Preston North End 1 Newcastle United 1
- Jon Moss
Newcastle United's second friendly of pre-season ended in a draw, as Preston North End held on to draw 1-1 on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors gave a signal of their intent as early as the second minute, when Mitrovic teed up Siem de Jong. The Dutchman's powerful shot, though, was tipped over by Maxwell.
And just six minutes later, they snatched an early lead. Rolando Aarons' cross from the left was only cleared as far as Paul Dummett, whose low right-footed strike froced Maxwell to parry into the path of Mitrovic, who rolled home the opener from just outside the six-yard box.
The Serbian frontman - who looked an effective outlet at the point of the Magpies' attack - went agonisingly close to adding a second just before the half hour, chesting down Christian Atsu's corner at the back post before firing a shot across goal that struck the base of the post.
But somewhat against the run of play, Alex Neil's men equalised with 33 minutes on the clock. A looping cross from the left wasn't dealt with by United, and the ball fell kindly for Barkhuizen at the far post. The former Blackpool forward confidently dispatched, half-volleying past Rob Elliot to draw his side level.
Rafa Benitez shuffled his pack at half time, just as he had done in last week's victory at Hearts. The Newcastle boss made eight changes, introducing Karl Darlow, DeAndre Yedlin, Ciaran Clark, Isaac Hayden, Jack Colback, Ayoze Perez and Dwight Gayle, while he also handed a debut to winger Murphy, signed in the week from Norwich City.
After de Jong had failed to connect properly with Gayle's cutback, last season's top goalscorer forced Maxwell into the first save of the half. De Jong sent Clark - playing at full back - free down the left, and Gayle met his low shot with conviction, but the Preston keeper saved well with his legs.
Jordan Hugill's acrobatic effort soon after forced Darlow into his first save of the afternoon, but the Magpies still looked the more dangerous side, and some incisive play down the right involving Murphy and Jack Colback created another chance for de Jong, but again, Maxwell was equal to it.
A Colback corner almost led to a goal with 20 minutes left and Chancel Mbemba made his presence felt in the box, but North End survived once more. Another new signing, Javier Manquillo, then made his bow with quarter of an hour remaining, replacing Florian Lejeune.
But it was another defender, Mbemba, who went closest for United in the closing stages. Collecting Perez's looping corner with a fine first touch, the DR Congo international shifted the ball to the right and blasted goalwards, but a strong hand from Maxwell denied him and United had to settle for a draw.