Ben Dawson reveals the '˜uncomfortable conversations' that led Newcastle's Under-23s to a trophy
A Callum Roberts brace and a late free-kick from Dan Barlaser proved enough to help Newcastle United's Under-23s to a 3-1 win over Morpeth Town in last night's Northumberland Senior Cup Final.
The win sees the Magpies land the Senior Cup for the first time since 2014 as they saw off a determined display from the Northern League Division One side.
Roberts and Barlaser were two of the three Magpies youngsters with first-team experience, along with centre-back Curtis Good.
While Good looks set to depart St James Park this summer, Roberts and Barlaser have caught the eye of Rafa Benitez over the last two years.
Roberts was at the heart of the action in the early stages and put United ahead on 15 minutes.
They looked set to take that lead into the interval, but the Highwaymen drew back on level-terms when Liam Henderson fired in from close-range after some hesitancy in the United back-four.
The Northern League side started the first-half on top but fell behind when Roberts rounded off a fine break by sliding an Adam Wilson cross beyond keeper Karl Dryden.
They were made to wait for a third, but it came in injury-time as Dan Barlaser curled home a sublime free-kick from 20 yards.
The win sees the young Magpies round off a difficult season with silverware and coach Ben Dawson was proud of their efforts.
He also believes that the players who will depart the Magpies this summer will find a club before next season gets underway.
He said: “We have just spoken to them in there and we said we were in real danger of ending the season with nothing to show for the real great effort the lads have shown over the course of the season.
“I think tonight was the poorest performance of our recent games and it’s similar to the first-team.
“We have forgot what we did well in the last few games but that was probably the pressure that a final brings.
“I am just really, really pleased that they have something to show for their efforts.
“Most of the lads that we have had those uncomfortable conversations about not having something here have been given a good enough grounding in their time with the club to be able to go on and make a name for themselves elsewhere now.”