Notts County 0 Newcastle United U21s 2
Newcastle United's youngsters made it two wins out of two in the Checkatrade Trophy as they overcame Notts County on Tuesday night.
Ben Dawson made two changes to the side which had defeated Doncaster Rovers in their opening group game, with Lewis Cass replacing the injured Jamie Sterry at right-back and Matthew Longstaff coming for Juanito, who dropped to the bench.
And, just as they did at the Keepmoat Stadium last month, United took an early lead. Tom Allan was fouled in the box by Andy Kellett inside the opening ten minutes and Cal Roberts stepped up to score his second goal of the competition from the spot. His penalty kick went straight down the middle and although Branislav Pindroch got a touch, he could not keep the ball out.
County - who had won their last three games in League Two - responded with a Nathan Thomas header, which was well saved by Nathan Harker, and a long-range drive from former Wales international David Vaughan which zipped just wide.
Former Manchester City youngster Will Patching then fired over from a free kick before another set-piece brought a second fine save from Harker. Thomas' effort from 20 yards looked destined for the top corner, but Harker flew across his goal to push the ball behind.
In the 34th minute, a cross from Roberts was met by Elias Sørensen, but the Danish striker couldn't divert his header towards the goal.
Five minutes later Harker made another good save, this time to thwart Kristian Dennis after the ex-Chesterfield man had tried his luck from almost 30 yards then at the other end, Roberts had a go from a similar distance but his shot was too high.
Notts County put the visitors under pressure at the beginning of the second half, but in the 56th minute in-form Sørensen made it 2-0 with a great finish from a swift Newcastle move. Sean Longstaff supplied the pass and the Danish frontman stretched to divert the ball beyond Pindroch from just inside the area.
And United nearly had a third when Allan's shot was deflected agonisingly wide.
Matty Longstaff then tested Pindroch and, while County threatened through Shaun Brisley and - twice - Sam Osborne, the home side rarely looked like getting back into the game and Roberts could have added another in the 87th minute but he dragged his shot wide from ten yards.
Newcastle now know that if they can avoid defeat against Grimsby in their third and final group game next month, they will be certain of a place in the last 32.
Newcastle United Under-23s: Nathan Harker, Lewis Cass, Stefan O'Connor, Kelland Watts, Liam Gibson, Owen Bailey (c), Sean Longstaff, Tom Allan (Juanito 89), Matthew Longstaff (Mo Sangare 85), Cal Roberts, Elias Sørensen (Adam Wilson 63).
Subs not used: Dan Langley, Oliver Walters, Rosaire Longelo, Yannick Toure.