Newcastle United side suffer early cup exit after penalty heartbreak - almost five years without a win

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Newcastle United Under-21s have been knocked out of the Papa John’s Trophy after two group stage matches.

The Young Magpies were beaten 1-0 by League Two side Wrexham in their opening match before they held League One Port Vale to a 1-1 draw only to be knocked out on penalties. If Papa John’s Trophy group stage matches finish level after 90 minutes, the match goes to penalties with the winners picking up a bonus point.

And that bonus point means Newcastle are unable to catch Port Vale or Wrexham regardless of their result at Crewe Alexandra, who sit bottom of the group after two defeats.

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Jesse Debrah gave Port Vale the lead in the first half before Ellis Stanton kept Newcastle’s slim hopes of progression alive with a 90th minute equaliser. But Ben Dawson’s side weren’t able to pick up the crucial bonus point as they lost 3-2 on penalties with Stanton, Kyle Crossley and Michael Ndiweni all having their spot-kicks saved. Amadou Diallo and James Huntley scored for The Young Magpies while goalkeeper Aiden Harris made two save in the shoot-out to deny Jack Shorrock and Rhys Walters.

It’s the fifth season in a row Newcastle have been knocked out of the competition at the group stage. The Young Magpies haven’t won a match in the Papa John’s Trophy since they won all three of their group stage matches and reached the last-16 of the competition during the 2018-19 season, eventually losing to Sunderland’s first-team.

That remains the only season Newcastle’s academy side has progressed from the group in seven attempts.

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