RYAN Taylor led by example as he captained Newcastle United’s Under-21s to a 2-1 win at Stoke City tonight - and scored at BOTH ends of the pitch.
Taylor netted all three goals as Peter Beardsley’s side returned to the top of the Under-21 Premier League Division Two at the Britannia Stadium.
The 30-year-old - who is fit-again after twice rupturing his cruciate ligament - opened the scoring with a superb curled shot in the 28th minute.
Taylor put the ball in his own net from a corner late in the half, then retook the lead with a stunning free-kick before the break.
“The first one was a good goal, the second one not so good but then (scored) the third one just on half time, so it made up for that one,” said Taylor.
“I’ve never scored an own goal in my life, so I’m not too happy about that, but that’s life and that’s football. I’m pleased for the result.”
Forward Callum Roberts also caught the eye for Newcastle, who climbed above Arsenal to go top of the division.
“They’re always learning, and they’re a great bunch of lads,” added Taylor. “They’ve got big futures ahead. If they just keep their heads down, they’ll go places.”
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Alnwick; Barlaser, Satka, Gillesphey, Gibson; R Taylor (Olley, 76), Bigirimana; Vuckic, Campbell, Roberts; Heardman (Gilliead, 82). Subs not used: Woolston, Longstaff, Ward.
* Newcastle have sold their 3,000-ticket allocation the club’s Boxing Day visit to Old Trafford.