Newcastle United 0
Report by Daniel Logan
On a perfect night for football in Coleraine, County Tyrone faced a well-drilled Newcastle side in a blockbuster game of two halves. Although relatively even, the first half seemed to be under the control of the visiting Toon. Newcastle held most of the first-half possession as the safe feet of Jude Cogdon and Henry Johnson enabled Newcastle to play out fairly effectively from the back. At the other end of the pitch, it was Tyrone’s right back Rhys Liggett that was firing in the crunching challenges to restrict the elusive Matheos Ferriera from cracking a shot a goal.
Newcastle claimed the most chances in the first half. At the 20-minute mark, the Mag’s Matty Taylor pulled his shot just wide of the left post in an eerily close chance to take the lead. This was followed 5 minutes later with another great chance, a header just shy of the left post by Toon number 10 Mo Waddani. This had arrived due to a great individual run and delivery by Ferriera on his opposite wing. Tyrone’s Ayden Tong responded with an excellent solo run and shot of his own as he proved to be powerfully unpredictable for the Newcastle defence throughout the evening. Just on the cusp of halftime, Ferriera was presented with a golden opportunity but like clockwork, Liggett was in there to prevent any offensive action from the magpie winger.
Martin Gallagher’s tactics at halftime proved crucial for a Tyrone side in danger of letting the game go. Gallagher’s tactics were simply to drop his ‘forward into cover the number 4 (Jude Cogdon). Gallagher recognised Cogdon’s importance and decided to put a higher degree of pressure on the Newcastle playmaker. The tactics paid off. Tyrone’s best chance of the game yet came at the 50-minute mark as Daniel Beaty forced an excellent save from the dominant Newcastle goalkeeper Tyler Jones. Just 5 minutes later Tyrone’s number 11 was presented with a 1 on 1 with Jones and simply couldn’t miss. There was nothing the intimidating Jones could do to prevent it as Hunter’s shot was tucked into the left of the sticks.
With around 10 minutes to go the somewhat depleted Newcastle side had seemed to lose the hunger they had possessed throughout the first half as Tyrone now clearly felt there was an opportunity to put the game to bed. A poor tackle from Archie Dodds, in this highly physical battle, gave the NI team a chance at a set piece just outside the box. A great delivery by Brandon Downey was met by a pinpoint header by captain Jack Cowden to double, and indefinitely, secure the Tyrone lead. Callum Hunter’s shot at the end of the match again tested the ability of the impressive Jones as his exceptional stop helped lift the ball onto the bar to stop a 3rd banging in. A battle to remember for Tyrone and for NI youth football as a whole, as flair and physicality have tied Gallagher’s men with Newcastle in points in Group A, with a chance to go above as they face Northeast Rush tomorrow.