Roberts at the double to steer Newcastle Under-23s into Northumberland Senior Cup final

Callum Roberts scored twice as Newcastle United Under-23s progressed into the Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup Final with a 3-0 win against Newcastle Benfield.

The young Magpies always looked a step above their Northern League opponents and the class told thanks to Roberts’ brace and a Mo Sangare goal.

Benfield started brightly, but the Magpies struck first as Roberts jinked inside Jon Mellish and rifled a low, 19th-minute drive inside Andrew Grainger’s near-post.

Mo Sangare added a second goal as the powerful midfielder placed a low drive past Grainger from the edge of the area on 38 minutes.

That goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Benfield after they had created chances with Luke Carr and Paul Brayson going close.

The second half failed to live up to the intensity of the first 45 minutes and it took until midway through the half for the first chance to be created.

Magpie sub Callum Smith provided the spark that the game needed as he produced a dangerous run and cross to give Roberts a chance to add to his first-half strike.

However, he could only send a diving header well-wide of Grainger’s left-hand post.

The lively winger was at the heart of everything good that the Magpies were producing and, shortly after that chance, he forced Grainger into a smart save, low down to his right.

Benfield were struggling to get back into the game and created little of note, although substitute Elliott Forbes did make sure that United keeper Paul Woolston was alert, as he parried the midfielder’s 20-yard drive to safety.

The game was killed off on 77 minutes as Roberts added his second of the night with a rising drive from the edge of the box.

Owen Gallacher almost added a fourth in the closing-stages, but Grainger touched his effort on to the crossbar.

The win means that the Magpies youngsters will face Ebac Northern League leaders Morpeth Town in the final.

Newcastle United U23s: Woolston, Spooner (Azianonou), Kitchen, Hunter, Bailey (Smith), Good, Gallacher, Sangare, Bartlett (O’Connor), Fernandez, Roberts Subs: Huuhtanen, Heaney

Newcastle Benfield: Grainger, Evans, Dummett, Nisbet (Forbes), Scorgie, Mellish, Carr (Hailes), Slaughter, Brayson, Orrell, McCarthy Subs: Nimmins, Wrightson