Newcastle United Under-23s 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers Under-23s 3
- Gareth Rhodes
Newcastle United Under-23s suffered an agonising 3-2 defeat against their Wolverhampton Wanderers counterparts in the Premier League 2 on Monday night.
United's second-string fell behind in the closing stages of the first-half at Whitley Park following Michael Agboola's header before Harry Birtwistle's close-range finish shortly after the restart doubled the visitors' lead.
However, the hosts responded in bright fashion as Charlie Wiggett quickly halved the deficit, turning in Jonjo Shelvey's free-kick before Dylan Stephenson's impressive finish levelled the Division Two encounter.
It seemed as if Newcastle's youngsters would go on to secure a fourth consecutive win in all competitions but, instead, were dealt a sickening blow following Connor Carty's strike in the dying minutes.
The young Magpies headed into the Division Two clash searching for a third league win in a row following victories against North east rivals Middlesbrough and Sunderland.
There were two changes from the side which claimed a 2-1 win against the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light as Shelvey was named in the starting XI, with Lucas De Bolle dropping to the bench, while teenage left-back Josh Scott replaced the suspended Matt Bondswell.
In front of 374 spectators, including Graeme Jones, Newcastle created the opening opportunity in front of goal as Shelvey completed a surging run before the midfielder's fierce drive from the edge of the box is pushed away by Wolves goalkeeper Louie Moulden.
United right-back Ryan Barrett went close to registering his first goal at under-23 level as the defender got onto the end of Adam Wilson's cross from the left flank but saw his effort fly wide of the target.
In the 41st minute, Wolves broke the deadlock as Chem Campbell's corner found Agboola inside the penalty area before the centre-back's looping header crossed the line despite Shelvey's efforts to clear the ball.
United goalkeeper Dan Langley, who made his first-team debut for the Magpies in a pre-season friendly at York City in July, produced a smart save to deny Campbell, holding the forward's glancing header.
In the 49th minute, though, Wolves extended their advantage as the Newcastle defence were unable to clear Carty's cross from the right wing before the ball fell into the defender's path, who managed to tuck the ball home.
United's second-string halved the deficit three minutes later through Wiggett as the Reading-born defender got onto the end of Shelvey's inviting free-kick, registering his third goal of the season.
In the 59th minute, Newcastle found themselves back on level terms as Stephenson netted his ninth goal of the 2021/22 campaign in all competitions.
The Blyth-born forward managed to control Shelvey's lofted pass inside the penalty area before firing an accurate effort into the net via the left-hand post.
Newcastle continued their push for a late winner as Wiggett flashed an attempt wide of the target before fellow centre-back Remi Savage, who joined the Magpies from boyhood club Liverpool in June, saw his header cleared off the line.
Stephenson was unfortunate not to grab his ninth league goal of the term in the closing stages as the 18-year-old raced onto Joe White's delightful through ball before his drilled effort was blocked before the teenager's rebounded effort was directed wide.
In the 89th minute, the young Magpies fell behind as Carty delivered a devastating blow, latching onto Oscar Burr's cross before placing the ball into the left-hand corner to confirm maximum points for the visitors.
Newcastle United Under-23s return to Premier League 2 action on Friday, 29th October when they host their Norwich City counterparts at Whitley Park (kick-off 7pm BST).
Newcastle United Under-23s: Dan Langley, Ryan Barrett, Charlie Wiggett, Remi Savage, Josh Scott, Jack Young (c), Jonjo Shelvey, Jay Turner-Cooke (Rosaire Longelo 74), Adam Wilson, Joe White, Dylan Stephenson.
Subs not used: Brad Cross, Max Thompson, Joe Oliver, Lucas De Bolle.