NEWCASTLE got off to a disastrous start as they lost their unbeaten record at Liverpool. First-choice keeper Ole Soderberg broke a wrist in the warm-up and then full-back Darren Lough scored a seventh-minute own goal.
Swede Soderberg fell on his left wrist as he fielded a shot in the kick-in and substitute keeper Max Johnson stepped in. But he was powerless to stop Lough’s 12-yard slice as he tried to clear a left-wing cross.
James Marwood brought United level from the spot on 32 minutes after Michael McCrudden had been brought down in the box.
But eight minutes later United were caught out by a long ball. Adam Pepper got the better of centre-backs Matt Grieve and Jeff Henderson to fire past Johnson.
United went at Liverpool after the break and 15 minutes from time Nile Ranger lashed a close-range shot past home keeper Martin Hansen in a goalmouth scramble.
But Liverpool’s Finnish centre-forward Lauri Dalla Valle grabbed a 86th-minute winner as Liverpool broke sharply from a United attack.
Phil Airey’s attempted pass almost put Stephen Foster in on the Liverpool goal, but Joe Kennedy intercepted and set the Reds on a lightning attack which finished with Dalla Valle turning Henderson on the edge of the box and hammering a shot past Johnson.
United coach Kenny Wharton said: “The lads were just starting their warm-up and knocking balls back when Ole fell on his left wrist.
“I was just coming out and was told there was a problem.Max went in goal and did well. The reason we lost wasn’t bad luck – it was bad defending’’
NEWCASTLE UNITED UNDER-18s: Johnson, Taylor, Grieve, Henderson, Lough (sub Leadbitter 84), McCrudden, Marwood, Bath (sub Airey 30), McLaughlin, Ferguson (sub Foster 75), Ranger. Subs (not used): Wrightson.