Newcastle United Under-23s 2 Fulham Under-23s 1
- Rebecca Welch
Newcastle United Under-23s came from behind to secure a 2-1 win against Fulham in Premier League 2 on Monday afternoon.
Jean Pierre Tiehi's first-half strike gave the visitors the lead before a late flourish from United's second-string secured maximum points at St. James' Park courtesy of impressive strikes from Yannick Touré and Stan Flaherty.
The Premier League 2 clash also featured Paul Dummett, Ciaran Clark and Matty Longstaff, all of whom were continuing their recoveries from respective injuries as well as Achraf Lazaar and debutant Rodrigo Vilca, who joined the Magpies from Deportivo Municipal a fortnight ago.
It was the hosts who created the first goalscoring opportunity as Clark advanced forward before threading a neat pass into the path of Touré but the Switzerland under-20 international flashed his low effort wide of the target.
The Cottagers broke the deadlock as Tiehi netted in the 27th minute. After George Rounsfell's pass was intercepted by the Frenchman who teed up Ben Davis and, despite United goalkeeper Dan Langley saving the initial shot at goal, the ball fell kindly into Tiehi's path who fired home from close-range.
United went in search of an equaliser before the half-time whistle and went close on a number of occasions, with Flaherty firing a vicious effort towards goal using the outside of his right foot, which forced George Wickens into tipping the ball over the bar.
Longstaff then took his turn in front of goal from the edge of the box as the central midfielder saw his goal bound effort beaten away by the Fulham goalkeeper.
The United Academy graduate was replaced at the break by Joe Oliver before Clark and Dummett were both taken off towards the hour-mark as Lucas Gamblin and Bradley Cross, another debutant after signing on Friday, were introduced to the field.
Newcastle thought they had got back on level terms as Flaherty raced through towards goal but saw his effort hit the foot of the post before being denied by Wickens at the second attempt.
However, United's second-string were able to find the breakthrough they deserved through Touré. After Flaherty raced onto Oliver's fine through ball, the teenage winger picked out the striker inside the penalty area, who controlled the ball before rifling his shot into the net via the right-hand post.
Flaherty then turned from provider to goalscorer in the 87th minute after scoring a delightful winner in front of the Gallowgate End.
Reminiscent of Hatem Ben Arfa's strike against the Cottagers back in August 2013, Flaherty picked up a loose ball ball on the edge of the penalty area, cut inside from the right flank before bending the ball into the top left-hand corner.
The victory lifts Chris Hogg's side into fifth place of Division Two and face a trip to West Bromwich Albion on Friday afternoon for their next Premier League 2 fixture.
Newcastle United Under-23s: Dan Langley, George Rounsfell, Ludwig Francillette (c), Ciaran Clark (Bradley Cross 61), Paul Dummett (Lucas Gamblin 61), Stan Flaherty, Kyle Scott, Matty Longstaff (Joe Oliver 46), Achraf Lazaar, Rodrigo Vilca, Yannick Touré.
Subs not used: Will Brown, Jude Swailes.