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Young Magpies return to Checkatrade Trophy action

Written by Rory Mitchinson

Peter Beardsley’s Newcastle United Under-21 side will seal their place in the Second Round of the Checkatrade Trophy with victory at Port Vale on Tuesday night.

The Magpies currently lead the way in the competition’s Group D, having won 2-1 at Crewe Alexandra in their opening encounter.

However, United’s youngsters have failed to post a single win since then, slipping off the pace in the Premier League 2’s second tier, while they lost their maiden Premier League Cup clash at home to Burnley last week.

Their opponents’ run without a victory is even longer, though. Relegated from League One last season, the Valiants have picked up just one win in the EFL’s basement division, and only sit above the relegation zone on goal difference.

Boss Michael Brown was dismissed last month, with former Newcastle forward David Kelly in caretaker charge as Vale hunt for a permanent appointment.

As far as the Checkatrade Trophy is concerned, Tuesday’s hosts lie within touching distance of United after picking up two of the three points available at Oldham Athletic in August. The two sides played out a 0-0 draw at Boundary Park, but the Valiants gathered an extra point after a 4-2 penalty shootout victory.

Should tomorrow’s clash also end all square, a first taste of the ABBA spot-kick system will be on the cards for the Magpies, who were one of just a handful of Academy teams to win during the competition’s first round of group games.

Admission for their visit to Vale Park is priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions (including under-18s).

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