Watford Under-23s 2 Newcastle United Under-23s 0
Newcastle United Under-23s suffered a 2-0 defeat against ten-man Watford in their opening Premier League Cup Group G fixture on Monday evening.
Newcastle's second-string conceded twice in three first-half minutes as strikes from Maurizio Pochettino, son of current PSG manager Mauricio, and Shaq Forde shortly after the hour-mark gave the Hornets a healthy advantage at Clarence Park.
The hosts were reduced to ten men in the opening minutes of the second-half following Derek Agyakwa's dismissal after denying Matt Bondswell a goalscoring opportunity but the visitors were unable to make their advantage pay.
Interim under-23s head coach Gary Caldwell made five changes to the side which suffered a 3-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday evening, which included 17-year-old midfielder Jamie Miley gaining his first competitive start for United's second-string after the central midfielder made his under-23s debut as a substitute against the Owls at Hillsborough.
There was also a competitive bow for Cameron Ferguson as the Liverpool-born striker, son of former Magpies forward Duncan, led the line alongside top goalscorer Stephenson, who had received a Premier League 2 Player of the Month nomination after netting five goals in three Division Two matches.
United's youngsters, who reached the 2019 Premier league Cup final before enduring a narrow 1-0 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park, had been fortunate to remain on level terms as Ryan Andrews' strike from distance crashed off the post.
Newcastle goalkeeper Max Thompson, who featured in between the sticks for United's 1-1 draw against Reading on the opening day of the league campaign, then denied Trialist after saving the striker's fierce effort at goal.
However, in the 33rd minute, Watford broke the lead through Pochettino as the Barcelona-born 20-year-old latched on Trailist's deft touch inside the penalty area before firing the ball home.
The young Magpies were dealt another significant blow as the Hornets doubled their advantage three minutes later, with Pochettino turning from goalscorer to provider, teeing up Forde who slotted home from 12 yards.
Shortly after the restart, the hosts went down to ten men as Agyakwa received a red card, with the Watford skipper bringing Bondswell down after the Blyth-born striker had intercepted a loose ball before advancing towards goal.
Newcastle were unfortunate not to reduce the deficit on the hour mark as Hornets defender Josh O'Brien blocked two goalbound efforts in succession near the goal line before the ball was eventually cleared to safety.
Newcastle defender Charlie Wiggett, who joined the Magpies from Chelsea this summer, went close to pulling a goal back for the visitors but the Reading-born centre-back's header flew over the crossbar.
United's second-string return to Premier League 2 action next week, facing an away clash against their West Bromwich Albion counterparts (kick-off 7pm BST).
Newcastle United Under-23s: Max Thompson, Ryan Barrett, Charlie Wiggett, Brad Cross, Remi Savage, Matt Bondswell, Jamie Miley, Jay Turner-Cooke (Jack Young 45), Joe White, Cameron Ferguson, Dylan Stephenson.
Subs not used: Joe Oliver, Will Brown, Josh Scott, Rosaire Longelo.