Joe White stands out again as Newcastle United under-23s come from behind to beat Sunderland
For all the noise of mega-money signings, Newcastle United have gems in their academy.
One of those is Joe White, a player fielded by Steve Bruce in pre-season, and one that continues to catch the eye in the Magpies’ second string.
The Carlisle-born 18-year-old played a key role in both of his side’s goals as United came from behind at the Stadium of Light to beat Wear-Tyne rivals Sunderland 2-1.
He is, of course, still young in his development but it’s those glimpses that highlights why academy investment by the new owners will go a long, long way to nurturing the club’s finest talents.
White’s shot was deflected home by Jay Turner-Cooke, who was lining up against his former club after leaving in January amid controversy over his father John Cooke’s departure as Sunderland’s kit manager.
White then timed his pass to perfection to slot in Adam Wilson as United flipped the game on its head by the hour-mark.
There was no Elliot Anderson in the young Magpies ranks due to injury, and trialist Isaac Westendorf, who had previously scored two goals in two starts, was left out.
Blyth-born striker Dylan Stephenson has started the season with eight goals to his name but it was Sunderland's number nine who had the first sigther.
Joe Ryder picked up the ball inside his own half, shrugged off three challenges before striking narrowly wide of Dan Langley’s upright.
A foul by Tyrese Dyce on Joe White sparked an early melee between two sets of players but the majority of the first-half, at least from Newcastle point of view, wasn’t exactly a classic.
United had spells of possession, though Sunderland enjoyed the better side of it – and grew more threatening as the first half progressed.
In the evening’s first shot on target, Langley tipped Ellis Taylor’s shot over before the midfielder whipped in the corner that was poked home by Dyce.
Sunderland’s warranted their advantage but it appeared to spark Newcastle into life after a dull 40 minutes.
Outstanding defending from Patrick Almond prevented Lucas De Bolle from tapping home from six yards.
De Bolle thread a ball through to Stephenson. He shot first time but Jacob Carney got down quickly to gather.
Newcastle picked up where they left off at the beginning of the second-half but almost shot themselves in the foot.
Charlie Wiggett and Langley got in a tangle, presenting Harrison Sohna with an empty net from 40 yards but his shot was way off target.
It was a let-off and United took full advantage. White’s left-footed shot took a knick off Turner-Cooke, who wheeled away in celebration at his former stomping ground.
That’s when it had more of a derby feel to it. The intensity went up a notch as Matthew Bondswell and Ethan Kachosa were involved in another melee.
White again showed his class as Newcastle turned it around. He slid in Wilson, and the winger fired home emphatically.
Sunderland piled on the pressure late on. Langley denied Dyce and United survived to claim the under-23s bragging rights in front of a healthy crowd on Wearside.
Newcastle United: Langley, Barrett, Bondswell, Young ©, Wiggett, Savage, Turner-Cooke (Josh Scott, 83), De Bolle (Thomson, 87), Stephenson, White, Wilson (Longelo, 75).
Subs not used: Cross, Thompson.