Fulham Under-23s 3 Newcastle United Under-23s 1
- Scott Tallis
Newcastle United Under-23s conceded three second-half goals in a 3-1 defeat in their Premier League 2 against their Fulham counterparts on Friday.
The young Magpies got off to a dream start in West London courtesy of Dylan Stephenson's opener inside two minutes, the striker's sixth goal in as many Division Two matches.
However, United's second-string conceded three times in a 20 minute second-half spell as goals from Terry Ablade, Jay Stansfield and Connor McAvoy condemned Newcastle's youngsters to a third successive league defeat.
Ahead of kick-off, at Motspur Park, Newcastle were aiming to move into the play-off spots with a victory against the Cottagers, who were positioned at the summit of the table.
Six changes were made to the side which suffered a 3-2 home defeat against Stoke City on Monday evening as Adam Wilson, who netted United's second goal against the Potters, returned to the starting line-up along with Jack Young, Matt Bondswell, Rosaire Longelo, Ryan Barrett and Max Thompson.
The visitors broke the deadlock inside the opening 120 seconds as Stephenson, who signed his first professional contract with his boyhood club last summer, netted his sixth goal of the campaign.
The Blyth-born striker, who was nominated for Premier League 2 Player of the Month in August after scoring five goals in three fixtures, continued his bright goalscoring form after racing onto Elliot Anderson's through ball before tucking his shot beyond Fulham goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond.
The hosts headed into the break with a slender lead, although Fulham were unfortunate not to get back on level terms before the half-time whistle as Stanfield's curling effort flew narrowly wide of the far post.
In the opening stages of the second-half, Newcastle were dealt a difficult blow as Fulham netted an equaliser as Ablade latched onto a weak back-pass before producing a calm finish past teenage goalkeeper Max Thompson.
In the 66th minute, United's second-string fell behind as Stansfield's fierce low drive from the edge of the box found the far bottom corner.
Six minutes later, the game had turned on its head as McAvoy notched Fulham's third goal of the afternoon as the captain headed home from Sonny Hilton's cross.
Newcastle United Under-23s take on Middlesbrough in their next Premier League 2 clash, with the young Magpies facing their North east neighbours at St. James' Park on Friday, 1st October (kick-off 7pm BST).
Newcastle United Under-23s: Max Thompson, Ryan Barrett, Charlie Wiggett, Remi Savage, Matt Bondswell, Jack Young, Joe White, Rosaire Longelo, Adam Wilson (Lucas De Bolle 82), Elliot Anderson (c) (Niall Brookwell 62), Dylan Stephenson.
Subs not used: Josh Scott, Piotr Banda, Cameron Ferguson.