NEWCASTLE UNITED proved too strong once again for Stoke City’s Elite Development Squad as the Potters fell to a 5-1 defeat in their Group 2 match at Whitney Park.
After City lost by the same scoreline to the Magpies at the Britannia Stadium last month thanks to a Bradden Inman hat-trick, this time it was Spanish forward Xisco who proved a thorn in their defence with a treble of his own.
Further goals from James Tavernier and Mehdi Abeid added to their woes, and James Alabi’s last-minute strike was little consolation on a difficult night on Tyneside.
The first-half had started solidly for Stoke, though, who afforded a start to a new face in Callum Bennett while also promoting Kris Scott and James Alabi from the Under-18s.
They managed to frustrate an experienced Newcastle line-up that harboured a selection of first-team players including Sylvain Marveaux and Romain Amalfitano.
Although the hosts’ technical class shone through, City were well-organised in the opening stages and restricted the Magpies to two half-chances through Adam Campbell.
Alabi scuffed a shot on the turn after being found well by Michael Clarkson, and up the other end Newcastle were becoming frustrated by their lack of cutting edge, with Campbell resorting to a 25-drive that kept Daniel Bachmann on his toes.
A poor header from Ben Heneghan allowed Campbell to open up space for an Amalfitano shot, but City’s Austrian ‘keeper produced a good stop to keep the scores level.
The Potters remained resilient, but Newcastle’s class was beginning to tell and after Inman had forced a fine reaction save from Bachmann, they broke the deadlock on 36 minutes.
Campbell, a menace all night, curled a hopeful ball to the back-post that Tavernier met with his head and nodded confidently into the corner.
Three minutes later and they had doubled their advantage – Xisco netted his first of the game, slotting home after an ambitious one-two with Amalfitano paid off.
Just before the break, Alabi looked like meeting Scott’s corner but just failed to reach it when in a good position and Newcastle went into half-time with two-goal cushion.
That was trebled 13 minutes into the second period when Xisco, a £7m signing from Deportivo La Coruna in 2008, turned in Campbell’s cross from inside the box.
Three became four on 67 minutes – Clarkson was dispossessed in the penalty area by Inman, who unselfishly squared for Xisco to complete his hat-trick, confidently firing into the top right-hand corner.
Newcastlewere in full flow now, yet Stoke continued to battle manly against both the quality of the opposition and the unhelpful autumn conditions.
With ten minutes left on the clock, Abeid capped off an impressive display in central midfield with a goal of his own after substitute Marcus Maddison found him in the area.
The final whistle couldn’t come soon enough for City, but they were gifted a consolation prize in the final moments.
Amalfitano absent-mindedly squared the ball across the outside of his own area, and Alabi showed the alertness to nip in and calmly stroke home.
It was scant reward for the young Potters, though, as the whistle went on a heavy loss.
Stoke City: Bachmann; Glasgow, Heneghan, Keane (c), Campbell; Hall (L Coulson 45), Bennett (Rossi 78), Scott (Richardson 45), Clarkson, Musungu; Alabi.
Newcastle United: Alnwick; Nicholson (Riley 30), Tavernier, Satka, Good; Marveaux, Abeid, Inman, Amalfitano; Campbell, Xisco (Maddison 71).