DJ Buffonge on the ball against Newcastle United Under-23s

Under-23s: Manchester United 1 Newcastle United 4

Manchester United's Under-23s slipped to a second successive league defeat as an industrious, skilful and well-organised Newcastle United side triumphed 4-1 at Leigh Sports Village Stadium on Friday evening.

The Reds drew level in first-half injury time through Angel Gomes's deflected lob but the Magpies scored three times without reply after the break to take all three points back to the North East.

Fireworks lit the night sky ahead of this clash against the Magpies but, much as we like welcoming our friends from Tyneside, the display of pyrotechnics was not in their honour - it was, of course, part of the annual commemoration of the failed Gunpowder Plot of 413 years ago.

A good number of supporters favoured football over bonfires, making their way to Leigh to attend this Premier League 2 contest between the long-term opponents. Sadly, we weren’t treated to a view of the Magpies’ famous black and white stripes, as they emerged from the tunnel wearing a change strip of the palest blue.
Mason Greenwood leaves a Newcastle defender trailing behind
Greenwood leaves a Newcastle defender trailing in his wake.
Having tasted defeat for the first time this season, against Wolves at Molineux last week, Ricky Sbragia’s charges were hoping to get back on track. 

However, the visitors had not read that script, showing plenty of adventure and positivity. The best chance of the opening exchanges fell to them when Newcastle winger Adam Wilson found himself well placed in front of goal, but his header was just too high to trouble Reds goalkeeper Matěj Kovář.
The game remained finely balanced but then, in the 31st minute, the Magpies' bright start bore fruit when Elias Sörensen cut in from the left before firing a shot past Kovář to give his side the lead.
The shine was taken off Newcastle’s advantage when they lost defender Lewis Cass with an injury that was serious enough to hold the game up for several minutes while he was treated and then stretchered from the scene.

Aidan Barlow’s seemingly goalbound curling shot, from outside the area, was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Magpies keeper Freddie Woodman, but he couldn’t repeat his heroics a couple of minutes later when Angel Gomes’ lob, via a deflection off Sean Longstaff, beat his outstretched arms before coming to rest in the net.
Angel Gomes' shot deflects off Sean Longstaff to give Manchester United an equaliser against Newcastle United
Gomes levels the score for half-time as his shot deflects in off Newcastle's Sean Longstaff.
Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood both went close to scoring for the Reds, but sandwiched in between those chances, Newcastle had recaptured the lead with striker Sörensen claiming his second goal of the night.

The prolific Danish forward was, surprisingly, replaced by Yannick Toure just a few minutes later but it appeared to have been some kind of tactical switch.

The Reds' hopes of preserving an unbeaten home record were dealt a further blow in the 80th minute when Callum Roberts lashed home Newcastle’s third goal.
Callum Roberts celebrates after scoring Newcastle United's third goal against Manchester United Under-23s
Callum Roberts celebrates after netting Newcastle's third strike.

In response, Regan Poole rattled the woodwork at the other end, but it just wasn’t to be his team's night. Magpies substitute Toure completed the scoring when he slammed home his side’s fourth goal with virtually the final kick of the match.


United: Kovář; Tanner, Poole, Williams R-S., O’Connor; Whelan, Gomes, Barlow (Hamilton 67); Chong, Greenwood (Buffonge 81), Bohui.

Substitutes not used: Warren, Fojtićěk, Dearnley.

Scorers: United - Gomes 45; Newcastle - Sorensen 31, 56, Roberts 80, Toure 90+3.