34 mins Gardner shot 0-1
Half time: Villa 1 United 0
50 mins Streete own goal 0-2
56 mins Riley own goal 0-3
68 mins Carruthers shot 0-4
Full time: Villa 4 United 0
Travelling to face a team top of the table and unbeaten at home all season was
always going to be a tricky assignment for a Newcastle reserve side who had
conceded six goals in their last two away games.
And fielding a side largely comprising of academy lads and soon-to-be former
Magpies, the inevitable landslide defeat followed at Villa Park on Monday
Somehow Willie Donachie's side escaped with a four goal reverse, thanks to some
wayward finishing from the more experienced home side, with no less than six
Villa efforts striking the goal frame.
18 year-old goalkeeper Alex Baird also did his bit to keep the scoreline
credible, with the reserve league debutant standing behind a back four in which
teenage defenders Steven Logan and Alex Kitchen were both blooded at this level
with 45 minutes apiece.
Naming a starting XI with several first team fringe players, Villa coach Kevin
Macdonald was forced to replace striker Nathan Delfouneso midway through the
By then United had also had an injury worry, when centre forward Phil Airey
took a heavy knock in a 50:50 with home 'keeper Benji Siegrest. However he was
able to continue after lengthy treatment.
Villa began to push forward more by the half hour mark and a weak back pass from
birthday boy Michael Riley was almost punished, only for Alex Baird to make a
double block and preserve his clean sheet.
Within five minutes though he was picking the ball out of his net after England
U21 midfielder Gary Gardner broke through and blasted home the opener from the
edge of the United area.
And Villa quickly came close to doubling their advantage, with Samir Carruthers
striking a post with a 20 yard effort and Daniel Johnson making a hash of the
Baird was then called into action again just before the interval to deny
Gardner and Carruthers, before a rare Magpies attack ended with Mehdi Abeid
seeing his 20 yard curler tipped round the post by Siegrest.
United used their only two outfield replacements at the interval, with
Michael Richardson playing 45 minutes on his comeback from injury. Striker Dan
Taylor came on in his place, while one debutant defender made way for another,
Steven Logan replaced by 16 year-old Alex Kitchen.
The Magpies fell further behind on 50 minutes, when Carruthers was allowed to
get his centre over and the ball ended up in the back of the net - a lack of
celebration by substitute Callum Robinson possibly indicating that the final touch had
come from Remie Streete.
Getting into their stride, the home side were on the attack again almost
immediately and Republic of Ireland youth international Carruthers again caused the danger,
this time striking the goal frame
with an attempted lob.
And there were question marks over the identity of the third goalscorer on 56
minutes, when a carbon copy of the second goal ended with Michael Riley looking
to get the final touch ahead of Andreas Weimann.
The Newcastle goal seemed to lead something of a charmed life, headers grazing
the paintwork twice within a minute and another chance narrowly wide soon
A fourth goal though was inevitable and duly arrived on 68 minutes, after Baird
had made contact with both the ball and an attacker, leaving Carruthers to slam
Johnson then thought he'd made it five only for play to be pulled back for an
earlier offside before Newcastle came close to reducing the arrears, Jeff
Henderson seeing his goalbound header from Airey's corner saved on the
More relentless Villa attacking then saw Nathan Baker head on to the United
crossbar for the second time in the half, before the lively Barry Bannan also
struck the woodwork with a fierce shot from distance before the referee took
pity and blew his whistle.
And while both Dan Gosling and Mehdi Abeid played the full 90 minutes, neither
did anything near enough to suggest that they'll be pressing for a first team
squad berth in the near future.