conor Newton, James Tavernier (c) Lubo Satka, Yven Moyo, Mehdi Abeid, Romain Amalfitano (Dennis Knight 42), Bradden Inman, Marcus Maddison (Alex Kitchen 85), Xisco (Michael Riley 55), JJ Hooper

Subs not used: Freddie Woodman, Brandon Miele

Manchester United Under-21s: Jonathan Sutherland, Feredric Vaseli, Marnick Vermijl, Tom Thorpe, Scott Wootton, Michele Fornasier, Bebe (Luke Hendrie 90), Ryan Tunnicliffe, Federico Macheda (Tom Lawrence 54), Adnan Januzaj (Charni Ekangamene 76), Larnell Cole

Subs not used: Joel Pereira, Reece James

Referee: Graeme Fyvie

Attendance: 417