Brandon Miele

By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Newcastle United Under-21s 2 (Roberts, Heardman pen)
Gateshead Under-21s 2 (Lester 2)

Gael Bigirimana continued his comeback from injury as Newcastle's second-string drew with Gateshead in a behind-closed-doors friendly at United's training ground.

The midfielder played the whole match having completed just over an hour of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League game at Blackburn last week.

Heed boss Gary Mills watched as several of his first-team players took part, with the likes of Liam Hatch and Micky Cummins featuring alongside former Magpies youngsters Alex Baird, Marcus Maddison and Greg McDermott.

Callum Roberts, perhaps the game's outstanding player, opened the scoring with a neat finish before Maddison set up Jack Lester for the visitors' equaliser.

Tom Heardman - who had been a late substitute in the FA Youth Cup quarter-final loss to Chelsea the previous evening - then converted a penalty to give Peter Beardsley's side a half-time lead.

But from McDermott's right-wing cross, Gateshead levelled again through veteran Lester as both managers made a raft of changes.

United's under-21s are next in competitive action on Monday, when they take on Whitley Bay in the semi-finals of the Techflow Group Northumberland FA Senior Cup. Kick-off is 7.30pm at Hillheads Park.

Newcastle United Under-21s: Jonathan Mitchell, James Morgan, Remie Streete, Callum Roberts, Kyle Cameron, Michael Richardson, Gael Bigirimana, Steven Logan, Brandon Miele, Callum Roberts, Tom Heardman

Substitutes: Brendan Pearson, Lewis Aird, James Atkinson, Adam Laidler, Joe Kerridge, Daniel Barlaser, Andy Hall