Newcastle United U18s 3 Stoke City U18s 0
- Samuel Packer
Newcastle United Under-18s recorded their first win of the season with a convincing 3-0 home win over Stoke City on Saturday.
The young Magpies were yet to secure three points until the visit of the Potters, with defeat to Burnley followed by a draw with Wolves in their opening two Under-18 Premier League fixtures.
But an early strike from Jay Turner-Cooke set them on their way, before two second half strikes from Michael Ndiweni sealed the points for Neil Winskill’s side.
The game sprang into life with ten minutes on the clock, as Turner-Cooke’s long-range effort put United in front at Little Benton.
But the visitors had some chances of their own, and could have levelled matters when Jack Griffiths rattled the upright just after the half hour mark.
They were made to pay under a minute after the restart, though, when forward Ndiweni applied the finishing touch to give the hosts a two-goal advantage.
And with just over 20 minutes remaining, Ndiweni made the points safe with his second of the day and his fourth of the season so far.
Winskill’s side now have a free weekend before they return to action at Derby County on Saturday, 11th September (1pm kick-off).
He believes the win will give his charges a lift as they go into the international break with a first victory under their belts.
“It was convincing. Any time you play Stoke it’s always a tough game - we’ve found that out over the last couple of years - but I’m really happy with how the lads performed and in the end fully deserved the victory and the clean sheet,” he said.
“It’s good for the lads’ confidence. It gives them belief, and gives them something to build on when they went a step further than they did last week (against Wolves).”
With the young group still adjusting to under-18 football, Winskill feels there is a lot of encouragement to take from their start to the session - but still wants to see more from his charges over the coming weeks and months.
“We’ve got some first years in the starting 11, which is really early for them to be playing under-18 football,” he explained. “It’s probably taken them two or three weeks to get the hang of the speed, intensity, aggression and physicality of under-18s football, where they’re potentially playing two years up.
“But if you go back to pre-season, the lads performed well right the way through pre-season, and barring that freak performance and result against Burnley the other week, I think we’ve got to be satisfied with what we’ve done so far.
“But as always, we’re pushing them. We want more, we want them to improve their levels, and that’s the way we are at the club. We want to keep pushing all the time.”
Newcastle United Under-18s: Max Thompson, Nathan Robertson, Josh Stewart, Jamie Miley, Ciaran Thompson, Harry Barclay, Ben Parkinson (Lucas Cooper 77), Jay Turner-Cooke, Michael Ndiweni (Shaun Mavididi 83), Lewis Miley (Joel Green 86), Kyle Crossley.
Subs not used: Callum Yam, Callum McNally.