Newcastle United Under-23s 4 Middlesbrough Under-23s 1
- Thomas Parsons
Newcastle United Under-23s returned to winning ways in the Premier League 2 following an emphatic 4-1 victory against North East neighbours Middlesbrough on Friday night.
Charlie Wiggett's header gave the hosts the lead at St. James' Park before two goals in three second-half minutes, courtesy of Elliot Anderson's penalty and Dylan Stephenson's strike, extended Newcastle's advantage.
Middlesbrough quickly reduced the deficit through Isaac Fletcher's header before Cain Sykes' stoppage-time own goal ensured an emphatic Tyne-Tees derby win for the young Magpies.
Three changes were made to the starting line-up which suffered a 3-1 defeat against Fulham last week as goalkeeper Dan Langley, who made his first-team debut for the Magpies during pre-season against York City and Doncaster Rovers, starting in between the sticks while teenage duo Joe Oliver and Josh Scott were also handed starts.
The hosts, who netted inside 120 seconds in their previous league fixture against Fulham, almost began the Tyne-Tees encounter in similar fashion as Oliver's cross from the right wing almost floated narrowly wide of the target before winger Adam Wilson saw a fierce effort blocked from the edge of the penalty area.
In the 20th minute, Newcastle broke the deadlock through Wiggett's powerful header. As Joe White's short corner found Jack Young, the Morpeth-born midfielder's first-time cross found Wiggett inside the penalty area before the teenage centre-back nodded the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.
In the 55th minute, United's second-string doubled their lead through Anderson's penalty, the 18-year-old's second goal in three Premier League 2 matches.
As Josh Scott raced onto Joe White's lofted through ball, the versatile midfielder was brought down inside the penalty area, leaving Anderson to confidently tuck his spot-kick into the bottom left-hand corner.
In the 58th minute, United netted their third of the evening as Stephenson registered his seventh goal in as many league appearances with a tidy finish in front of the Gallowgate End.
As White advanced dangerously forward, the midfielder - celebrating his 19th birthday - delivered a neat pass into Stephenson's path before the Blyth-born forward cooly slotted the ball into the net.
The goals continued as the visitors pulled one back in the 61st minute through Fletcher's header as the Boro forward latched onto Skyes' through ball before lifting his headed attempt over the rushing Langley.
The 6ft 7' shot-stopper was on hand to produce an important double save to deny Boro setting up a tense finale blocking Joe Gibson's striker before turning away Harry Green's rebounded effort with his leg.
In the dying seconds of the encounter, Newcastle regained their three-goal cushion as Wilson raced onto Anderson's pass before the winger's inviting cross into the penalty area was inadvertently turned into his own net by Sykes, capping off a memorable win for Newcastle's youngsters.
Newcastle United Under-23s turn their attention to Papa John's Trophy action on Tuesday, 5th October when they travel to League Two Harrogate Town for their second of three Northern Section Group H clashes (kick-off 7.45pm BST).
Newcastle United Under-23s: Dan Langley, Joe Oliver, Charlie Wiggett, Remi Savage, Matt Bondswell, Jack Young, Joe White (Niall Brookwell 82), Adam Wilson, Josh Scott (Lucas De Bolle 73), Elliot Anderson (c), Dylan Stephenson (Trialist 56).
Subs not used: Brad Cross, Max Thompson.