By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Middlesbrough Under-21s 4 (Ledesma, Brobbel, Jackson, Main)
Newcastle United Under-21s 3 (Quinn, Armstrong, Halliday og)
Adam Armstrong scored his third goal in as many Barclays Under-21 Premier League appearances on Friday night but United's second string were on the wrong end of a 4-3 thriller in Middlesbrough.
Boro started strongly and Emmanuel Ledesma crashed a long-range strike against the bar with less than three minutes on the clock.
United goalkeeper Jak Alnwick then had to be at his best to impressively save from Curtis Main after the hosts broke at pace, and he followed it up with stops from Luke Williams and Adam Jackson.
The pressure finally told in the 39th minute as Alnwick was helpless to prevent Ledesma's 20-yard free-kick from finding the back of the net.
The visitors looked to be heading into the break behind, but Jonathyn Quinn had other ideas and forced an equaliser in first half stoppage time.
Armstrong's deep corner from the right was headed back across goal by centre-back Remie Streete and Quinn was on hand to supply a neat finish from close range.
Middlesbrough were back in front 90 seconds after the restart, as Ryan Brobbel diverted in Main's shot.
But Newcastle replied immediately through the in-form Armstrong, who put the finishing touch on a fine move that saw Lubo Satka and Romain Amalfitano work a way through the home defence.
Parity was not to last long, however, when just past the hour mark Adam Jackson headed home a corner to edge the hosts in front once more.
And minutes later they extended their lead to 4-2 through Main, who swept home a cross from the right.
The Magpies pulled one back deep into stoppage time when Satka's header struck Boro midfielder Bradley Halliday before rolling past his own goalkeeper, but it was too little too late for the visitors.
Middlesbrough (4-3-3): Dimitrios Konstantopoulos, Andre Bennett, Jonathan Burn, Adam Jackson, Birger Meling, Bradley Halliday, Ryan Brobbel, Bryn Morris, Curtis Main, Emmanuel Ledesma, Luke Williams
Subs not used: Luke Coddington, Wilson Kneeshaw, Lewis Sirrell, Matthew Waters, Kieran Weledji
Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Jak Alnwick (Jonathan Mitchell 47); Kevin Mbabu (Jamie Sterry 25), Remie Streete, Lubo Satka, Curtis Good; Jonathyn Quinn, Macauley Booth (Macauley Gillesphey 46), Greg Olley, Alex Gilliead; Romain Amalfitano; Adam Armstrong
Subs not used: Lewis Aird, Tom Heardman
Photos kindly supplied by Doug Moody