Michael Richardson


By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor
At Whitley Park

Newcastle United Under-21s 0
Manchester City Under-21s 0

With Peter Beardsley in one dugout and Patrick Vieira in the other, this was a clash between two of the greatest players of the 1990s.

But the Barclays Under-21 Premier League is all about the next generation of talent and there was plenty for a crowd of 386 - including John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman - to enjoy at Whitley Park despite the lack of goals.

A slow burner of a game began to heat up in the 19th minute when Seko Fofano's deflected shot was parried wide by Jonathan Mitchell as Vieira's visitors dominated possession early on.

But the Magpies responded well with Michael Richardson sending a half-volley looping just over the bar with Ian Lawlor off his line, then Gael Bigirimana finding Jonathyn Quinn who shot narrowly wide.

Mitchell made a superb reaction save to keep out Sinan Bytyqi's header from Mathias Bossaerts' cross before Greg Olley hit the bar with a stinging volley for United after good work from Daniel Barlaser.

Kemen was off target from a narrow angle then, on the stroke of half time, Devante Cole - son of Andy - raced in on goal but was denied by Mitchell.

The second half also began quietly until Liam Gibson's strike was parried by Lawlor and Richardson just couldn't force the loose ball home.

In the 73rd minute Kemen lost out to Cole in midfield allowing City to break but substitute Olivier Ntcham shot straight at Mitchell before the keeper made a smart stop to keep out an effort from another sub, Jordy Mayifuila.

A free kick from Marcos Lopes then drifted over before Mitchell held onto a shot from Jose Tasende which deflected off Jamie Sterry as he looked to preserve only a second clean sheet of the season for United at this level.

And he did just that as he parried Fofana's low strike before smothering the rebound from Mayifuila then, in the dying seconds, Cole's close-range header bounced back off the woodwork.

Newcastle United Under-21s: Jonathan Mitchell, Jamie Sterry, Lubo Satka, Kevin Mbabu, Callum Williams (Liam Gibson 44), Greg Olley, Gael Bigirimana, Olivier Kemen, Daniel Barlaser, Michael Richardson, Jonathyn Quinn

Subs not used: Freddie Woodman, Ryan McKinnon, Macaulay Gillesphey, Ben Drennan

Manchester City Under-21s: Ian Lawlor, Mathias Bossaerts (Jason Denayer 81), Jose Tasende, Shay Facey, Ellis Plummer, Kean Bryan (Olivier Ntcham 64), Marcos Lopes, Seko Fofana, Devante Cole, George Glendon, Sinan Bytuqi (Jordy Mayifuila 59)

Subs not used: Billy O'Brien, Greg Leigh