Blades rally to thwart Newcastle

Date published: Sunday 26th July 2015 3:43

during the Emirates FA Cup third round replay between Lincoln City and Ipswich Town at Sincil Bank Stadium on January 17, 2017 in Lincoln, England.

New signing Georginio Wijnaldum scored his second goal in as many games, while fellow Dutchman Siem de Jong – injured for most of last season – also found the net in a testimonial match for Blades stalwart Chris Morgan.

But the Premier League visitors – without reported Crystal Palace target Fabricio Coloccini in their defence – were pegged back either side of the break by Marc McNulty and Kieron Freeman.

The Magpies have now shipped eight goals in four pre-season games and manager Steve McClaren will hope to swiftly finalise a deal for Anderlecht defender Chancel Mbemba, who has passed a medical but is awaiting a visa.

McClaren’s men had hit the bar – Papiss Cisse so close to finishing off a slick passing move – with just two minutes gone but they took until the 40th to find a way through, Wijnaldum stroking into an empty net after George Long had dived at Cisse’s feet.

The Blades might have gone in level had McNulty done better when one-on-one with Tim Krul but when a similar chance followed soon after the restart, the Scottish striker tucked the ball under the Dutchman with little fuss (48).

Nigel Adkins’ side went close through a Che Adams free-kick and a Matt Done header – cleared off the line by Steven Taylor – but fell behind again 11 minutes from time when De Jong, left free at the far post, connected with a Jack Colback corner.

Adkins has yet to lose a game in pre-season since replacing Nigel Clough last month and Freeman restored parity with a stunning strike from range in the 87th minute.

Morgan, who has spent 12 years with the Blades as player, coach and caretaker boss, came on in the closing stages to a warm reception from both sets of fans.

He was handed the chance to complete a comeback win as the clock ticked down but could only fire a late free-kick into the Newcastle wall.

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