Toon star­lets kept in Check by the Saints

The Chronicle - - Safc - By LEE RY­DER

NEW­CAS­TLE United Un­der-23s looked like they were suf­fer­ing from a Check­a­trade Tro­phy hang­over dur­ing a 1-0 home de­feat against Southamp­ton.

Hav­ing im­pressed in their last out­ing at Don­caster Rovers a lit­tle un­der two weeks ago in a 3-1 win over a team of League One reg­u­lars, United failed to main­tain their high per­for­mance lev­els against the Saints on Ty­ne­side.

True, this was a ma­jor im­prove­ment on last sea­son’s cor­re­spond­ing fix­ture – which the South Coast side took 5-1 in Fe­bru­ary – but over­all the young Mag­pies lacked qual­ity and com­po­sure in key ar­eas.

The game had started with chances few and far be­tween but on 17 min­utes a driv­ing run from Sean Longstaff caused panic in the Saints’ de­fence.

His 25-yard dart down the left chan­nel was fol­lowed up with a shot which went wide of the goal­keeper’s right-hand post.

Three min­utes later a good run and cross from the same flank saw Cal Roberts cut the ball across to Tom Al­lan, who struck a pow­er­ful shot from close range which Jack Rose some­how palmed away to safety.

On the half-hour mark Sean Longstaff clipped in a fine cross from the right-hand side to pick out Elias Sorensen but the Dane took a hor­ren­dous touch in front of Rose, who eas­ily gath­ered.

Both were chances New­cas­tle would go on to re­gret.

Southamp­ton grabbed the lead on 34 min­utes af­ter New­cas­tle lost pos­ses­sion on the left-hand side due to a de­fen­sive er­ror.

Michael Obafemi cashed in and used his blis­ter­ing pace to break into the box, take a touch and calmly slot the ball past Fred­die Wood­man.

As the con­di­tions wors­ened due to a heavy shower, ref­eree An­drew Miller blew for half-time af­ter an ab­ject open­ing 45 min­utes.

It was a half which lacked qual­ity from a New­cas­tle point of view but, with just a sin­gle-goal deficit, the Black and Whites were still very much in the game.

Sadly, they were un­able to find their clin­i­cal touch af­ter the in­ter­val.

New­cas­tle created a chance 10 min­utes into the sec­ond half when a Roberts cross picked out Matty Longstaff, but he headed over the bar.

Wil­son al­most net­ted a spec­tac­u­lar late equaliser when swirling in an ef­fort from the left­hand side but it zipped just wide of the far post.

New­cas­tle prob­a­bly de­served a point but were waste­ful with the ball when and where it mat­tered.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.