NEWCASTLE United’s Under-18s, without key pair Phil Airey and Brad Inman, slipped to a heavy defeat against Nottingham Forest in their last runout before their FA Youth Cup semi-final with Crystal Palace, writes Jeff Bowron.
Conor Newton cancelled out Tom Mullen’s third-minute opener early in the second half only for a superior Forest to add three more goals in this top-three FA Premier Academy group clash.
The damage could have been worse had Ben Robinson not come out on top in two one-on-ones with Mullen after the break.
The striker had put Forest ahead on the rebound after Robinson saved well from George Meadows. Robinson made an important save on the half-hour from George Thomson while midfielders Newton and Greg McDermott had United’s only first half efforts.
Newton slotted home the equaliser four minutes after the restart but Forest twice went close before Carl Sibson’s pull back from the byline saw Meadows restore the visitors’ lead.
The lacklustre Magpies almost levelled again when Ryan McGorrigan clipped the top of the bar from Newton’s excellent long ball.
But Robbie Gibbons made it three from Keiron Freeman’s back-heel and then Thomson shot into an empty net after Robinson had denied Mullen.
NEWCASTLE UTD UNDER-18S: Robinson, Page (Vukic 72), Nzuzi, McDermott, J.Henderson, Tavernier, McGorrigan, Edmundson, Taylor, Newton, Adjei (Knight 87). Subs (not used): Alnwick, Mogwo, L.Henderson