Newcastle United Foundation 5 Rochdale AFC 0
WORDS: SIMON RUSHWORTH
Terry Mitchell insisted his players have set the benchmark for 2020 with one of their biggest wins of the season.
And the Newcastle United Foundation coach has challenged his inconsistent side to repeat the trick at derby rivals Sunderland on Wednesday.
The Magpies avenged last month’s 5-2 defeat at Rochdale to claim a convincing 5-0 win in the return fixture at Wallsend Boys Club.
And Mitchell said: “It was a performance that proved what this team is really capable of.
“It set the standard for the second half of the season and showed what can be done on the back of hard work and commitment.
“I think the lads would agree that their application could have been better at Rochdale last month.
“But they knuckled down and stuck to the plan against 10 of the same players who put five past them a few weeks ago.”
The two teams went into the interval at 0-0 but Mitchell was always confident United’s Newcastle College students would make a second half breakthrough.
And four goals in 10 minutes blew the National Football Youth League fixture wide open as the hosts exploited acres of space on the flanks.
“We’d pressed them hard in the first half and although neither team created many chances we didn’t give Rochdale any space,” added Mitchell.
“They’re a good footballing side and they were trying to play out from the back. They were also using a diamond formation in midfield.
“At half time we talked about keeping up the press and using the space down the wings.
“In the end our first four goals came from doing exactly that and it was fantastic to see.”
Antonio Agostinho broke the deadlock in the 55th minute and with a 1-0 lead the floodgates opened for the hungry hosts.
Harrison Mann doubled Newcastle’s advantage four minutes later with Agostinho turning provider.
And not content with a goal and an assist, United’s most influential attacker bagged a second on the back of another smart interception and finish.
The Magpies led 4-0 after 65 minutes when Daniel Flude converted a Nathan Beesley cross.
And Mitchell added: “It was great to see and fully deserved.
“Dan Peart capped a superb performance with a goal from 22 yards nine minutes from time and I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Striker Kyle Elsdon was forced off the pitch after just 25 minutes but substitute Benjamin Guneyogullari made the most of a second appearance for Mitchell’s men.
“Ben is one of our Under 17s but he acquitted himself really well and took his opportunity,” added Mitchell.
Newcastle United Foundation B lost 3-2 at Burnley despite a first half brace from in-form Nelson Ogbewe.
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