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Newcastle United Under 23s vs Reading Under 23s at Stadion.Core.ViewModels.Matchday.LocationViewModel

Newcastle United PL2 crest

Newcastle United Under 23s

1
Reading PL2 crest

Reading Under 23s

1
FT 16th August 2021 7:00 PM (BST)

Northumberland FA

Premier League 2

Referee : Martin Woods

16th August 2021 7:00 PM (BST)

Newcastle United Under-23s 1 Reading Under-23s 1

Attendance:
0
Referee:
Martin Woods

Newcastle United Under-23s kicked off their Premier League 2 campaign with a 1-1 draw against Reading on Monday evening.

Dylan Stephenson's composed finish broke the deadlock for the young Magpies who looked in firm control of their Division Two clash at Whitley Park.

However, the league encounter took a dramatic turn when Reading levelled through Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan's second-half penalty.

United's second-string were reduced to ten men through Tom Allan's dismissal, who picked up a second yellow card after scuffing the penalty spot before the taking of the spot-kick.

Ahead of the young Magpies' curtain raiser for the 2021/22 campaign, Allan, Joe White and Matt Bondswell - who all featured for the Magpies' first-team during pre-season - were named in the starting line-up.

Defensive duo Charlie Wiggett and Remi Savage, who joined the Magpies' Academy this summer following departures from Chelsea and Liverpool respectively, were handed their competitive debuts for United's second-string.

With interim under-23s head coach Gary Caldwell in attendance, following the Scot's appointment after Chris Hogg's departure to take up the role of assistant manager at MK Dons, the hosts got off a strong start.

White, who made his senior debut in Newcastle's 1-1 draw against Rotherham United last month, cleverly advanced past Tyrell Ashcroft on the left byline before the central midfielder's pass across the six-yard area evaded a crowd of United attackers.

Oisín McEntee, who was named on the bench during Newcastle's 3-2 win at Doncaster Rovers, almost sent United's second-string into the lead as White's inviting free-kick floated towards the Irish defender but his volley flew narrowly past the left-hand post.

Newcastle continued their push for a breakthrough as Adam Wilson latched onto White's neat pass but the 21-year-old's strike was blocked by Reading goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke.

In the 25th minute, Newcastle opened the scoring as Stephenson, who netted three goals in five pre-season fixtures, continued his bright form in front of goal.

Following a dangerous attacking move, Peruvian midfielder Rodrigo Vilca threaded a delightful pass into Stephenson's path before the Blyth-born teenager slotted the ball into the far left-hand corner.

Following an even second-half contest, the game took a unfortunate turn for the hosts as the Royals were awarded a penalty after Savage tripped substitute Mamdi Camera inside the penalty area.

More chaos unfolded as Allan was then sent off, picking up a second yellow card for scuffing the penalty spot, handed his marching orders by referee Martin Woods.

Teenage goalkeeper Max Thompson, who was named on the bench for Newcastle's pre-season fixtures at York City and Doncaster Rovers, was unable to keep out Ehibhatiomhan's resulting strike from 12 yards, despite guessing the correct way.

United's youngsters held firm in the final minutes, despite their disadvantage, to secure a point and went close to securing maximum points as White's goal bound free-kick from the edge of the penalty area was importantly held by Boyce-Clarke.

Newcastle's second-string face a trip to Birmingham City in their upcoming Premier League 2 fixture on Monday, 23rd August.

Newcastle United Under-23s: Max Thompson, Tom Allan, Oisín McEntee, Charlie Wiggett, Remi Savage, Matt Bondswell, Niall Brookwell (c), Joe White, Adam Wilson (Ryan Barrett 82), Rodrigo Vilca (Rosaire Longelo 79), Dylan Stephenson.

Subs not used: Brad Cross, Will Brown, Cameron Ferguson. 

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