Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Step Closer to Cup Dream; FA YOUTH CUP

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Step Closer to Cup Dream; FA YOUTH CUP

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee Ryder

Newcastle Under-18s 4 Crystal Palace Under-18s 2 NOT since the days of a youthful Paul Gascoigne have Newcastle United lifted the FA Youth Cup.

Well, as the Fog on the Tyne swirled into St James' Park last night the dreams of a new generation of young Geordies to emulate Gazza and the class of '85 remained in tact.

United now find themselves into the semi-finals of the competition and face a two-legged crack against Fulham or Aston Villa.

For the youth teams of two Championship sides facing different battles in the Football League, both sides can be proud after serving up an entertaining goal feast at St James' Park.

But it was the Newcastle players who were punching the chilly Tyneside air by the end.

Palace fans, already enduring the struggle cause by a 10-point deduction at first-team level due to their plunge into administration, were forced to have a whip round in order for their players to enjoy a night in a Tyneside hotel.

United had already put to bed the hopes of Doncaster Rovers, Reading and West Ham and it was a case of good night Palace too.

They started in wet and miserable conditions, which gave the surface a real zip, making for great entertainment.

All of it in front of a star-studded crowd which included Chris Hughton, Colin Calderwood, Alan Thompson, Derek Llambias, Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Alan Smith, Joey Barton and Peter Beardsley. But they all took in an opening 15 minutes of scrappy uninspired football that resulted in no clear-cut chances for either side.

Then the game exploded into life. First, United striker Phil Airey found space 20-yards out but could only balloon an effort over the Leazes goal.

Airey did make an impact on 23 minutes when he won a free-kick just outside the box near in the left channel.

And this presented Swedish winger Samuel Adjei with the chance to open the scores. Adjei powered it right-footed with the ball finding a way through a crowd of bodies and stun the Eagles. …

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