By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United Under-21s 0
Hamilton Academicals 3 (Longridge, Keatings, Gillespie)
The Club's new Director of Football, Joe Kinnear, was at Newcastle United's Little Benton Academy on Tuesday afternoon as a young Magpies side was beaten by a much more experienced Hamilton Academical line-up.
Alex Neil's side, who play in the Scottish First Division, have been regular pre-season visitors to Tyneside in recent seasons but, with several of United's fringe players involved at Motherwell on the evening, Willie Donachie's team was entirely made up of teenagers.
A different XI took to the pitch in each half as the Accies ran out comfortable winners, although it could have been a different story had the Magpies taken a couple of first half opportunities which fell their way.
Louis Longridge opened the scoring on 14 minutes after an even opening spell before England under-16 starlet Adam Armstrong twice came close, first with a low shot which was deflected just wide and then with a half-volley from the resulting corner, which dipped inches over.
However, Hamilton then began to take control and, after left-back Ziggy Gordon had shot just wide, James Keatings cleverly controlled and fired home in one deft movement to make it 2-0 on 38 minutes.
Only a fine save from Jonathan Mitchell denied Keatings - currently on trial from Celtic - a second but his replacement between the posts, Freddie Woodman, was even busier in the second period.
He made several fine saves to thwart the Scots but was finally beaten when Grant Gillespie embarked on a wonderful solo run before cracking an effort in off the post.
A blocked Jonathyn Quinn effort was the closest Newcastle came to a consolation but this was a useful workout for the Magpies and especially the 11 first-year scholars who played a part in proceedings.
Newcastle United Under-21s: First half: Jonathan Mitchell, Kevin Mbabu, Ryan McKinnon, Macaulay Gillesphey, Macauley Booth, Rolando Aarons, Steven Logan, Brandon Miele, Greg Olley, Adam Armstrong, Alex Gilliead. Second half: Freddie Woodman, Jamie Sterry, Kyle Cameron, James Morgan (James Atkinson 70), Lewis Aird (Liam Gibson 70), Joe Kerridge (Adam Laidler 70), Jordan Storey, Ben Drennan (Jamie Cobain 70), Daniel Barlaser, Andy Hall, Jonathyn Quinn