Newcastle United U23s 5 Sunderland U23s 0
- Glen Hart
Newcastle United Under-23s recorded an emphatic derby-day victory over North East rivals Sunderland on Monday night, running out 5-0 winners at St. James’ Park.
Captain Owen Bailey opened the scoring for United, before Callum Roberts tucked home his side’s second of the evening before the break.
Luke Charman’s well-taken second half brace and a thumping finish from substitute Elias Sörensen wrapped up the points and rounded off the rout for the impressive Magpies, who earned their first Premier League 2 Division Two points of the campaign in style in front of a jubilant crowd of 3,381.
Sunderland threatened early on, with Luke Molyneux’s drive clipping the sidenetting, but it didn’t take long for United to assert their authority. Sean Longstaff, influential in the number ten role, turned his man in the middle and fired a pass out to Roberts on the left. The winger brought it down well but he, too, could only find the sidenetting.
Another chance came and went for Roberts a couple of minutes later, as full back Jamie Sterry – who was getting plenty of space on the right-hand side – whipped a cross into his path. The 21-year-old connected with it first time, but cleared Max Johnstone’s crossbar.
The opening goal duly arrived with 18 minutes on the clock. Roberts was involved again, as he saw his free kick deflected onto the crossbar. With Johnstone beaten, the ball fell kindly for Bailey on the rebound, who dispatched from close range to give the hosts the lead.
Then, midway through the half, it was two. This time Roberts got his goal, as his calm first touch allowed him to collect Sterry’s low cutback before planting a shot beyond Johnstone and into the far corner.
Molyneux squandered an excellent opening for the Black Cats not long after the restart, blazing over the bar after Connor Shields had wriggled to the byline and crossed.
That miss proved to be Sunderland’s best opportunity of getting themselves back into the contest, as just before the hour, United made it three. The hard-working Charman was the man on target, clipping home at the Gallowgate End to put the game beyond the Wearside outfit.
Midfielder Matty Longstaff was introduced from the bench, as he went on to take his place alongside his elder brother Sean in the middle of the park as the hosts coasted to victory.
Further gloss was added to the scoreline with 20 minutes remaining, as Roberts broke away and fed Charman. The forward had plenty of space to take a touch to steady himself before slotting in his team’s fourth, before Sörensen blasted home Adam Wilson’s centre late on to cap a memorable night under the lights for Ben Dawson's youngsters.
Newcastle United Under-23s: Freddie Woodman; Jamie Sterry, Stefan O’Connor (Matty Longstaff 60), Kelland Watts, Lewis Cass; Owen Bailey, Dan Barlaser; Tom Allan (Adam Wilson 49), Sean Longstaff, Callum Roberts; Luke Charman (Elias Sörensen 76).
Subs not used: Nathan Harker, Oliver Walters.