Sixteen year-old midfielder Luke Harris continued his sensational season with an astonishing hat trick inside eleven minutes as Fulham’s under 23s won 6-1 at Newcastle this evening.

The Welsh youth international stabbed home from close range in the second minute after Sonny Hilton’s corner had been headed against the bar by Kieron Bowie. Harris then doubled Fulham’s lead almost instantly when he accelerated away from the Newcastle’s defence after being freed down the left by fine interplay between Ziyad Larkeche and Kieron Bowie. Harris cleverly evaded a defender’s despairing challenge, deserving the bit of fortune that saw goalkeeper Will Brown wrongfooted by a deflection. The gifted number ten completed his hat trick with another poacher’s finish at the far post from Hilton’s floated corner. Harris now has ten goals in eighteen appearances for both of Fulham’s academy sides this term.

The league leaders added a fourth on twenty minutes when Scottish forward Bowie lashed a lovely cross from French full back Ziyard Larkeche high into the net. The rest of the first half was rather tame by comparison with an electric opening. Newcastle’s best chance to get back in the contest came the way of Michael Ndiweni, who latched onto a lovely ball from Jay Turner-Cooke but his curler was easily claimed by Alex Borton in the Fulham goal.

Newcastle made two changes at half time, with goalkeeper Jake Turner replacing Brown after his torrid first 45 minutes, but Fulham added a fifth just three minutes into the second period. Jay Stansfield extended the visitors’ lead with a drilled drive from Sonny Hilton’s low cross. It got far worse for the hosts when Joe Oliver tripped Harris in the box and Hilton just about beat Turner from the spot.

Charlie Wiggett headed home a consolation from a corner – but this was a fabulous display from Steve Wigley’s side. The all-conquering Fulham under 23s, now twenty points clear at the top of the table, could clinch promotion against Aston Villa on Friday win a win at Motspur Park.

NEWCASTLE UNITED UNDER 23s (5-3-2): Brown (Turner 45); Oliver, Scott, Brockwell, Wiggett, Cross (Vilca 81); Carlyon, Sangare (A. Wilson 45), Ndiweni; Turner-Cooke, Stephenson. Subs (not used): Barrett, Thompson.

BOOKED: Brockwell

GOAL: Wiggett (64).

FULHAM UNDER 23s (4-2-3-1): Borto; D’Auria-Henry, Larkeche (Bowat 78), C. Robinson (Ameyaw 83), Odutayo; Francois, Pajaziti; Hilton, Bowie (Page 74), Harris; Stansfield. Subs (not used): J. Schwarzer.

GOALS: Harris (2, 3, 11), Bowie (20), Stansfield (48), Hilton (pen 56).

REFEREE: Matthew Dicicco.