Norwich FC 3 Newcastle United Foundation 2
Newcastle United Foundation A must hope it’s a case of third time lucky as Terry Mitchell’s men bid to beat the club’s away day blues.
The Magpies travel to Rochdale on Wednesday on the back of successive defeats on the road.
But Mitchell is convinced his battling squad can turn the corner following a heartbreaking 3-2 Trophy loss at Norwich.
“The lads showed a lot of character to come back from 2-0 down and make a real game of it down there,” insisted Newcastle’s head coach.
“It was an even game and on another day we could have won it.
“The result was disappointing but the experience was overwhelmingly positive.
“We spent 48 hours together as a team, enjoyed our time together at Norwich’s community base, The Nest, and prepared for the match like professionals.
“Norwich were fantastic hosts and the facilities they put at our disposal were first class.
“Take the defeat out of the equation and it was an experience that will genuinely benefit my players in the future.”
United’s Foundation is home to Newcastle College students who combine their studies with four days’ training and competitive football.
This season four squads are competing at various levels with the Foundation’s A team key players in the Northern Premier Division of the National Football Youth League.
And Mitchell’s men return to league action next week with what promises to be a tough trip to mid-table rivals Rochdale.
“We’re in the middle of a difficult run of three games on the road but it’s a good learning curve for the lads,” he added.
“We lost at Norwich but their first half goals were as a result of our own individual mistakes.
“It’s not as if we played poorly. We were in the match right up until the end.”
The Canaries went 1-0 up in the 16th minute following a defensive lapse by the visitors.
And seven minutes later Norwich doubled their lead after converting a smartly taken spot kick.
“It was actually a game of very few chances,” added Mitchell. “But we gifted Norwich two opportunities and they took them.
“It was a frantic start to the match with both teams looking to impose themselves.
“And unfortunately our mistakes cost us.
“But credit to my players – they fought their way back into contention and we pulled one back just before the break.”
With the clock ticking down in the first half Nathan Beesley picked up possession in midfield and found Antonio Agostino with a perfect pass.
The Magpies’ striker took the ball in his stride and produced the perfect finish to reduce the deficit heading into the break.
“We had a right go in the second half,” added Mitchell. “But neither side really crafted any clear-cut chances.
“Norwich scored a third in the 88th minutes but my lads still refused to throw in the towel.”
Birthday boy Dan Marriott guaranteed a nervous final few seconds for the hosts with a 25-yard free kick in the 90th minute.
But it was too little, too late for Newcastle as United slipped to a 3-2 defeat and missed out on a quarter-final place in the Trophy.
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