NEWCASTLE United may not have made it to the FA Youth Cup final but there is still every reason to believe that several of Joe Joyce’s Academy youngsters can make the step up to the first team in the not so distant future.
The Magpies dominated the first leg of the tie with Aston Villa last week and also came out of the blocks in jet-heeled fashion in front of almost 5,000 fans at St James’ Park last night.
Academy director Joyce said afterwards: “We have done well to come this far and it is disappointing. But overall we can have no complaints. We had chances and didn’t take them.”
The story of the cup run for Joyce’s team has been some wonderful attacking play and the goals of Amble young gun Phil Airey. Last night, United failed to take their chances and Airey was red carded.
However, while it may hurt now, when Newcastle’s youngsters regroup and reflect, they have plenty of positives to mull over this summer. United took control in the first half an hour at and put Villa under plenty of pressure.
Their first glimpse of goal came on seven minutes when Samuel Ameobi toiled down the right channel but his shot was blocked by Derrick Williams.
A minute later Newcastle won a corner and after Samuel Adjei curled the ball in for Conor Newton to flick on, Phil Airey was denied at the back post with another block from Williams.
Ameobi tested Ben Siegrist again on 14 minutes but his effort was gathered by the Villa stopper.
Newcastle should really have charged ahead on 16 minutes when a right-wing cross caused havoc.
First Greg McDermott, son of Terry, fired a powerful shot at Siegrist who parried it as far as Adjei with the Swede’s follow up palmed round the post.
Newcastle stayed on top and created lots of space with Airey full of running and Paul Dummett making some fine overlapping runs from left-back to threaten Villa. However, against the run of play, Villa snatched the lead when sub Ebby Nelson-Addy, who had replaced the injured Tomos Roberts second earlier, danced down the left wing and curled in a fine cross which Connor Taylor stooped to head home.
Jak Alnwick got two strong hands on the ball but it bounced back off the post and squirmed over the line to hand Villa an undeserved lead.
The situation then worsened for the young Magpies when Nelson-Abby put in a crunching tackle on United skipper Jeff Henderson with the Geordie defender needing treatment before being carried off just before the interval.
Airey was booked when play re-started after flying in on Nelson-Abby in frustration and United ended the first half a man down with Henderson suspected to have twisted ligaments. At the start of the second half, United replaced Amble youngster Henderson with Patrick Nzuzi and McDermott was replaced by Slovenian youth international Haris Vuckic.
Airey fired in a great shot at Siegrist at the start of the second half but the Villa man somehow got down low to block.
Newcastle won a corner after a good move involving Vuckic and Inman. Adjei curled it in and Ameobi headed goalwards but somehow Villa kept it out.
The ball fell for Adjei from the resultant scramble and he fired in the rebound from range before it clipped the bar.
Airey paid the price for his earlier yellow card when he went in hard on Samir Carruthers and Lincoln whistler ref Gary Sutton had no hesitation in showing him a second.
It meant United switched to a 4-3-2 formation as they searched for a way back. Try as they might, they couldn’t breakthrough and slipped out 2-1.
NEWCASTLE UNDER-18s: Alnwick, Tavernier, Dummett, McDermott, Henderson (Nzuzi 46), Folan (McCorrigan 90), Ameobi, Inman, Airey, Newton, Adjei.
ASTON VILLA UNDER-18s: Siegrist, Berry, Deeney, Devine, Williams, Blythe, Taylor, Carruthers, Posyer (Cameron 90), Simmonds, Roberts (Nelson-Addy 35).
Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincoln)