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Newcastle Utd u21s 4 Rovers u21s 2

5 May 2015

Rovers Under-21s unbeaten league run came to an end after going down 4-2 to Newcastle United on Tuesday night.

Rovers Under-21s unbeaten league run came to an end after going down 4-2 to Newcastle United on Tuesday night.

The young Rovers went into the match looking for their fourth successive win in the league but they came unstuck in a six-goal thriller at St. James' Park.

After Rolando Aarons had seen a shot deflected onto the post, fellow forward Adam Armstrong opened the scoring with a low show from the edge of the box on 18 minutes

A Connor Thomson effort tested Freddie Woodman in the home goal but it was Ryan Crump who was much the busier of the two keepers. But he was powerless as Newcastle, and Armstrong, grabbed a second before the break, the forward finishing off a fine flowing move.

A second goal in as many matches from David Carson saw Rovers reduce the deficit five minutes into the second half as the Rovers captain curled the ball into the far corner from Modou Cham's lay-off.

However Newcastle restored their two-goal advantage soon after, Armstrong turning provider this time for substitute Callum Roberts to fire home with aplomb.

Rovers sub Lewis Mansell then made it 3-2 after Woodman failed to hold his poked effort, but the Magpies went straight up the other end to score their fourth as Crump was unable to keep out Olivier Kemen's long-range strike.

To their immense credit Rovers continued to look for a way back into the game in the closing stages as Connor Mahoney and Sam Jones saw efforts saved, but it was Peter Beardsley's Newcastle who saw time out to clinch the victory.


Before the game coach Eric Kinder made three changes from the side that defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out.

Ryan Nyambe, an unused substitute in the first team's victory over Ipswich at the weekend, returned at right back in place of Kellen Daly, whilst Bradley Bauress and Modou Cham returned to the starting XI. Lewis Hardcastle and Lewis Mansell dropped to the bench after their involvement with the Under-18s on Saturday.

It was Rovers who were on the front foot from the off, yet keeper Ryan Crump was the first to make a save.

Eric Kinder's side went straight at their hosts, but couldn't take advantage of a couple of early free-kicks. Instead it was Newcastle forward Adam Armstrong who had the first effort at goal, forcing Crump into a low save on 8 minutes.

A strong run and shot by midfielder Connor Thomson almost deceived keeper Freddie Woodman, but the Toon stopper got down to push the ball behind. Whilst at the other end a teasing ball into the box from Armstrong curled inches away from the outstretched boot of Facundo Ferreyra and behind.

In what was a lively start to the match the Magpies then struck the outside of the post. An untimely slip from Sam Lavelle meant the ball ran to Rolando Aarons, but the midfielder's first-time shot deflected off a Rovers player and bounced off the woodwork to safety.

But moments after going close the home side would get the opening goal. Alex Gilliead cutting inside from the right to feed Armstrong on the edge of the box and he shot low across the area and into the far corner of Crump's goal.

Newcastle continued to look the likelier of the two sides to get on the scoresheet once more, their quick incisive passing game causing the Rovers defence and midfield problems. Armstrong shot wide with a 25-yard daisy-cutter, before the forward fired into the side-netting after more neat forward play.

Five minutes before the break the Magpies made their pressure count with the second of the evening. And it was a second for striker Armstrong as he exchanged passes with Ferreyra before applying a composed finish.

There was still time for Ferreyra to somehow miss a chance at the back post as the hosts looked to extend their dominance. The Argentine firing into the side-netting when it appeared to be easier to score.

Kinder's side had started brightly, but as soon as Newcastle got into their stride they more than deserved their two-goal lead at the break.

Newcastle made a change at the break with Callum Roberts replacing the returning Rolando Aarons, whilst Rovers made a change in formation with Modou Cham moving from the left side of midfield to join Dean Rittenberg up front.

Like the first half Rovers pressed from the restart. Connor Thomson heading over when well placed from Jack Doyle's centre from the left.

Rovers maintained their forward momentum and reduced the deficit on 51 minutes. Good play from Cham saw the forward shield the ball before finding David Carson, and the former Newcastle Academy player cut inside onto his right foot before curling the ball beyond Woodman and into the net.

After having failed to score all season, it was a second successive goal for the Rovers captain.

Armstrong saw a shot beaten away by Crump, whilst Connor Mahoney saw a shot smothered by Woodman as play started to stretch.

But it didn't take Newcastle long to restore their two-goal advantage, when on 57 minutes Armstrong turned provider for substitute Roberts and he blasted the ball home emphatically.

Lewis Mansell replaced Cham just past the hour mark and it didn't take long for the young forward to make an impression.

After having a shot deflect wide for a corner, Jack Doyle kept the ball alive with Mansell shooting. Woodman failed to hold the effort with Mansell reacting to force the ball goalwards before Sam Lavelle made sure it had crossed the line.

But once again it didn't take Newcastle long to regain their two-goal lead. Olivier Kemen's run went unchecked and the Frenchman slammed a 25-yard shot into the top corner.

Showing immense spirit, the young Rovers pressed until the final whistle, and although Mahoney and Sam Jones both forced Woodman into late saves, the home side saw out the remaining time to seal the points.

NEWCASTLE: Woodman, Sterry, Laidler, Kemen, Williams, Satka, Gilliead, Smith (sub Barlaser 67 mins), Armstrong, Ferreyra, Aarons (sub Roberts 46 mins).

Subs not used: Newberry, Harker (GK), Heardman.

Goals: Armstrong 18, 40 mins, Roberts 57 mins.

Booked: None.

ROVERS: Crump, Nyambe, Doyle, Thomson (sub Tanner 81 mins), Lavelle, Jones, Mahoney, Bauress (sub Hardcastle 77 mins), Rittenberg, Carson (c), Cham (sub Mansell 64 mins).

Subs not used: Fisher, Wharton.

Goals: Carson 51 mins, Mansell 67 mins.

Booked: Bauress.

Attendance: 531


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