Newcastle youngster reveals why Checkatrade Trophy qualification is so impressive
Goalscorer Matty Longstaff says Newcastle United "want to go as far as possible" in the Checkatrade Trophy after winning their group in style.
Ben Dawson’s Under-21 side beat Grimsby Town 3-2 thanks to goals from Callum Roberts, Elias Sorensen and Longstaff.
Newcastle, backed by 66 fans at Blundell Park, progressed to the last 32 as Northern Group G winners, having beaten Notts County and Doncaster Rovers in their first two games.
The draw for the the second round of the Checkatrade Trophy, which is split into northern and southern sections, will be made by Leon Britton and Steve Claridge at 1pm Friday.
United will be drawn against either Stoke City’s Under-21s, Bury, Macclesfield Town or Manchester City’s Under-21s.
Longstaff told the club website: "All of the lads are raring to go. We want to go as far as possible – we want to get our names out there to other clubs, and show that we’re a good side and a well-coached side.
“Getting out of the group is a big thing, but we don’t just want to do that – we want to go as far as possible.
“Playing at St. James’ Park will be a challenge. Obviously, we haven’t played at home in the competition before. We’ve sat off on teams a bit – so we might have to look at getting on the ball a bit more going forward – but I imagine we’ll try and stick to what we know best to try and get through.
“It’s a massive achievement for us. Every game we’ve played, we’ve been good. We’ve dug in. I think we were the only Under-21 side who could win three out of three and go through top of the group with nine points. To be able to do that is great for team morale.”
Callum Roberts tweeted: "3/3 in the @CheckatradeTrpy & into the hat for the next round. Great achievement from the lads & another top performance"
Former United striker JJ Hooper gave League Two Grimsby a ninth-minute lead, but Roberts, set up by Sorensen, levelled 10 minutes later.
Roberts crossed for in-form Sorensen to score later in the half.
The striker took Sorensen’s goal tally for the season to 13.
Jordan Cook levelled for the home side in the 54th minute, but Longstaff, playing alongside his elder brother Sean in midfield, restored Newcastle’s lead with a superb free-kick late in the game.