Sol Campbell was handed an early reminder of how tough management can be as his new Macclesfield side went out of the Checkatrade Trophy on penalties to Newcastle’s U21s.
The 44-year-old former Tottenham, Arsenal and England defender made his managerial debut in front of a crowd of 1,126 at St James’ Park but saw his League Two strugglers beaten 5-3 in the shootout after the second-round game had finished 1-1.
Campbell, part of the England teams which lost on penalties to Argentina at the 1998 World Cup and Portugal at Euro 2004, was an animated figure in his technical area and could be heard in the sparsely-populated 52,000-capacity stadium urging his players to “box them in” and “keep the ball”.
But the new manager suffered the first setback of his reign with 23 minutes played when Elias Sorensen and Callum Roberts evaded their markers with neat turns before Sorensen met Liam Gibson’s cross and stabbed home the opening goal.
If Campbell, who won 73 caps for England, was unimpressed as his defence succumbed on that occasion, he will have been even more annoyed with the way Roberts was allowed to dance through his rearguard two minutes later only for goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara to save with his foot.
The former defender turned away in frustration once again when striker Scott Wilson went one-on-one with Magpies stopper Nathan Harker and lost four minutes before the break.
Keith Lowe saw a 73rd-minute header hacked off the line as the Silkmen pressed for an equaliser but though Wilson made amends six minutes from time to send the tie to penalties, Ben Stephens saw his spot-kick saved and Mo Sangare’s proved decisive.
Elsewhere, Chelsea U21s progressed to the next stage with a 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon, thanks to goals from Charlie Brown and Daishawn Redan, but Arsenal U21s crashed out after a 2-1 loss at Portsmouth, while there was a further blow to the Gunners as Laurent Koscielny limped off on his return from injury.
Peterborough won 2-0 at Exeter, Bury went through after a 1-0 win at Mansfield, Port Vale saw off Stoke City Academy 4-0 and Sunderland beat Notts County 2-0.
Manchester City Academy, Accrington Stanley, Northampton and Cheltenham all progressed on penalties. Man City won at Barnsley after a 3-3 draw, Accrington saw off Lincoln after a 2-2 draw, Northampton at Cambridge after a 1-1 draw and Cheltenham against Newport after a 1-1 draw.