Stoke City Under-23s 3 Newcastle United Under-23s 4
Newcastle United FC
Newcastle United Under-23s got their Premier League 2 Division Two campaign off to a winning start after edging a remarkable game against Stoke City.
The Magpies established a two-goal lead through Liam Smith and Luke Charman, but they were pegged back before the break as Daniel Jarvis netted for the Potters.
Jarvis restored parity early into the second half, before Daniel Barbir struck from six yards to put the Potters in front for the first time.
There only appeared to be one outcome at that point, but United regrouped, and substitute Mo Sangare levelled once more after gathering a fine cross from Dan Barlaser.
Another twist appeared likely, and with five minutes remaining, Owen Gallacher – like Sangare, only introduced to the fray late on – held his nerve to find the net from a tight angle.
It was a thrilling conclusion to a game that the Magpies had controlled early on.
They took the lead just five minutes in. United broke quickly from their own half, a move instigated by Smith’s namesake, Callum. Eventually, Charman picked up the ball 18 yards out and sent the elder Smith in on goal, and the Magpies’ No. 10 produced a deft finish.
Relative to the rest of the evening, the following stages were somewhat subdued, though the Magpies continued to look the more threatening, with Curtis Good coming close.
They doubled their advantage in the 40th minute. Barlaser was afforded time to take aim 20 yards out, and goalkeeper Jacob Haugaard parried the midfielder’s effort straight into the path of Charman, who made no mistake.
Stoke hit back before the break, however. Tre Pemberton managed to get a shot away deep inside a crowded penalty area, which Paul Woolston got a hand to. Jarvis, though, was on hand to follow up.
The tide started to turn as the second half got underway. Shortly before the hour-mark, the Potters’ Lewis Banks found a pocket of space wide on the right and crossed for Jarvis, whose first-time effort left Woolston with little chance.
Banks himself then got on the end of a Tre Pemberton delivery, but the Magpies’ stopper managed to gather.
However, Stoke were beginning to build up a head of steam, and with a quarter of an hour remaining, Barbir guided home Ollie Shenton’s cross at the back post to put Peter Beardsley’s side on the back foot.
In response, Sangare and Gallacher were introduced for the Magpies, a move which was to pay dividends for the visitors.
There were less than ten minutes remaining when Barlaser delivered a low cross from deep after a fine piece of footwork, and Sangare got the better of Haugaard from six yards after seeing his first effort blocked.
And, with their next attack, Newcastle struck what proved to be the winner. With the hosts’ backline caught napping, Gallacher raced in on goal and slid the ball home via the far post.
Amazingly, United should even have had a fifth but, with just seconds remaining, Charman scuffed wide from deep inside the area.