Former Celtic man steals the show as Newcastle United Under-21’s suffer penalty shootout defeat against Doncaster Rovers
A close encounter at the Eco-Power Stadium was settled by a dreaded penalty shootout.
Both teams claimed a point from the game but it was the hosts/visitors who earned a bonus-point with a penalty shootout win.
The first-half saw the Magpies control proceedings without posing too much of a threat in-front of goal.
Kyle Crossley and Dylan Stephenson went closest for United but couldn’t find a way past Louis Jones in the Doncaster goal.
Their visitors, who are unbeaten in the league this season, forced a few good saves from Jude Smith during normal time.
The lottery of the penalty shootout didn’t go Newcastle’s way however with Kieran Agard’s effort sealing a 4-2 win for Rovers following two misses by the visitors.
It was a promising evening for Elliot Dickman’s side who, despite falling just short and on the wrong side of the penalty shootout, can hold their heads high and go into their remaining Papa John’s Trophy games with hope of a positive campaign.
Here are our player ratings from the Papa John’s Trophy match between Newcastle United Under-21’s and Doncaster Rovers:
Jude Smith - 8
Made a couple of good early saves that no doubt would have settled the nerves. Denied Hurst with a superb stop just 15 minutes from time.
Nathan Carlyon - 7
Was very solid on the right of defence and dealt with everything thrown his way.
Remi Savage - 7
Was tasked with spreading the play whilst in possession and looked very calm and composed in defence.
Alex Murphy - 7
Had little to do in the first period. Helped to limit Doncaster’s forwards to speculative long-range efforts.
Jordan Hackett - 6
Dealt well with his opposite number in the first-half. Had a tough second period against Luke Molyneux.
James Huntley - 6
Had a quiet game but kept things nice and tidy in the middle of the park.
Jay Turner-Cooke - 7
Had a late first-half effort tipped over the bar by Jones. Was quiet in the second period but always threatened to produce a bit of magic.
Joe White - 7
Booked early on for a foul on Liam Ravenhill. Was used as Newcastle’s main creative outlet throughout the game. Subbed after 74 minutes.
Dylan Stephenson - 7
Flashed an early effort wide after good work to create an opening and saw a second-half effort saved well by the goalkeeper. Led the line well after Ndiweni was substituted and looked most likely to break the deadlock.
Michael Ndiweni - 6
Ran the channels well but struggled for service in the first period. Hit the side-netting in the second-half with his only real effort on goal. Subbed after 74 minutes.
Kyle Crossley - 7
Looked lively all evening and was unlucky not to open the scoring after charging down a clearance. Had a good long-range effort saved by the Rovers ‘keeper just before the break.
Lewis Miley - 7
Only had 15 minutes to influence proceedings. Almost stole a winner after a good run before seeing his effort blocked well by the Rovers defence.
Josh Scott - 6
Had little impact on the game during his 15 minutes on the pitch.