Newcastle United Under-23s 2 Burnley Under-23s 0
- Andrew Miller
Newcastle United Under-23s claimed back-to-back Premier League 2 victories as Dylan Stephenson's brace secured a 2-0 win over their Burnley counterparts on Friday night.
The young Magpies led inside two minutes at Whitley Park through Stephenson's opener before the Blyth-born striker doubled his and United's tally in the second-half, capitalising on a defensive error before producing a composed finish, registering his fifth goal in three league matches.
The Clarets finished the contest with ten men following Joe McGlynn's red card in the closing stages before Newcastle's youngsters comfortably saw out the game, keep a successive clean sheet in the process whilst moving into top spot of Division Two.
Interim under-23s head coach Gary Caldwell made one change to the side which secured a 4-0 win away at Birmingham City as Tom Allan - who made his professional debut during the Magpies' Emirates FA Cup third round replay win against Rochdale in January 2020 - returned from suspension following his red card against Reading, coming in for Ryan Barrett.
Barely 120 seconds had passed before the hosts took the lead through Stephenson as the Blyth-born forward, who netted a brace in United's 4-0 away win at Birmingham, continued his impressive goalscoring run.
After latching onto Jake Rooney's weak pass, the striker beat Lewis Thomas to the ball, rounding the Burnley goalkeeper before calmly firing the ball into the net.
Matt Bondswell, who made his Newcastle first-team debut during the Magpies' pre-season victory at Doncaster Rovers last month, went close to doubling the hosts' advantage shortly after, racing towards goal but the left-back, a representative of England at under-18 level, sliced his attempt at goal away from the target.
Joe White, who made his senior debut during United's pre-season friendly draw at Rotherham United, took aim from the edge of the penalty area but the teenage midfielder's strike was held by Thomas.
Rodrigo Vilca, who joined the Magpies from Deportivo Municipal in October, went close to extending Newcastle's lead before the half-time whistle as the Peruvian forward drilled a fierce effort from the edge of the box towards goal, forcing Thomas into pushing the ball away from danger.
Allan almost got Newcastle off to a fast start in the opening stages of the second-half after the forward, playing at right wing back, dispossessed Ethen Vaughan's pass from distance and drove dangerously towards goal before his fizzing strike at goal was saved by Thomas.
Burnley went close to equalising minutes later as striker Michael Mellon clipped the post after the teenager's header beat goalkeeper Dan Langley but clipped the far right-hand post.
In the 63rd minute, Newcastle grabbed their second goal of the night as Stephenson notched his fifth league goal of the campaign in similar fashion to his early opener.
After Jacob Bedeau's pass towards Thomas was dispossessed by Stephenson, the 18-year-old took a neat touch to attempt rounding the Burnley 'keeper once again before quickly tucking the ball underneath his opponent.
In the dying minutes, Burnley were reduced to ten as substitute Joe McGlynn received his marching orders after picking up two yellow cards in succession.
Newcastle turn their attention to Papa John's Trophy action when they travel to League One outfit Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, 31st August in their opening Group H encounter at Hillsborough Stadium (kick-off 7pm BST).
Newcastle United Under-23s: Dan Langley, Tom Allan, Oisín McEntee (c), Charlie Wiggett, Remi Savage, Matt Bondswell (Adam Wilson 89), Reagan Thomson, Niall Brookwell (Brad Cross 80), Joe White (Rosaire Longelo 69), Rodrigo Vilca, Dylan Stephenson.
Subs not used: Max Thompson, Ryan Barrett.