Two-goal Tom praises Cottage industry
Written by Dan King
Two-goal Tom Heardman hailed Newcastle United under-23s for an eight-minute goal blast which secured a vital win against their Fulham counterparts.
Peter Beardsley's side knew that three points would see them leapfrog the Cottagers into second place in the Premier League 2 second division, and all but guarantee a spot in the end of season play-offs.
However, they fell behind to Joshua Smile's goal inside the opening 11 minutes - only for Heardman to equalise in the 33rd minute.
Victor Fernandez put the Magpies ahead six minutes later before Heardman grabbed his second and United's third in the 41st minute.
And Heardman told nufc.co.uk: "It's coming towards the end of the season and we're really pushing for a play-off position, so we're happy to take the three points today.
"We knew it wasn't going to be a tough game - they're right up there with us at the top of the league - but through the week we planned how we were going to play against them.
"It was difficult to begin with but we grew into it and really took the game to them. We did well when we grabbed a goal to go straight away and get another one. We weren't satisfied just to get an equaliser before half time, and we really felt positive going into the second half with that lead."
Gosforth-born Heardman spent the first part of the season on loan with Hartlepool United and has now struck eight times in all competitions for Newcastle's second-string since his return.
His first on Monday was a trademark header following some good work from Fernandez.
Heardman said: "It was a great cross from Victor; he said to me before the game that he was going to get down the line and put a few in, so I knew what to expect from him and he made it pretty easy for me. He put it in a great area."
Then Dan Ward teed up the big striker's second, with Heardman explaining: "He did well to react, because there was a long ball and a few lads were offside, but he wasn't himself and he did well to react to that situation. Again, I'm just grateful for that delivery.
"Towards the end of the season, the results really start to matter and we want to push for promotion. That's the target now."
"We weren't satisfied just to get an equaliser before half time, and we really felt positive going into the second half with that lead."