Accrington Stanley 2 Newcastle United 3
NEWCASTLE’S kids were all right on the night in Accrington – but it took a trio of senior men to secure progress into the third round of the Carling Cup.
Chris Hughton stayed true to his word and swept away all 11 of Sunday’s 6-0 heroes for the trip to Stanley, handing starts to six players under the age of 21 at Accrington’s snug Crown Ground.
While the likes of Kazenga Lualua, Haris Vuckic and Nile Ranger did their ambitions of minutes in the Premier League no harm at all with polished displays, it was left to Ryan Taylor, Peter Lovenkrands and Shola Ameobi to supply the sucker punches which knocked out John Coleman’s League Two battlers.
In the spirit of maintaining the feel-good factor which has enveloped Tyneside following the demolition of Aston Villa, this entertaining victory in a terrific cup tie represented progress of its own.
Last season Newcastle had a tilt at the League Cup with kids and it was derailed in the early stages, exposing the rawness of United’s crop of Academy kids.
Fast forward twelve months and, against admittedly more modest opposition, United’s young guns look much more capable of shouldering the club’s Carling Cup hopes – provided the old stagers weigh in with a goal or two.
It was a good job they were on their mettle because Accrington gave them plenty to think about.
On a warm summer’s night, United walked into a real footballing throwback in this quaint corner of Lancashire.