Blades rally to thwart Newcastle

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.