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Disappointment for Beardsley after Saints defeat

Peter Beardsley expressed his disappointment after his Newcastle United Under-23s side suffered a heavy defeat at Southampton on Monday night.

The Magpies – who were 3-0 down at the break – lost 6-2 at St. Mary’s, despite having fought back to make it 3-2 with just eight minutes remaining thanks to goals from Tom Heardman and Jamie Sterry.

But three late strikes from the Saints saw them claim the three points on the south coast, and Under-23s coach Beardsley pulled no punches in his post-match assessment.

“The first goal shouldn’t have been allowed because it was out of play. The referee has apologised, but the damage was done,” he told nufc.co.uk, after Marcus Barnes’ controversial early opener had been allowed to stand.

“To be 3-0 down at half time was disappointing. We changed a couple of things in the second half, got back to 3-2, but once you get back to 3-2 – a bit like the Manchester City and Stoke game at the weekend – you shouldn’t get beat 6-2.

“That’s the big disappointment for me. We got back to 3-2, Luke Charman’s already hit the bar and we’re well in the game, but to throw it away as we did, that for me was a bit of a discipline loss. We lost our shape and lost our gameplan.”

Heardman’s return to action as a goalscoring second half substitute was one of the positives Beardsley’s side could take from a miserable night.

“They worked so hard to get back to 3-2 and then they’re well in the game then, there’s eight minutes to go. We were still hoping to get an equaliser,” he said. “But to concede a fourth so quickly after that has probably knocked the stuffing out of us.

“We got Tom on for a few minutes, and it’s been a long road back for him. There’s always positives to come out of it, but when you lose 6-2, straight after the game it’s hard to come up with them.”

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