Newcastle United’s Under-23s suffered a heavy 6-2 Premier League 2 defeat at St Mary’s Stadium last night.
An experienced Southampton side beat Peter Beardsley’s team a day after the two clubs met at the stadium in the Premier League.
Newcastle conceded three first-half goals, all from close range.
Marcus Barnes opened the scoring in the eighth minute, and strikes from Jonathan Afolabi and Sam McQueen put the home side in a commanding position at the interval.
United fought back in the second half and strikes from fit-again Tom Heardman and Jamie Sterry saw them trail 3-2 with eight minutes left on the clock.
Heardman, back from an ankle injury, headed home a corner from fellow substitute Ben Kitchen in the 70th minute
And defender Sterry scored after forcing an error from Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.
However, late strikes from McQueen, Tyreke Johnson and James Ward-Prowse killed off Newcastle’s hopes of a late equaliser.
“The first goal shouldn’t have been allowed, because it was out of play," said coach Beardsley. "The referee has apologised, but the damage was done.
“To be 3-0 down at half time was disappointing. We changed a couple of things in the second half, got back to 3-2, but once you get back to 3-2 – a bit like the Manchester City and Stoke game at the weekend – you shouldn’t get beat 6-2.
“That’s the big disappointment for me. We got back to 3-2, Luke Charman’s already hit the bar and we’re well in the game.
"But to throw it away as we did, that, for me, was a bit of a discipline loss. We lost our shape and lost our gameplan.”
United’s Under-23s take on Blackburn Rovers at Whitley Park on Friday night.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Woodman, Sterry, Cameron, O’Connor, Yarney, Gillesphey, Fernandez (Sangare, 65), Heaney (Kitchen, 65), Charman, Barlaser, C Smith (Heardman, 65).