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Young Mags dig deep but Silkmen are too strong; MACCLESFIELD 2 NEWCASTLE UTD U21 1.

Byline: LEE RYDER Chief Newcastle writer @lee_ryder

NEWCASTLE United Under-21s will have to do it the hard way in Group D of the EFL Trophy if they are to repeat last season's foray into the knockout stages.

A 2-1 defeat at the hands of League Two outfit Macclesfield Town kicked off their campaign in disappointing fashion at the Moss Rose.

The EFL side controlled large parts of the first half but Newcastle enjoyed a good spell in the second period.

But even after hauling themselves back into the game a defensive lapse just after the hour mark handed the Silkmen the points.

And Newcastle will now need to find positive results from the long journeys to Shrewsbury Town and Port Vale if they are to find a way out of the group.

Newcastle made a positive start to the game as Luke Charman made a run down the right before picking out Kyle Scott, with Yannick Toure then heading straight at keeper Reice Charles-Cook.

United were exposed three minutes later when Arthur Gnahoua broke through but Jamie Sterry - Newcastle's only senior player used on the night - swept up the danger.

Macclesfield cranked up the pressure in the opening stages and it paid off after 19 minutes with a goal.

Town left-back David Fitzpatrick tried his luck from 35-yards and the ball rocketed past Jake Turner to fly into the top corner to put the home side ahead.

The defender had only scored four goals in his Macclesfield career before meeting Newcastle and it's certain he won't forget this one in a hurry.

This time last year, Newcastle had Sean and Matty Longstaff running their midfield at Doncaster with Elias Sorensen leading the line but they struggled at times in the first half and were out-muscled by the Silkmen.

United were wasteful with the ball in the Town half and struggled to create clear-cut chances at times in the first half.

Although, Rosaire Longelo was constantly fouled by Macclesfield defenders and at least offered a threat on the counter, even if Newcastle were unable to make the most of the resultant free-kicks.

On 41 minutes, Gnahoua probed the Newcastle defence and was allowed to get his shot in, but the ball flew just wide.

At the start of the added time period in the first half, Tom Allan raced through to latch on to a long ball over the top from Owen Bailey but he could only hook his effort just wide.

United did create a few openings in the first half but failed to register a shot on target.

Newcastle rectified that problem early in the second half as Charman, operating as a deep-lying forward, picked the ball up outside the penalty area and then curled home majestically into the top corner with his left-foot to level the game up at 1-1 in the 48th minute.

Charman had another glimpse of goal just before the hour mark after Longelo's left-wing cross but he scooped the ball over.

It was a chance that United would rue as Virgil Gomis arrived into the box and swept home cleanly from eight-yards to beat Turner and make it 2-1 with 62 minutes gone.

Gomis, the Frenchman on loan from Nottingham Forest, had another chance moments later but Turner blocked the ball with his feet.

The young Magpies introduced a couple of subs in 16-year-old Joe White and 18-year-old Jack Young for the last 21 minutes of the clash at Moss Rose.

United keeper Turner made a superb save from close-range as Macclesfield sub Ben Stephens failed to finish the game off.

Newcastle pushed hard in the closing stages as they searched for a second equaliser but Macclesfield dug in.

Sub White saw a shot blocked and Charman mistimed a run into the box.

Charman curled low into the body of Charles-Cook with five minutes to go after a decent Newcastle move.

A scramble at the death, caused by Allan's cross into the box, should have resulted in an equaliser and forced a penalty shoot-out but sub Elliott Anderson could not convert. UNITED: Turner, Sterry, Cass, McEntee, Walters, Bailey, Scott (Young 69), Charman, Allan, Longelo (Anderson 75), Toure (White 69) Ref: O Yates Att: 525 (75 from Newcastle)


Luke Charman on the attack for Newcastle

United players celebrate after Charman scores Newcastle's equaliser

Keeper Jake Turner gets ready to make a save
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2019
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