Newcastle United 2 (Tyrique Bartlett 1, John OG 7) Wolves 0
Two goals in the opening seven minutes were enough to condemn league-leading Wolves under-23s to only their second Premier League 2 defeat in 2019, as Rob Edwards’ side were beaten at Newcastle United.
Tyrique Bartlett’s goal after just 40 seconds was followed up by an own goal from Cameron John gave Wolves an uphill mountain to climb if they were to get anything from a match against one of the form teams in the division.
Newcastle had won seven of their previous nine games heading into their clash with Wolves and got off to a flyer when Bartlett sent a first-time effort beyond Andreas Sondergaard in the visitors’ goal within the first minute of the match.
Things got worse for Wolves within the next six minutes, with Oliver Walters’ cross unfortunately bouncing off John as the defender turned the ball into his own net.
Wolves tried their hardest to get back into the game, but Newcastle’s goalkeeper Nathan Harker was on hand to maintain the home side’s lead as Pedro Goncalves took aim, while Niall Ennis hit an effort over the crossbar as the first-half came to a close.
The league leaders struggled to get any clear-cut chances in the second half as Newcastle came the closest to further extending their advantage when a shot deflected goalwards by John had to be saved smartly by Sondergaard.
Despite the defeat, Wolves still sit top of the Division 2 table, one point clear of Southampton and three ahead of Newcastle, with three games remaining.
Newcastle: Harker, Sterry, Walters, Watts, Cass, Bailey, Allan, Young, Bartlett (Barrett 60), Longstaff, Longelo (Reed 80).
Unused subs: Huuhtanen, Rounsfell, Wilson.
Wolves: Sondergaard, Francis, Kilman, John, Sanderson, Alves (Molberg 71), Diallo, Goncalves, Giles, Samuels, Ennis.
Unused subs: Pardington, Richards, Cundle, Sauvage.
Under-23 head coach Rob Edwards admitted he was very disappointed in the way his team started the match, adding: “Saying I’m disappointed is an understatement. Being 2-0 down after seven minutes, away from home, is never something you want, but it’s something we’ve not had to deal with much this season.
“We did recover some composure and got control back to create two very good chances which we didn’t take in the first-half. As we didn’t take one of those, the second-half was always going to be very tough.
“We huffed and puffed in the second-half, had good control and created some good moments, but just couldn’t get the ball over the line.
“I think if we would’ve got one, never mind getting the draw, I think we could’ve actually gone on to win the game, but we didn’t.
“We’ve all since spoken and had a good meeting about the beginning of the game and learning from a few situations and being better in certain areas of the game, but as long as we get better from it, that’s what it’s about.
“At the start of the season we’d have taken being top of the league by a point with three games to go, but it’s just disappointing that it could’ve been four points. We’ve got to dust ourselves down and prepare for a derby game against Villa in a couple of weeks.”
Edwards and his side’s attentions will be firmly on their Premier League 2 Division 2 title race during the next two weeks in preparation for the visit to Walsall’s Bescott Stadium as the under-23s face Aston Villa.
8/4 Aston Villa (A)
15/4 Stoke City (H)
26/4 Manchester United (A)