By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United Reserves 6 (Campbell 5, 18, 38, Good 8, Vuckic 22, Inman 69)
Tottenham Hotspur Reserves 4 (Mason 16, Falque 71, 78, Ceballos 77)
If Saturday evening's first-team clash between Newcastle and Tottenham is half as entertaining as this, we're in for a treat. The two Reserve sides served up a thriller at United's Benton training centre as Adam Campbell struck a first-half hat-trick in front of Alan Pardew.
The manager, along with coaches Steve Stone and Andy Woodman, took in this second-string meeting and will have been hugely impressed with some of the Magpies' attacking play - although mercifully, he had left by the time a late collapse forced Willie Donachie and Peter Beardsley's side to cling on for what had looked to be a comfortable win.
A week after his senior debut at Cardiff, Campbell was Tottenham's tormentor-in-chief while Haris Vuckic and Mehdi Abeid played key supporting roles and Curtis Good scored on what was his competitive bow at this level.
From the first minute, Newcastle looked capable of scoring goals and inside three, Vuckic had sent Marcus Maddison scampering down the right with his shot from a narrow angle beaten away by Jonathan Miles.
There was nothing Miles could do to deny Campbell two minutes later, though, as Gael Bigirimana sent a high, hanging cross into the area and the smallest player on the field stole in to head home from close range.
On eight minutes, it was two. Good was still lurking in the box after a corner was half-cleared and when Abeid delivered, the Australian 19-year-old slid in to poke the ball beyond the Spurs keeper.
Michael Richardson fired over the bar after a flowing move before the visitors finally woke up and began to apply some pressure, with Yago Falque bringing the best out of Jak Alnwick and then Souleymane Coulibaly somehow hitting the bar from a yard out before Jack Munns shot over an open goal from the rebound.
On 16 minutes, however, Spurs skipper Ryan Mason took the game by the scruff of the neck and carried the ball from his own half, then sent a sweet, low shot past the Newcastle netminder from the edge of the area.
But two minutes later, the two-goal cushion was restored as Vuckic split the defence with a clever pass and Campbell raced onto the ball to slot it into the back of the net.
Then, after Cristian Ceballos had sent a dipping free-kick just over the top, Campbell turned creator as Richardson played him in to cross low from the left and Vuckic expertly guided the ball home.
The Slovenian had a free-kick palmed away before teeing up Campbell for his treble; again, it was a through-ball which opened up the defence and again Campbell's pace and movement was too much as he took a touch and drilled past Miles.
A minute later, Abeid strode forward and dinked the ball to the far post where Campbell was waiting - but this time he was off target with perhaps his easiest chance of the afternoon.
In the second half, a superb run from Abeid almost ended in a sixth only for his effort to be blocked at the near post, but just as the game seemed to be petering out, Bradden Inman got his name on the scoresheet as he put the finishing touch to some fantastic football from United.
Spurs looked well beaten but Falque scored two minutes later before crossing for Ceballos to head a third. And seconds later, it was 6-4 as Falque evaded Lubo Satka's challenge and side-footed past Alnwick.
Inman was then denied by two different goalkeepers - Lawrence Vigouroux replace Miles for the final nine minutes - but Alnwick had to keep out a shot from Coulibaly as the Magpies eventually saw out a thrilling encounter.
Newcastle United Reserves: Jak Alnwick, James Tavernier, Curtis Good, Lubo Satka, Yven Moyo, Marcus Maddison (Conor Newton 46), Gael Bigirimana, Mehdi Abeid, Michael Richardson (Bradden Inman 46), Haris Vuckic (Alex Nicholson 72), Adam Campbell
Subs not used: Jonathan Mitchell, JJ Hooper
Tottenham Hotspur Reserves: Jonathan Miles (Lawrence Vigouroux 81), Adam Smith (Mason Bush 17, Joshua Onomah 72)), Nathan Byrne, Grant Hall, William Ekong, Tom Carroll, Yago Falque, Ryan Mason, Souleymane Coulibaly, Jack Munns, Cristian Ceballos
Subs not used: Conor Ogilue, Victor Zapata
Referee: Glen Hart