Newcastle United under-18s saw their FA Youth Cup dreams ended at the very first round they participated in, when they went down 1-0 to Shrewsbury Town at St. Jamesâ€™ Park tonight.
Sam Allardyce – must have been disappointed at the result
It had looked like the game would go to extra time and then potentially penalties to decide it, until Stephen Allen fired a 90th minute bullet winner for the visitors. But Newcastle only had themselves to blame, as they had plenty of chances to win this game, and it must have been difficult for the watching Sam Allardyce, Steve Round, Alan Smith and Charles N’Zogbia to see our youngsters go out tonight.
It was great to see these turn out for the game, and we’re pleased to see that, but we have reached the semifinals of the FA Youth Cup in both of the last two years, and this has to be a massive disappointment for the club.
In the game, LuaLua seemed to be denied a clear penalty after 15 minutes, when full-back Scott Keyes brought him down, but referee Stephen Smith waved away the appeals. Jonny Godsmark then had a low shot dropped by goalkeeper Singh, but 17 year-old Ryan Donaldson hit the ball way over the bar. However, it was a difficult chance for the young England striker, who looked dangerous throughout the game, and the local boy looks a great prospect for the future.
The visitors then broke away after 30 minutes, but goalkeeper Dan Mullen pulled off a great save to turn the ball around the post for a corner. In the second half, Donaldson surged forward again, but his shot from a narrow angle was well saved by goalkeeper Singh. Donaldson continued to look Newcastle’s best forward, and was close again from 10 yards out.
Singh was having an excellent game for the visitors in goal, and saved them on a number of occasions in the second half. He went full stretch to save from Marwood after Godsmark’s cross went right across the goalmouth. But then after 90 minutes, when it looked like extra time was inevitable, Allen’s beautifully placed 30-yard strike flew over goalkeeper Mullen, and into the Leazes End goal. Needless to say that was greeted by a huge celebration on the visitors’ bench.
This has to be a huge disappointment for the Newcastle United Youth Team, to go out in the first game they have competed in, for this years competition. We hope by next year at this time, weâ€™ll have some additional top youngsters â€“ and weâ€™ll have a chance to win it.
Thatâ€™s got to be out direction over the next few years with our youth team. It was a disappointment tonight – but these things happen in football, as we all know. And we have to remember Shrewsbury are not the only team to have won a game in the last minute recently.
Newcastle United: Dan Mullen, Alex Patterson, Darren Lough, Alex Francis (Mark Bertram, 70m), Callum Morris, Matthew Grieve, Jonny Godsmark, James Marwood (Frank Wiafe Danquah, 78m), Ryan Donaldson, Mark Doninger, Kazenga LuaLua
Shrewsbury Town: Jasbir Singh, Scott Keyes, Aaron Gibson, Harry Hooman, Dan Pyle, Stephen Allen, Stephen Davey, Anthony McDowell, Tom Moss, Dan Evans (Jan Coulston, 75m), Aaron Brown