By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor
Birmingham City Under-21s 2 (McLean 2)
Newcastle United Under-21s 1 (Aarons)
There was late drama at St. Andrew's on Tuesday as Aaron McLean's brace knocked Newcastle out of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League Cup.
Signed on loan from Hull last week, the striker made an instant impression against the Magpies - even if it did take him 78 minutes to break the deadlock.
That opened the floodgates as Rolando Aarons equalised only for the 30-year-old, playing as an overage player, to break United hearts in the last minute.
Massadio Haidara started in a strong Newcastle side which also featured Sammy Ameobi, Gael Bigirimana, Haris Vuckic and Adam Campbell, but Curtis Good was withdrawn after complaining of a minor knock.
Former Magpies favourite Steve Watson was in the Blues dugout while Lee Clark watched from the stands as City started well, with Jak Alnwick making a good sprawling save to deny Brendan Daniels then tipping Dariusz Dudka's shot over the bar.
At the other end, Campbell hit the post as he allowed the ball to drop over his shoulder before firing goalwards then the young striker's shot was pushed away after some great skill from Vuckic.
The Slovenian came close himself as he cut inside but saw his shot deflected just wide with Colin Doyle beaten before Reece Brown raced in on goal but failed to beat Alnwick.
Ameobi squandered a good chance just before half time while Alnwick made another great stop, this time from Charlee Adams.
Brandon Miele tried his luck from distance at the beginning of the second half before Vuckic fired narrowly wide and Campbell shot too close to Doyle when well placed. Nathaniel Kelly made a superb last-ditch tackle to frustrate Vuckic then McLean swept home his first after a neat turn then clipped the bar.
Aarons, who had already been thwarted by a wonderful save, slid the ball past Doyle with two minutes left but in the dying seconds, Newcastle suffered a knockout blow as the ball broke for McLean to score. Alas this time there was not enough time for United to recover.
Birmingham City Under-21s: Colin Doyle, Ryan Higgins, Bobby Moseley, Dariusz Dudka, Charlee Adams, Nathaniel Kelly, Brendan Daniels (Reece Webb 83), Olly Lee, Aaron McLean, Reece Brown, Viv Solomon-Otobor (Koby Arthur 62)
Subs not used: Reece Hales, Callum Preston, Liam Truslove
Newcastle United Under-21s: Jak Alnwick, James Tavernier, Lubo Satka, Macaulay Gillesphey, Massadio Haidara (James Morgan 77), Gael Bigirimana, Brandon Miele, Sammy Ameobi, Rolando Aarons, Haris Vuckic, Adam Campbell
Subs not used: Jonathan Mitchell, Greg Olley, Jonathyn Quinn