Newcastle’s second string XI will have looked to have inspired the senior squad on Thursday night after the Magpies held Ole Gunner Solksjaer’s side to a score draw.
Playing at Altrincham’s Moss Lane, the opening exchanges went the way of the Reds as Lee Martin slipped in skipper Corry Evans who found the gap between Tim Krul’s legs in goal to put the hosts’ 1-up.
But the Geordies, unbeaten in nine matches heading into this fixture, refused to lie down and they equalised with a stunning strike ten minutes later.
A long punt downfield was cushioned by Xisco into the path of young Dutch midfielder Frank Wiafe Danquah (pictured) who, not needing to take a touch, rifled off a first-time bullet from 30-yards that whistled beyond the desperate dive of Tomasz Kuszczak into the top corner.
United should have won the match in the final stages. With just 11 minutes left on the clock, the Toon’s Ben Tozer was adjudged to haveÂ tripped striker Lee Martin inside the area. Penalty. Fabio da Silva stepped up only for Dutch keeper Tim de Krul to guess the right way and turn the spot kick aside. (Listen out for the commentator’s curse just prior to da Silva’s spot-kick.)
Highlights of Newcastle’s draw with United can be seen here.