Report: Blues Under-23s 0-2 Newcastle United Under-23s

Report: Blues Under-23s 0-2 Newcastle United Under-23s

23 January 2022

Blues Under-23s were beaten by Newcastle United in the Premier League Cup on Friday night.

Under the lights at Nuneaton Borough’s Liberty Way, the hosts were undone by two goals in the final quarter of an hour to be edged out by the Magpies.

But the late goal rush went against the grain of a first-half where Birmingham City’s players kept Will Brown busy in the visitor’s goal, whilst preventing them from even managing an effort on target.

This pattern continued deep into the second period until 14 minutes from time Newcastle broke the deadlock, with full-back Matt Bondswell heading in from a free-kick.

Just five minutes later this lead was doubled and the points all but wrapped up, Niall Brookwell finding the net past Archie Matthews in the aftermath to a penalty the goalkeeper had impressively saved.

Speaking to after the match, Steve Spooner offered his thoughts on the PL Cup clash.

He said: “I was really pleased with our performance, It was just the ten minutes that cost us the game. They made some slight alterations in the second-half that nullified us somewhat.

“I felt we got back into the game ten to 15 minutes into the second period and got a stronghold of the game, creating several good opportunities. [Oriol] Soldevila and [Leo] Dos Reis were both through on the ‘keeper. We had a good chance from a cross as well and that was also very much the story of the first-half.”

Delving further into events against Newcastle, the Under-23s Head Coach outlined where he felt the match got away from his side.

Spooner explained: “I summed it up to the players after that it was really the story of what happened in both boxes. We didn’t defend their first goal well and they got a header on the far post and for the second, they got a penalty, but my gripe was with my players that didn’t get in after Archie Matthews’ save.

“We need to attack and defend the boxes better, but in terms of the quality of our football, it was very good. The performance was very good, except for the goals. I would not want to dwell on the negatives too much. We had three Under-18s starting in the team and they handled themselves very well.”

Blues are back in action in the Premier League 2 Division 2 on Monday, with West Bromwich Albion the opponents at Wast Hills Training Ground.

Blues: Archie Matthews, Josh Williams, Rico Browne, Mitch Roberts (captain), Renedi Masampu, Remi Walker, Brandon Khela (Josh Home 75), Oriol Soldevila, Rico Patterson (Keyendrah Simmonds 80), Kyle Hurst, Leo Dos Reis (Kieran Wakefield 60).

Unused substitutes: Oliver Basey, Tommy Fogarty.

Newcastle United: Will Brown, Nathan Carlyon, Niall Brookwell, Charlie Wiggett, Matt Bondswell, Jack Young (c), Lucas De Bolle, Adam Wilson, Josh Scott, Joe White, Cameron Ferguson (Tom Allan 67).

Substitutes not used: Reagan Thomson, Steven Bessent, Tom Allan, Rodrigo Vilca.