Bradden Inman against Leicester - photograph courtesy of Garrige Ho and Two Up Front

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Rangers Under-21s 2 (Crawford, Burrows)
Newcastle United Under-21s 3 (Richardson, Ameobi 2)

Sammy Ameobi was the star once again as Newcastle reached their second successive Citibank Hong Kong Football Club International Soccer Sevens final after an enthralling battle with Rangers.

The Scots - who had beaten Manchester City to reach the last eight - became the first side to score against United in this year's tournament as they took the lead and then, after the Magpies had done well to turn the game on its head, levelled matters deep into the second period.

But then Ameobi, who had already scored once, grabbed a dramatic winner to set up a meeting with Leicester - who overcame Sunderland - in the final.

Few would have predicted that there would be five goals after a cagey opening of few chances, but it was Rangers who looked the most likely to score as James Tavernier made an important block from Tom Walsh before the same player hit a post with a long range effort which had Jak Alnwick beaten.

That was a warning and, when Robbie Crawford caught Conor Newton dwelling on the ball in his own box, the Gers went ahead.

However, Newcastle took advantage of a defensive error at the opposite end to equalise before the break. Goalkeeper Liam Kelly made a complete hash of his clearance and it spun towards Michael Richardson, who showed great composure to swivel and guide the ball into the empty net.

And that clearly lifted the English outfit - along with some words from Willie Donachie and Peter Beardsley - as they looked a different side after the break.

Kyle McAusland was booked by Phil Dowd for a rash challenge on Bradden Inman, who had spun the defender, and from Newton's quickly-taken free-kick, Ameobi put the ball in the net - only for Dowd to bring play back as he felt the set-piece had been taken too soon.

Newton curled wide from the retake and then Ameobi cut inside but fired narrowly off target. But he was deadly soon afterwards when, after Paul Dummett's lovely clipped ball towards Richardson, he was on the end of the midfielder's cross to finish with aplomb.

He nearly got another as he struck the bar from another Richardson centre but Rangers raced up the other end and, after a slip from Dummett, Jamie Burrows rifled past Alnwick.

Extra-time beckoned but then Richardson unlocked the defence with a sublime pass and Ameobi did the rest with his sixth goal of the tournament.

The England under-21 man was denied a hat-trick by a full length save from Kelly in the dying seconds and Rangers pushed forward late on but United held firm and are now one game away from lifting the trophy again.

Newcastle United Under-21s: Jak Alnwick, James Tavernier, Paul Dummett, Michael Richardson, Conor Newton, Bradden Inman, Sammy Ameobi

Subs not used:
Remie Streete, Steven Logan, Rolando Aarons

Photograph courtesy of Garrige Ho/Two Up Front