Newcastle United U23s 0 Southampton U23s 1
Michael Obafemi’s first half strike proved decisive as Southampton’s second string edged past Newcastle United Under-23s on Friday night.
On a rainy night at Whitley Park, the forward’s calm finish was the difference between the sides in the Premier League 2 Division Two encounter.
Newcastle couldn’t muster a response on what was a forgettable night for Ben Dawson’s side, who were unable to build on their Checkatrade Trophy win over Doncaster Rovers last time out.
In a first half of few chances, Saints looked threatening in the final third, with frontman Obafemi their brightest spark.
The hosts, though, carved out a clear opportunity for themselves midway through the half. Callum Roberts did superbly to wriggle free of his marker by the byline before cutting the ball back to Tom Allan, whose first-time shot was parried away by keeper Jack Rose.
But Dawson’s youngsters went into the break trailing. A poor backpass gave Obafemi the chance to race clear of the United backline, evade a last-ditch challenge before coolly slotting past Freddie Woodman with 34 minutes on the clock.
Newcastle came out fighting after the restart, with Oliver Walters’ cutback finding Sean Longstaff, but he hesitated before shooting and the chance passed him by.
Matty Longstaff then glanced a Roberts cross over the crossbar before seeing a shot blocked on its way to goal, as United sought a leveller.
Dawson replaced Allan with Adam Wilson on the hour, and the winger almost restored parity with an effort from the edge of the box, but Rose turned it behind.
And they had another opportunity shortly after, when Elias Sorensen picked up a loose ball and, after a Longstaff lay-off, Roberts’ shot was charged down.
Wilson had added some extra attacking impetus since his introduction but, despite Kelland Watts forcing another save from Rose and Wilson's cross dropping just the wrong side of the post inside the final ten minutes, they couldn’t rescue a point.
Newcastle United Under-23s: Freddie Woodman; Lewis Cass, Stefan O'Connor, Kelland Watts, Oliver Walters (Liam Gibson 83); Owen Bailey, Matty Longstaff (Mo Sangare 68); Tom Allan (Adam Wilson 60), Sean Longstaff, Callum Roberts; Elias Sorensen.
Subs not used: Otto Huuhtanen, Juanito.