Norwich City U-21s 1, Newcastle U-21s 2: Under-21s miss out on the play-offs
Norwich City Under-21s' development league play-off hopes ended on Monday with a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle's Under-21s at Colney.
Scott Marshall's experimental starting line-up featured four trialists due to the club's FA Youth Cup final commitments and with none of Chris Hughton's senior personnel on duty.
Harrison Heath put the Canaries in front, but Newcastle's first team stars Gael Bigirimana and Dan Gosling struck either side of the interval to move Willie Donachie's side top of group two ahead of the final round of fixtures. Only the table toppers will progress to end-of-season play-offs in the revised Premier League development format that has replaced reserve team football.
The Magpies now sit six points clear of the third-placed Canaries, who complete their schedule with a home game against Crystal Palace's U21s later this week.
Jamar Loza's powerful burst nudged Marshall's side ahead when he squared for Heath to slot from five yards. Jed Steer denied Michael Richardson with Newcastle upping the pace but Bigirimana expertly rifled a 25-yard free kick past the City keeper for a classy first-half equaliser.
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Adam Campbell fired wide early in the second period before Gosling was flagged offside after a sharp finish, The former Everton midfielder buried a late header beyond Steer to seal the points after Campbell had escaped down the left flank.
• Norwich City: Steer; Sheriff, Tunnicliffe, Gafaiti, McNeil, Kalu, Coker (Carroll 31), Clunan, Loza, Harrison (St Louis 87), Wickham. Sub (not used): Matthews.
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Goal: Heath (15).
• Newcastle United: Mitchell, Sterry, Satka, Tavernier, Desmond (Miele 52), Bigirimana, Richardson, Aarons, Gosling, Gilliead, Campbell. Subs (not used): Quinn, Olley.
Goals: Bigirimana (27), Gosling (81).