Newcastle United Under-23s 2 Blyth Spartans 3
Newcastle United ended their 2021/22 campaign without silverware following a 3-2 defeat against Blyth Spartans in the Northumberland Senior Cup final on Thursday night.
Newcastle's youngsters conceded three times in the first-half as Sadó Djaló's header broke the deadlock for the National League North outfit before Robbie Dale's goal, directly from a corner kick, and Nathan Buddle's header left the young Magpies stunned at St. James' Park.
Jay Turner-Cooke's deft chip narrowed the deficit for United's second-string shortly after the restart before Santiago Muñoz's composed finish set up a tense finish but Newcastle's under-23s were unable to complete a spirited comeback in the closing stages.
Elliott Dickman made two changes to the side which claimed a 2-1 away win at Aston Villa, Newcastle's final Premier League 2 fixture of the 2021/22 season, as Lucas De Bolle and Josh Scott replaced Muñoz and Adam Wilson.
With Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe in attendance, the opening goalscoring opportunity was created by Blyth, who compete in the sixth tier of English football, as JJ O'Donnell saw a fierce strike towards goal bravely blocked by Newcastle defender Remi Savage, who joined the Magpies' youth set-up from Liverpool last summer.
In the 21st minute, Newcastle trailed through Djaló's opener after O'Donnell's accurate cross from the right flank found its way to the unmarked forward, who guided his header past teenage goalkeeper Max Thompson.
Three minutes later, Newcastle were dealt a further blow as Dale's corner caught out Thompson as the ball curled into the back of the net.
In the 33rd minute, Newcastle conceded a third goal as another inviting corner from Dale was swung into Buddle's path towards the back post before the Blyth captain powerfully headed the ball home, despite Thompson's efforts to keep the ball out of the net.
Five minutes into the second-half, Newcastle reduced the deficit in impressive fashion as Turner-Cooke produced a delightful chip from the edge of the box which floated over Blyth goalkeeper Alex Mitchell, recording his 11th goal of the term at under-23 level in the process.
Thompson was on hand to deny Dale notching his second of the game as the Spartans veteran fired a low strike towards goal, forcing the 17-year-old goalkeeper - a representative of England at under-18 level - to get down quickly to hold the stinging effort.
Newcastle made a double substitution after the hour mark as Muñoz and Joe Oliver were introduced to the field and it was the latter who made an instant impact.
After the Mexican forward combined neatly with Turner-Cooke, the 19-year-old - who joined the Magpies on an 18-month loan from Santos Laguna - cooly slotted the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.
Thompson produced another important save to deny Corey McKeown from regaining Blyth's two-goal cushion as the midfielder's ferocious shot was tipped around the right-hand post by the Tyneside-born shot-stopper.
The young 'keeper made a further string of vital stops, notably keeping out O'Donnell's header before holding Dan Maguire's goal bound strike.
Newcastle continued their search for an equaliser to force a penalty shoot-out but were unsuccessful as their final game of the 2021/22 season ended in defeat whilst missing out on a first Northumberland Senior Cup triumph since 2018.
Newcastle United Under-23s: Max Thompson, Nathan Carlyon (Joe Oliver 65), Charlie Wiggett, Remi Savage, Matt Bondswell, Niall Brookwell (c) (Ellis Stanton 86), Lucas De Bolle, Tom Allan, Josh Scott (Santiago Muñoz 65), Jay Turner-Cooke, Dylan Stephenson.
Subs not used: Will Brown, Jamie Miley.