Turner's derby delight after shutting out Sunderland
Written by Luke Vinton
Goalkeeper Jake Turner expressed his delight in recording a third consecutive clean sheet as Newcastle United Under-23s defeated their Sunderland counterparts 2-0 in Premier League 2 on Friday night.
Tom Allan got the young Magpies off to a flying start in the Tyne-Wear derby after netting inside two minutes before Yannick Touré's glancing header in the second half doubled the hosts' lead in front of 1,644 supporters at St. James' Park.
Both sides were reduced to ten men in the stoppage time as United striker Elias Sørensen and Sunderland captain Jack Bainbridge received straight reds following an altercation between the pair.
However, Turner - who had made an important one-handed stop to deny Sunderland's Stan Asonutha before the second goal - was delighted to secure maximum points in the Wilmslow-born's first Tyne-Wear derby encounter.
"Everyone is buzzing as it's always good to get one over Sunderland," the former England under-20 international told nufc.co.uk. "We kept another clean sheet too, which goes a long way in the league, so we couldn't really ask for much more than that.
"The fans were class tonight, singing throughout the whole game. They carried us through and it's always good to have a few people there watching. It was my first derby and to hear the atmosphere and get the win as well has topped it off.
"The lads played well and I didn't have too much to do in terms of saves. We know Sunderland have struggled this season so to get an early goal kind of killed them off a little bit and gave us a big lift.
"To be fair, Sunderland didn't give up though and kept coming at us without letting us play through them easily. They had a couple of chances which I was able to save and it's always nice to help the team out, especially for a clean sheet at the end of it and a win.
"They were putting us under a bit of pressure. We were struggling to get back into the game and maybe trying to forcing the ball a bit too much as we had a lot of possession. It's a great ball from Ros (Longelo) and a class header by Yannick. It's always nice to score from a corner too as we practice on those routines every week.
"It's good to keep another clean sheet. I've not had a lot to do in the game as the lads played well but, when called upon, I've managed to make a save or keep the ball out of the goal which is what I've been trained to do everyday. It's good to be able to put that into a match."
United's second-string now sit in seventh place in division two - one point behind the final play-off spot - and Turner is aiming for his side to go one better than last term after Ben Dawson's side suffered a narrow play-off final defeat at Southampton.
Turner, who joined Newcastle from Bolton Wanderers in July, has cemented his place in between the sticks of late and is vowing for a successful debut season with the Magpies' second-string and secure a play-off place for a consecutive year.
"Coming into the second half of the season, it's always good to finish strong, especially when we struggled a bit at the beginning of the season with it being such a new team.
"Hopefully, we can keep the run going but we won't get too carried away thinking we are going to win every game. Each game is different and we have to take each one at a time.
"Obviously, everyone enjoys football more when you are getting minutes so, at the moment, I have to keep performing to keep my place in the team.
"It's very important getting the win to move ourselves closer to the play-offs. We've got the (Premier League) cup game next (against Scunthorpe United) but we've got to make sure we can keep winning as many games in the league as we can so we cam finish as high as possible at the end of the season."