Brad Young penalty. 0-1
Louie Barry shot. 0-2
Half time: Newcastle 0 Villa 2
Tom Allan penalty. 1-2
Full time: Newcastle 1 Villa 2
Another night behind the wire
Newcastle's U23 side rounded off their Premier League 2 Division Two
season with defeat on Friday, beaten by ten-man Villa
at Whitley Park.
A point or better for the Magpies would have removed any
chance of ending the campaign bottom of the table, and they dominated
the early exchanges.
However, a rare Villa attack in the 21st minute ended with Brad Young
going down in the United box under challenge from Brad Cross, Young
getting up to put his side ahead from the penalty spot.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men on 41 minutes when substitute Brad
Young saw red for striking Matt Bondswell in the face after the ball ran
out of play - the Toon defender booked for his reaction.
What proved to be the winning goal came two minutes before the interval,
when Louie Barry worked an opening on the edge of the box before
supplying an excellent shot that beat Dan Langley.
The second half saw the hosts continue to control possession, but apart
from tipping over Stan Flaherty's free kick, visiting custodian Akos
Onodi had little to do until the closing stages of the game.
Owen Bailey almost marked what is expected to be his final game for the
club with a goal, only to see his 75th minute effort ping off the Villa
And although the Villans had a few near escapes from balls played into
their six yard area, it took 88 minutes for Onodi to retrieve the ball
from his net.
That came when Lamar Bogarde barged into Bailey, Tom Allan coolly
dispatching his penalty kick to halve the deficit. There was to be no
leveller however, Cross the nearest when denied from close range.
Chris Hogg's side remained second bottom of the table but basement side West Bromwich Albion
then beat Norwich
City 3-2 on Monday afternoon to ensure that we finished 13th out of 13th on
Southampton and Leicester City drop from Division One into our league, with
Leeds United promoted as champions. Contesting the playoffs are Stoke City, Crystal Palace,
Wolves and the mackems.
In conclusion, this has been the most difficult of seasons to watch and pass
comment on, simply due to the total ban on attending. That has reduced us to
watching the U23s in the flesh from a distance through a fence, aside from
those away sides who went to the bother of live streaming their games.
It's fair to say that distance hasn't lent much enchantment, non-entities
such as Florent Indalecio not even flattering to deceive and the barest of
contributions from the likes of Christian Atsu leading to another season of
While Elliot Anderson's rise has been well documented, too few players have
followed his lead in threatening to break into the senior squad; in part due
to injuries and fitness, with COVID affecting the second string.
A sick list that at various times included Adam Wilson, Rodrigo Vilca,
Rosaire Longelo and Joe White contributed to a hefty turnover of players
(50) and an inevitable lack of continuity.
From those who did maintain fitness, attacking midfielder Stan Flaherty
caught the eye at times in his first full season at the club and could beat
White into being the next one to swap Little Benton for Darsley Park - or be
sent out on loan.
That Stan ended the season top scorer with seven goals tells another tale of
our limitations: 31 goals from 24 games compares unfavourably even to 29
scored in the 18 fixtures that we completed in the truncated 2019/20
Just two clean sheets in 24 was hardly encouraging either, while managing to
collect 10 points less than the mackem second string who squeezed into the
playoffs was just plain careless. Shamefully, the red and whites were one of
five clubs whose first teams play in the EFL to finish above us.