Everton U23 1 Newcastle United U23 0
Newcastle United Under-23s suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Everton in the Premier League Cup final at Goodison Park on Wednesday evening.
Morgan Feeney's second half header proved to be the difference on Merseyside as Newcastle's eye-catching run ended at the final hurdle.
Ben Dawson made three changes to the side which dramatically defeated Reading on penalties to reach the Premier League 2 Division Two play-off final on Friday, with Liam Gibson, Lewis Cass and Luke Charman introduced to the starting line-up at Goodison Park.
Newcastle were chasing a cup and promotion double but faced an Everton side who were chasing a cup double themselves after winning the Premier League 2 Division One title.
The young Magpies narrowly missed out on taking an early lead as Matthew Longstaff's dangerous corner almost fell into the path of Charman inside the six-yard area but the striker, leading the line in place of Sørensen, was unable to connect with the loose ball, allowing Everton goalkeeper Joao Virginia to collect.
United goalkeeper Nathan Harker produced a splendid stop minutes later to deny Josh Bowler from breaking the deadlock after the winger advanced into the penalty area before unleashing a goal bound effort, forcing Harker into diving down quickly to hold the lowly driven strike.
Harker, the busier of the two goalkeepers in the opening 45 minutes, was required to keep out Antony Evans' strike from distance, stretching over to the right hand post to hold onto the long range effort.
Newcastle were fortunate to not fall behind after Bowler's swinging cross from the right wing awkwardly sailed over Harker's goal, with a rushing Fraser Hornby unable to provide a finishing touch from close range.
With the conclusion of the first half approaching, Hornby missed a glorious opportunity from close range after another tantalising cross from Bowler found the Toffees forward but his first time shot from three yards out sailed over the crossbar, to the relief of the United squad.
In the second half, Harker remained unbeaten as the 20-year-old produced an excellent fingertip save to turn Bowler's curling strike from the edge of the penalty area onto the post.
However, Everton's persistence in front of goal continued and the home side gained the lead towards the hour mark as Evans' swinging cross found Feeney, with the Everton captain rising high to nod the ball into the net.
Newcastle sent on forwards Elias Sørensen and Yannick Touré in their hope for an equaliser to force extra-time and went close to claiming an equaliser. After Touré raced forward after a fine dummy deceived his Everton marker, the forward's ball found Sørensen inside the box.
With the Dane restricted to a clear shot on goal, the striker teed up Matthew Longstaff on the edge of the box, but the midfielder was unable to direct his shot on target after a deflection from an Everton defender.
The away side continued to press but were unable to test Virginia with any clear-cut opportunities as Everton sealed the win to end United's hopes of a trophy, with the young Magpies now looking to seal promotion to Premier League 2 Division One as they face Southampton in the play-off final.
Newcastle United Under-23s: Nathan Harker, Jamie Sterry, Liam Gibson, Owen Bailey, Lewis Cass, Kelland Watts, Tom Allan (Rosaire Longelo 82), Mo Sangare (Yannick Touré 73), Luke Charman (Elias Sørensen 54), Matthew Longstaff, Cal Roberts.
Subs not used: Oliver Walters, Otto Huuhtanen.