By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United Under-21s 1 (Miele)
Bolton Wanderers Under-21s 2 (Odelusi, Blakeman pen 62)
Despite seeing their ten-match unbeaten run ended by Bolton, Newcastle United are the champions of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League Tier Two.
Brandon Miele's opener was cancelled out by Sanmi Odelusi and an Adam Blakeman penalty but the Trotters had to settle for second place on goal difference as Willie Donachie and Peter Beardsley's side set up a play-off match against Everton next week.
With Remie Streete and Curtis Good both injured, Gael Bigirimana slotted in at centre-half alongside the ever-reliable Lubo Satka, with captain James Tavernier at left-back and the returning Bradden Inman playing behind main striker Jonathyn Quinn.
Newcastle knew anything other than a heavy defeat would be enough to see them lift the title but they seemed intent on ending the league campaign on a high in the opening exchanges.
A superb run down the right from Rolando Aarons was matched by a fine cutback from the Jamaican youngster and Quinn cleverly stepped over the ball to allow Miele to compose himself and shoot on 11 minutes. However, the Irishman's powerful shot from 12 yards out crashed back off the bar.
Seconds later, the woodwork was struck at the other end as Tom Youngs' shot clipped the outside of Jonathan Mitchell's post from just outside the box.
An effort from Tavernier then flashed across the goal before a snapshot from Odelusi forced Mitchell into a smart save low down to his right.
But in the 24th minute, the deadlock was emphatically broken as Inman and Michael Richardson combined beautifully to tee up Miele, who smashed home from the edge of the area.
Inman nearly made it two with a piledriver which whistled just over the bar before, in the 27th minute, Bigirimana saw his excellent free-kick hit the far post after Tavernier was fouled.
But in the 44th minute, Bolton equalised. Joe McKee was given the freedom of the right hand side and although Mitchell parried his cross-cum-shot, Odelusi was there to tap home the loose ball.
At the beginning of the second half, Jack Sampson drove straight at Mitchell then in the 56th minute, Oscar Threlkeld's fizzing low shot zipped inches wide.
The Trotters had the wind on their side and it told as they took the lead when Odelusi won a penalty as he found himself sandwiched in between Mitchell and Kevin Mbabu and Blakeman fired into the net.
A McKee free-kick then flew narrowly over for the visitors before Newcastle offered a response when Bigirimana laid the ball off for Inman to strike, but his effort was too close to Rob Lainton.
Sampson then dispossessed Bigirimana and blasted wide but in the 84th minute Richardson should have done better than blaze over after great play from substitute Alex Nicholson.
Equally wasteful was Sampson, who shot straight at Mitchell following Andy Kellet's tremendous run and cutback but Bolton had already done enough to win the game. Alas, they had not done quite enough to steal the title away from Newcastle.
Newcastle United Under-21s: Jonathan Mitchell, Kevin Mbabu (Alex Nicholson 62), Lubo Satka, Gael Bigirimana, James Tavernier, Rolando Aarons, Michael Richardson, Brandon Miele, Alex Gilliead, Bradden Inman, Jonathyn Quinn (Macaulay Gillesphey 59)
Subs not used: Freddie Woodman, Jamie Sterry, Greg Olley
Bolton Wanderers Under-21s: Rob Lainton, Niall Maher, Andy Kellet, Alex McQuade, Cian Bolger, Oscar Threlkeld, Joe McKee, Adam Blakeman, Jack Sampson, Tom Youngs, Sanmi Odelusi
Subs not used: Ben Dennis, Jan Ole Sievers, James Kelly, Aaron Knight, Rob Holding