Kevin Mbabu

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Newcastle United Under-21s 0
Southampton Under-21s 2 (Rowe, Flannigan)

In their second pre-season friendly of the summer, Newcastle United under-21s were beaten by a slick Southampton outfit at the Little Benton Academy.

Willie Donachie and Peter Beardsley named a more experienced side than the one which lost 3-0 to Hamilton on Wednesday, with James Tavernier named as captain and Romain Amalfitano and Mehdi Abeid also starting.

And the Magpies began brightly against the South Coast outfit, who had already taken on Middlesbrough and Sunderland during a mini tour of the North-East, with Tavernier having a low shot saved after a good run, Brandon Miele sending a half-volley just over the bar and then Tavernier dragging an effort wide after Rolando Aarons' clever reverse pass.

Michael Richardson headed over from Amalfitano's corner as United pressed for an opener but, against the run of play, the Saints went in front after 27 minutes when Omar Rowe took advantage of a slip in the Newcastle defence to round Jonathan Mitchell and finish well.

The hosts continued to dominate despite the setback, with Amalfitano drilling a shot inches wide and Tavernier seeing a goalbound header from Aarons' cross blocked as Gael Bigirimana and new signing Olivier Kemen watched from the sidelines.

Abeid then saw a free-kick crash back off the bar then, on the stroke of half time, Aarons raced onto Mitchell's long kick but his attempted lob dropped the wrong side of the goal.

United started the second period in a similar vein, with Richardson's shot blocked after a good run from substitute Adam Armstrong, but once again they were undone by a swift breakaway as Jake Flannigan tucked the ball beyond Freddie Woodman.

Woodman had replaced Mitchell at the break and was relieved to see Flannigan stab just wide moments later, but he then produced a fine penalty save to keep out Harrison Reed after Kevin Mbabu had conceded a foul.

By now, the visitors were well on top although Mbabu almost pulled one back when he won the ball on the halfway line and advanced towards goal, but his powerful strike was parried.

However it is now two defeats out of two for United's under-21s, who take on Workington at Borough Park on Wednesday night.

Newcastle United Under-21s: Jonathan Mitchell (Freddie Woodman 46), Kevin Mbabu, Remie Streete, Lubo Satka (Macaulay Gillesphey 46), James Tavernier (Jamie Sterry 85), Rolando Aarons (Greg Olley 64), Brandon Miele (Steven Logan 46), Mehdi Abeid, Romain Amalfitano, Michael Richardson, Alex Gilliead (Adam Armstrong 46)

Subs not used: Ryan McKinnon, Jonathyn Quinn