WHILE Newcastle United’s senior side were losing at York City this afternoon, the club’s Under-23s were slipping to a 2-1 defeat at Harrogate Town.

Initially, Steve Bruce had been planning to split his first-team squad between the two games in North Yorkshire, but Karl Darlow’s positive Covid test, which also resulted in Freddie Woodman and Mark Gillespie having to self-isolate, meant the Magpies boss opted to send an Under-23s squad to Harrogate in order to minimise the mixing of his players.

Under-23s manager Chris Hogg took charge of the friendly, with newly-appointed academy manager Steve Harper watching on, as Newcastle selected a side featuring Charlie Wiggett, a summer signing from Chelsea. Cameron Ferguson, son of former Magpies striker Duncan, came on in the second half.

Jake Turner made a good save from Harrogate’s Rory McArdle in the first half, before the home side claimed the lead shortly before the break, with Connor Hall powering home from George Thomson’s corner.

The Magpies made ten changes at the break, with Ferguson and fellow summer signing Remi Savage coming on to the field, and Newcastle’s youngsters levelled when Kyle Crossley clipped home at the end of a fine run.

Harrogate claimed a winner with seven minutes left as Aaron Martin found the net from close range.

Newcastle U23s first half: Turner, Barrett, Wiggett, Cross, Bondswell, Thomson (De Bolle 40), Young, White, Allan, Wilson, Stephenson.

Second half: Brown, Stewart, McEntee, Savage, Scott, Miley, De Bolle, Flaherty, Longelo, Ferguson, Crossley.