Newcastle United Under-23s 2 Norwich City Under-23s 2
- Lewis Smith
Newcastle United Under-23s moved into the Premier League 2 Division Two play-off spots following a 2-2 draw against their Norwich City counterparts on Friday night.
The young Magpies broke the deadlock in the first-half at Whitley Park courtesy of Jay Turner-Cooke's curling finish after a clinical counter-attack.
The hosts were pegged back following Tom Dickson-Peters' strike on the hour-mark but responded in quick fashion through Jack Young's penalty, the midfielder's first goal of the 2021/22 campaign.
Elliott Dickman took charge of United's second-string for the first time following his appointment as Lead Player Development coach for United's under-23 side on Thursday, but was unable to mark his first game with a victory as Flynn Clarke's free-kick denied Newcastle's youngsters maximum points.
The 43-year-old coach, who had spent 26 years at Sunderland before switching to the Magpies, made four changes to the side which suffered a 3-2 home defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night.
Cameron Ferguson, son of former Magpies forward Duncan, was named in the starting XI while Matt Bondswell, Joe Oliver and Lucas De Bolle were all handed starts against the Canaries.
Charlie Wiggett, who joined the young Magpies in June from Chelsea, produced a vital challenge in the opening stages to deny Jon Rowe from firing a close-range effort towards goal before Dan Langley, who made his first-team debut for the Magpies in a pre-season friendly at York City in July, was forced into action shortly after as the tall goalkeeper held Liam Gibbs' powerful drive towards goal.
In front of 335 spectators, Newcastle broke the deadlock in the 25th minute as Turner-Cooke registered his second goal in his previous three competitive matches at under-23 level.
As Langley punched clear a Norwich corner, Dylan Stephenson raced onto the loose ball before picking out Turner-Cooke on the right flank, who advanced forward before curling the ball into the far corner via the left-hand post.
Newcastle were unfortunate to head into the half-time break ahead as Rowe saw a deflected effort, which had deceived Langley, fly narrowly past the post before Gibbs saw a venomous effort fly over the crossbar.
In the second-half, Stephenson went close to notching his ninth Premier League 2 goal of the season as the in-form striker fizzed an effort towards goal from the edge of the box, forcing Norwich goalkeeper Dylan Berry into tipping the ball over the bar.
In the 60th minute, the young Magpies found themselves on level terms as Dickson-Peters equalised for the visitors, racing onto Rowe's pass before firing the ball past Langley.
United's second-string were back in front four minutes later as Young netted from the penalty spot. After Turner-Cooke was tripped inside the penalty area, the Morpeth-born midfielder made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Berry the wrong way.
In the 78th minute, Norwich netted their second goal of the night as Clarke, a second-half substitute, fired a free-kick from the edge of the box past Langley via the underside of the crossbar.
Newcastle almost netted a winner in the final minute of stoppage-time as Stephenson struck the crossbar for the young Magpies, denying the Blyth-born forward a tenth goal of the term in all competitions.
Newcastle United Under-23s: Dan Langley, Joe Oliver, Charlie Wiggett, Remi Savage, Matt Bondswell, Jack Young, Lucas De Bolle, Dylan Stephenson, Josh Scott, Jay Turner-Cooke, Cameron Ferguson (Adam Wilson 56).
Subs not used: Brad Cross, Will Brown, Ryan Barrett, Reagan Thomson.